Cole’s Chest Pain

Cole entertained himself at the doctors office. I left this magazine for the new mom’s.


This afternoon when I picked Cole up from school, he casually mentioned he had been having chest pains since lunch.

No, the pains were not indigestion.

No, they were not a pulled muscle from yesterday’s soccer practice.

No, he did not have to go to the bathroom. Oh, come on! You know it’s written in the handbook. All mothers are obligated to ask the “Well, do you have to go to the bathroom?” question.

I phoned the doctor and the office said to come right over; they could fit us in at 4:45 p.m.

We don’t usually do doctors. Joe was very good with Band-aids, and super glue.  I’m not big on antibiotics; I use to just make Cole say all the time, “I am the wellest little boy in the whole world!” and let him go to bed with his hair wet to build his immune system. However, since Joe had died of a heart attack, Cole’s chest pains worried me.

We arrived at the doctors by 4:45 p.m. and waited and waited and waited. I know you’re probably thinking that they fit us in and we should be grateful. I tried to be grateful. I really did, but I was not very good at it. There were lots of babies in the office and I knew how long a new mother could go on and on about really dumb things.

Will she ever get a full nights sleep? No. And when her kid does sleep through the night she won’t, so the answer is still NO. New mom, you have a kid and will never ever get a full nights sleep again. Next question.

Should she feel guilty about not breast-feeding? No. Maybe. Depends.

Will her kid ever eat peas? In the scheme of parenting what a kid will or will not eat is really not important. My proof? Have you ever known a kid to willingly starve themselves? Worried?  Put out cookies and candy. I will never understand the parental obsession with food.

Is TV bad for your kid? Is this a medical question?

I knew of course how long a new mom could go on and on about dumb things because I had once been a new mom—worried about sleeping, breast-feeding, and peas. OK, I lied. I never one time cared if my kid ate peas or not.

Anyway, where were we? Oh, yeah, waiting and waiting. Cole was drawing tattoos and piercings on the photos of the newborns in the magazines by this time. I finally told him if they did not call us in 10 minutes he should stand up, grab his chest and yell, “It’s the Big One! Daddy, I’m a-coming.”

Finally the nurse called us back to the examine room. I had to remind her to direct her questions to Cole. How should I know where his chest hurts? We were then left to wait again. There is one thing worse than waiting in the waiting room with your teen, and that is waiting in the examination room. Teens play with stuff, insist on weighing themselves, wonder how many infected needles are in the infected needle container on the wall and get up to look. When you point out the baby scale, and mention they were once little enough to be weighed on it, they tell you they remember how cold the scale was and that being weighed on that scale was worst than being pushed through the birth canal. My eye-roll would have made you all proud.

Finally, I had enough and went out and asked when the doctor might grace us with his presence. The receptionist barely glanced up and muttered, “Soon.” “Excuses me?” I asked. “Would soon be sometime tonight or should we ask for the breakfast menu?” OK, that was not nice, but neither was being held hostage in an examination room with a teen quite possible dying of chest pains…which I just then noticed he had not had since we had begun our long, long, long, now three-hour wait.

Soon, the doctor breezed in, not looking at me. First he complimented my son on his shoes, then he asked him to describe his symptoms. Then the doctor complimented Cole on the elaborate intricate piece of art he had drawn on his arm and hand, most probably while ignoring his Spanish lesson. Complimenting him? Why didn’t he tell him that it’s possible the ink will give him ink poisoning? I glared at doctor; he smiled back, clearly seeking his revenge for my complaining about all the time he was spending with those new moms.

As it turned out, Cole was fine. Rib spasms or some such thing. We were finally allowed to leave.

Cole of course got in on the driver’s side of the car and, as he pulled out of the parking lot, narrowly missed the car next to us. He complained that the appointment took too long and wondered why we went in the first place. Just because his dad died of a heart attack, he said, doesn’t mean he needs to go to the doctor over few chest pains. Sheesh! I did not use to worry so much. He then blew through a stop sign wondering if we could stop at a Starbucks.

As my life flashed before my eyes, I thought back to those new moms worrying about breast milk, peas, and bedtime. When we got home with our Starbucks, I hastily microwaved dinner because Cole was starving, When he asked me if he could eat in front of the television, I said absolutely. Our quality time together was so over!

Do your kids drive you crazy? Or is it me? Drop me a comment if you have the time, Odd loves company.


8 thoughts on “Cole’s Chest Pain

  1. Only you could spin a story like this…”Daddy its the big one I’m a coming?” Laughing so hard. 😀

    Glad Cole is ok and you road warriors made it home with well deserved Starbucks in hand!

    xx Judy

  2. What I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall with a tape recorder! Fodder for a month of stories! And I do take comfort in knowing that my kid is not the only one creating murals on his body whilst in class. As for the driving, you are way ahead of me–I am clinging to the fact that driving a 5 speed is still out of my son’s comfort zone! Thanks for a laugh-out-loud post!

  3. You’ve hit a home run with this one, Katybeth! I’m glad Cole is fine, and I loved your description of the new moms — they can’t imagine the “fun” awaiting them, can they, when their newborn grows into a teen! Thanks for brightening my morning!

  4. Let me emphasise the most important point in all of this…all kids manage to in one way or another, drive us crazy! I’ve spent many a day (like 9 hours) in the emergency department with my kids, with hits to the head caused by soccer tackles, rashes that put the fear of meningiococle (sp?) in me, suspected broken limbs….because of course, all of these things happen on weekends and after GP hours. Don’t you love how receptionists can subtly tsk tsk you if you’re late for an appointment but say nothing when the doctor is hours late for you. Great story, Katybeth, I like the way you can put receptionists and doctors in their place!

  5. Twice my son has scared me to death! Once when he was performing in Julius Ceasar as Brutus. The theater the school rented had no heat. It was January in Chicago and it was bloody cold outside and the theater worse. I picked Tom up from the play practice and he is sick! The play begins tomorrow and he calmly announces that I should prepare myself for his death. He wasn’t kidding and he said it very calmly. I asked a million question including a slap on the side of his head ” Do not sow that seed”! WTH and then it elevated to WTF!! I was asking and asking the symptoms. I called his father ” Should I bring him to the hospital? NO NO NO was the reply!” Tom said he had joint pain and a terrible weakness, heart pain etc.. and he was absolutely certain he had something very serious like ( ALS was his exact quote). He kept telling me, Mom you’ve been a great mother and “I want to prepare you… I know deep inside I will die very soon!” Finally after two hours of this, his lips were blue and he was shaking. He finally convinced me something was wrong. The entire time his father saying ” He’s a skinny kid Nancy he had to wear the Roman clothing, sandals and he is just very cold!” Finally I called the NON- Emergency Fire department just to ask if there was a bug going around in Winnetka that I was not aware of? My mother was convinced it was the Russian Flu! Did they recommend I bring him to the ER? Well I no sooner asked the question when I heard sirens! Loud sirens! WTH??? They sounded quite close? Suddenly they were pounding on my apartment door! Five fully dressed firemen with all their gear!! Jim glared at me! I kept repeating ” I did not tell them to come here”! Well Jim new two of the fireman and they were just concerned when they saw the name Leahy on the caller ID. I was trembling! They asked us to leave the room and they examined young Tommy and they called us out and said ” Tom has a very bad case of stage fright!! This kid felt the fear and pain all through his little body! He was sure he was dying! Well Jim laughed his ass off and so did the fireman! I cuddled my boy and gave him some hot soup. BTW he was a fabulous Brutus the next evening. He now performs all the time and no more stage fright! So we are a little dramatic my son and I. My husband and daughter have no blood in their veins at all! They continue to tease my poor son about his bout with death! Mean people the pair of them!

  6. “Do your kids drive you crazy? Or is it me?” Nope…you don’t bother me, just those darn kids! (sorry, Katybeth, but that was too easy to resist!)

    Glad Cole’s okay…I too am guilty of asking the “Do you have to poop” question!

    Love the nod to Sanford and Son…good memories!


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