This week started off with a bang, or actually more like a scratch. Our 14 year old cat, affectionately named “The Captain”, swiped at Rex with sharpened claws on Monday morning, and managed to leave a nasty, inch-long cut below his eye. The Captain very fortunately missed Rex’s eyeball, but he certainly left his mark on his face.
We did everything right. We flushed it with water, dabbed triple antibiotic gel on it, and I let him stay home from school and relax. By the end of the day, Rex was looking and feeling better. The cut was already healing.
I thought the drama was over, but it was only heating up.
That evening, Rex called his father (my ex-husband) to tell him about what had happened. I had no problem with that. Unfortunately, my ex had a big problem with how I handled Rex’s cut. He didn’t understand why I didn’t rush him to the doctor to get the cut stitched up and a round of antibiotics. I received a flurry of text messages from him. He consulted with his sister who is a nurse and her friend who is a “Harvard-trained” plastic surgeon. They all decided that I had handled the injury all wrong, and I needed to get him to the doctor right away!
In their minds, I was a horribly negligent mother. In my mind, I’m a mom who would rather treat an injury at home. If it looked infected or needed stitches, I would be the first one in line at the Urgent Care, but this wasn’t the case.
Yet, here’s what’s so funny and rather sad about this minor family situation. Neither my ex, nor his “highly educated” medical team actually saw the cut. To add insult to injury, my ex-husband’s sister (Rex’s aunt) has never even shown particular interest in getting to know Rex. The plastic surgeon has never met Rex.
And, even more importantly, I receive no child support for either of my children. My ex, nor his family, who were so amazingly concerned about Rex’s scratch, don’t seem to have the same level of concern about how Rex, or his brother for that matter, are being housed, clothed, and fed on a daily basis.
Yet, they were all over me like a cheap suit when it came to this cut. Ironic, infuriating, unbelievably misguided – YES, YES, YES!!!
Yesterday, there was actually a little bit of pus on the cut, so I did take Rex to be seen. The doctor said to continue to use the topical gel. He gave me an oral antibiotic if it looked like an infection was spreading, but said he was healing nicely on his own. In other words, I did everything correctly despite not being a nurse or having gone to Harvard.
The moral of the story – People who aren’t involved in the day to day care of a child probably should keep their mouths shut when it comes to critiquing the child’s primary caregiver. This single mom is doing a pretty darn good job, and she’ll let you know if she wants some advice.
Song of the Day: Cat Scratch Fever, Ted Nugent