What Does a Crazy Rash Diagnosis Have to Do With Marriage?

Balance. It’s always been the strength in my marriage. While I quietly freak out with worry that my children need to be rushed to the emergency room, my husband calmly looks up from his reading fighting an eye roll and says, “Karen, it’s fine.”

While I submit my children to constant examination, poking, prodding, and “let me see it just one more time,” my husband checks out the Phillies’ score.

When I snuck away to Google a bull’s-eye rash that mysteriously appeared on my son recently, my husband calmly explained that it was a flare-up of eczema.

As I diagnosed my child with Lyme disease, panicked, and then came back down to earth with the realization that it could just be a spider bite or…or, well, nothing, my husband read a book.

I’m not trying to paint a picture of a lazy, clueless husband. There have been times when he’s been panicked and I’ve been the calm one. But between us, one of us manages to always be sane. One of us has to be rational. We balance each other out.

Before I called the doctor and committed to adding $100 to our huge deductible, I mulled over the situation. It could have been nothing. But it looked like something. I didn’t know what it was. I could call a nurse friend I know. Sure, she was an OB/gyn nurse. I could run my child through the streets and knock on doors to see if anyone had seen anything like this rash. Surely they would see the crazy in my eyes.

After exhaustive comparisons to rash photos on the Internet, I called the doctor’s office. After one hundred questions, of course the nurse told me to bring my child in. After I got my children out of school early. After I endured ten straight minutes of my son telling my daughter to be quiet because he couldn’t read with her talking. After the torture of being cooped up in that tiny eight-by-eight room, the doctor finally came in.

The doctor examined the rash site. It was not a fungus caused by ringworm. It was not Lyme disease. Looked a bit like, yeah, eczema.

I am pretty good about listening to the voice of reason. I freak myself out a lot. About half the time I can talk myself out of my nonsense. The other 49 percent of the time, my husband does. The other tiny percent? Well, the doctor gets a good chuckle.

“Glad you took him for peace of mind,” my husband said.

Balance. And no I told you so’s. Even though he did.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “What Does a Crazy Rash Diagnosis Have to Do With Marriage?

  1. MuddledMom, I love this! I could have written this post (and wish I had!). My husband and I are exactly the balance you describe. What a fabulous story! Thank you for helping me remember one of the many reasons I love my husband …

  2. Twelve years ago, my son had eczema and was given a medicine that made his skin break out. I was unconcerned, but the doctor sent me to a dermatologist who gave me her phone number and told me to call anytime, day or night if it worsened. I thought she was nuts. As it turns out, rashes can be incredibly serious — causing skin to actually fall of in sheets –and can become deadly. Who knew.

    Better safe than sorry. Besides, husbands need to feel superior on occasion.

  3. I can totally relate! This balancing of each other makes for a good marriage 🙂 My husband knows that sometimes I just need to take them to the doctor for my peace of mind also even it it’s just a little cough…

    • I have taken my kids to the doctor thinking they’ve had ear infections. They probably only had gas or the grumps. Who knows. But it really looked like a bull’s-eye and my son is always rolling on the ground. I couldn’t take the risk. Some things you can wait out. Ah well, you live and learn. That’s what first kids are for. 😉

  4. Lisa

    Yeah I know the feeling. I took my then 18 month old to the ER after she grabbed my curling iron and the doctor said there’s really nothing we can do. Amazing though the child screamed the whole way there but once we walked through the doors she stopped crying. Oh yeah, and by the way that’s $150 for the ER.

  5. Same thing here! My husband is the calm one. And I believe him EVERY TIME he tells me a “I did this when I was younger and the doctor said this.” I don’t even care if he’s lying anymore, it calms down my hysteria. I think it’s a mother thing — the whole propensity to worry…

  6. I’ve been there. Unfortunately, my husband is less rational than I am when it comes to our daughter. And the times that I manage to be sane? That’s when it turns out she has walking pneumonia.

    • Oh yes, walking pneumonia was a surprise. I did take my daughter in after several days of a persistent cough that had returned and was shocked at that diagnosis.

      Surely doctors have moments of panic when it comes to their kids too. Right?

  7. Love this post. My hubby has the same attitude. I freak out; he watches the Lakers. I think it’s good that you were cautious, though, and got your peace of mind. You deserve peace of mind!

    • Thanks. It’s one of those moments when you begin to understand where your kids get their worries! But sometimes I’m not willing to take chances and I’m OK with looking like a fool because of that tiny chance that I could actually have been right.

      I read your story and it’s stories like those that help moms like me make the decisions I did. I read that ticks can sometimes fall off. The rash looked a lot like a tick bite rash. Even though there weren’t other symptoms, it could have been early. I didn’t waste any time. So thanks for getting your story out there. And good luck to you.

  8. There you are!!! I had to unfollow you and follow you again… In regards to this topic, I’m more like your husband and my Hubby is more like you. He takes every little bump/bruise/belly ache so seriously. My attitude is, “Eh, they’ll live…” Haha.

    • Thanks for refollowing. I’ve had a little trouble lately showing up in people’s readers. If you have more trouble, contact the WordPress help desk and they’ll sort it out for you.

      I’m thankful my husband is the mostly calm one. We’d never get through a stomach bug without him! Bless him.

  9. My husband is mostly the calm one too. I’m the one who thinks a headache is a brain tumor. I actually had a perfect bull’s eye shaped red rash on my shin in college. It was when I lived in Alaska and the doctor there actually took pictures of it as it was so textbook bull’s eye shaped that he wanted to put it in a textbook! It turned out it was ringworm. I got it from the tall grass there, they suspected. Yuck.

    • I would not have been surprised if that had been the diagnosis. I’m always looking up rashes on the Internet, and my doctors don’t know it but I am right a good percentage of the time.

  10. Hm…I have a few of those stories myself. I too hate when he’s always right, but glad it was only eczema.

  11. Great post! We’re lucky to have marriages where the spouses balance each other. Besides you never can tell. I took my daughter in to the doctor because she’d fainted 3 times in a year and the first thing they did is an EkG. Yikes. We haven’t gotten a final diagnosis yet, but this is something I thought I’d get laughed out of the office for. I have always loved my pediatrician who trusted my Mommy Doctor (MD) instincts.

  12. We are indeed fortunate to be in a partnership so that when one of us in on the edge, the other tries to bring us down before it is too late! Glad it was something relatively minor with your child.

  13. My husband and I have a similar balance plan when it comes to random possible medical emergencies with our children. I have taken the boys in several times for that peace of mind diagnosis.

  14. Suzy Lake

    I totally understand…I have an intense love/hate relationship with WebMD. 🙂

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