Friday, October 31, 2008

Tiring few days

Man, this parenting gig isn't for the faint of heart.

Monday night I started feeling kind of cruddy - sore throat, runny nose, generally bleh. Tuesday I learned that there's a pretty big difference between the "Sick Day!" of yore (couch, blanket, comfort food, maybe some X-Files on DVD) and the "sick day" as experienced by a parent of an increasingly active almost-seven-month-old. (Which, of course, I knew in principle, but you know, first time for everything and all that.) Fortunately for me, the little sir is also growing increasingly self sufficient these days, so I was able to catch a little rest on the couch while he happily entertained himself in his bouncy swing or with his toys on the floor. Tuesday night (as you may have guessed by my previous post) I stayed home from work so I could try and get some rest.

Wednesday I felt a little better, but I opted to take a second night off because I still wasn't back to 100% and also because I suspected my wildly drippy nose would not be welcome in the vitamin mines. It was in the wee hours of Thursday morning that the real fun began.

The little boy woke up around 5:30 very warm and very sad. I swapped his pjs for a onesie, and he seemed to feel a little better but never really settled back to sleep. Neither, of course, did I. When Tom got up for work I caved and asked him to stay home and help me out, since I was feeling worse again too. He tended to Soren and let me crash out for a good four hours, at which point I shuttled myself over to Urgent Care to make sure that my persistent sore throat wasn't actually strep; I didn't think it was, since I only had a low fever on Tuesday, but now that Soren had spiked a fever as well, I wanted to be certain. [Insert standard "OMG, WTF Kaiser?" post here.]

Long story short, it's not strep, but I am not buying the official diagnosis ("allergic rhinitis"...really? allergies?) either. Ah yes, I must be having a reaction to all the stuff that's blooming...right October. Never mind that I've never had allergies present in this way before, and there is just no way my sore, scratchy throat "just feels that way because of blocked eustachian tubes." But I digress...point is, no strep.

So all day Thursday Soren alternated between happy and sad, warm and less so, with the high point coming in the evening when he was chortling uproariously while Tom ripped pieces of paper in half (just like this kid...and yes, I got video, have patience) and the low point coming at about 1:30 in the morning when we decided his fever and inability to settle were concerning enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room.

Which is where we spent last night. Now, I know every new parent eventually goes through this, or something like it. Baby's first fever, Tylenol's not keeping it under control, 2am trip to the ER. Doesn't make it any less worrisome the first time, no matter how many others have had the same experience before you. Fortunately, just getting outside in the cooler air, and the cool car ride to the hospital, helped a lot. By the time we got there, Sir was pretty calm and smiley. His temp was back down below 100 when the triage nurse checked him out. It climbed again while we waited though and was back to 101 when we were finally put in a room.

(Side note...just because he's wearing a purple tie-dyed shirt, doesn't mean he's a girl! Boys can wear purple too! Yes, I know baby gender is notoriously difficult to determine at a glance, but still.)

His fever came down with some Motrin, and the ER doc said he looked just fine otherwise, so she just wanted to get a urine test to rule out UTI and we'd be free to go. This would require a "quick and easy" catheterization that wouldn't be comfortable but wouldn't last long (and is better than how the vet used to collect urine from Loki for testing). The doc even did an ultrasound of the boy's bladder to make sure there was enough fluid in there.

Soren, apparently, didn't get the memo about the "quick and easy" nature of this procedure. After trying unsuccessfully for several minutes to coax even a few recalcitrant drops through the catheter, the nurse decided there was no need to torture the boy further, that we'd just tape a bag over his bits instead and wait for him to pee on his own.

And wait we did.

For. Three. More. Hours.

He ate. He played. He cried. He ate some more. He smiled at every passerby. He practiced walking across the gurney. He ate some more. He napped.

He did not pee.

The doctor and nurse kept coming by and checking on us periodically. They brought Tom & me some warm blankets and dimmed the lights in our room so we could try to get a little rest. They checked his (dry) little pee bag every half hour or so. Finally the doc palpated his bladder some (no effect) and sent away for some Pedialyte to see if that would help stimulate him. She said he'd probably let loose just when we'd finally given up and decided to go home without getting the sample. I joked that I was going out to warm up the car. Naturally, not two minutes later, the doctor had her sample, and a sizable one at that (this is my surprised face). Just as naturally, the test was negative for UTI. We were free to go.

One amusing end note - because we got to the hospital at 2am on Halloween morning, by 7am when everyone started showing up for day shift, most were showing up in costume. It was (in that regard only) just like the episode of ER we'd just watched earlier that night. Ha.

Sir's doing better today. With some rest and alternating doses of Tylenol & Motrin, he's just about back to his old self. Young self. Whatever. On to the next great parenting adventure...yippee!


ml said...

wow, what an adventure. i'm glad everyone is healthy and recovering.

how do you give pills to a baby?

susan said...

You don't. Baby medicine is all liquid. Well, there are also suppositories. He got one of those last night too.

ml said...

well - as healthy as can be for the circumstances =)

Anonymous said...

Oh sorry you all had to endure what you did. So relieved that you are both on the mend...has Tom caught the nasty bug? Thinking of you all with love & hugs...Yaya

Anonymous said...

Our sympathies- we do know how you feel.

The Grandparents Johnson

MC Squared said...


May your next adventure contain more rainbows.

Love from us.

susan said...

Thanks everyone. Tom did manage to catch my "allergies" (Quick, someone call the AMA! Surely they will want to publish this historic first case of communicable allergies!), so he's been feeling pretty rotten for a couple of days, but otherwise things are slowly improving.

Bethany said...

How terrifying--I can't imagine how scary it must have been to warrant a trip to the ER. I'm so glad he's okay now.

And hahaha about the allergies! I actually have fall allergies--it's the season for ragweed--but they typically start MUCH earlier in the fall. :-) My dad is actually an allergist, and I will alert him to this new phenomenon of communicable allergies.