Fun with Sick Kids

I don’t know what sort of hell we signed up for last week, but one week later, I’m glad it’s mostly over.

Both of my children took turns being sick last week.
Last week was HARDLY fun. Nationally, locally… I don’t need to fill you in on the drama, do I?! By Sunday morning, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see zombies or locusts on my lawn. 
If you’ve ever dealt with feverish kids with rotten coughs & sore throats, you may know how difficult it can be. Your life revolves around them 24/7, but when they are sick, those 24 hours can be BRUTAL. 
My kids have always been different. They may both be girls, but from the moment each was born, there was no question how unique they each were. Hell, each pregnancy was very different… I was so certain I was having a boy I checked Sedona for a penis after she was delivered! I didn’t fully believe the ultrasound-tech when she told me I was having another girl. 
But that’s ok. Different is good. Mostly
Child #1 started feeling ill on Sunday; Natalie was very groggy & dragging, but insisted she was fine… but Monday Natalie woke up with a wicked fever. Most of Natalie’s class has taken turns being sick over the last couple of weeks, including her teacher, so honestly, it wasn’t a huge surprise when she woke up with a fever on Monday.
Natalie slept most of it off on Monday. I foolishly thought… wow, 8 year olds aren’t as difficult when they are sick. Just plop her on the couch, give her a remote, and get her what she needs in between her naps. 
The only downside of Monday was not being able to turn on the news when shit hit the fan in Boston. Not necessarily the biggest downside, really. I could keep up with the news on my phone… and the way my anxious brain works, it was probably for the best that my media exposure was limited. 
Tuesday, my formerly “easy” sick-kid turned into a virtual monster. Complaining about ev-er-y-thing. She was bored, she was sick, she was tired, her throat hurt, her water was too cold & icy, her water was too warm, have I mentioned she was bored? It was a very long day.
Wednesday… was the calm before the storm. I ran errands like a mad-woman during my brief 2-hour break while Sedona was in school. I had a long list of other things to do, but it was best that I spent my time outside of the house.
Thursday: Sedona woke up with a wicked fever & sore throat, just like her sister. Assuming her sickness would run a similar 2-ish day course: She would mostly sleep in between watching tv and I could catch up on things around the house, my blog & upcoming media appearances. 
Boy was I wrong. 
Sedona would not let me escape her clutches allllllll fucking day on Thursday. Her fever wasn’t scary [yet] at 102.5, but she was miserable. She took brief naps, but only with me, as when I would try to maneuver an escape, she’d wake & I’d hear “Momma! I need you!” My 5yo was very whiney & needy; I started to wonder if my first name had been changed to “Mommaineedyou!” by the end of that exhausting day. 
Sedona didn’t sleep great on Thursday night, but again, if I had some level of ESP, I would’ve appreciated that night. 
Friday: Sedona was still warm, fever was still around 102, but no level of meds were bringing it down. She would not stop crying about her throat. 
After contacting fellow parents who dealt with this sickness as well as the school-secretary to see if anyone had reported strep, I decided to call the pediatrician’s triage nurse, who quickly determined that Sedona should be seen. In an hour. 
And we live 20 minutes south of our pediatrician’s office. 
Sure, it was 9:15am, but I had not done a damn thing outside of slamming a cup of coffee. My hair was in a bun, boobs still flailing around free from bra straps & underwire… and of course, Sedona was still clinging to me, so I didn’t think getting out the door in the next half hour was possible — but the nurse insisted Sedona get a throat culture and an ear-check. And the 10:15am appointment was all they had available.
We arrive at the doctor, miraculously, at 10:14am. I still don’t know how the hell it happened. A lot of sweat & tears were involved… Sedona wasn’t easy to get ready either, so I’ve blocked it out. 
Nurse took Sedona’s temp… and it was 101.5. I asked the nurse why her temp would still be up if I gave her ibuprofen 2 hours ago? The nurse shrugged and said her body’s fighting the bug.
Doctor came in and checked her out… she has a ruptured ear drum but it’s not infected, throat culture came back negative.

It was a virus.

No meds.

All that chaos to get to the doctor for this?! That was frustrating enough… 

Then I brought my 5yo home and her fever kept going up. Just a couple hours after we came home, I took her temp again, and it was scary high! Hit 104.8… and she was unconsolable. I called the nurse again, who scolded me for not waiting 3 hours in between tylenol & motrin… and said that they don’t “worry” until it hits 105, and to head to the ER when that happens. 
And with that, the condescending nurse hung up on me. She’s lucky, my fuse was very short, I was this close to going off on that bitch. 
Look, I get that this nurse has to deal with overbearing parents all the time, but I doubt she has parents calling in with kids with fevers this high on a daily basis. Give me some credit. 
However… my mushy, overtired brain instantly went to the what-ifs. Sedona’s fever was PRACTICALLY 105 at 104.8… what if our thermometer is off? What if her fever IS 105 and we just have a shitty generic thermometer?! What if she starts having a fever-seizure? What if she never gets better? 
GA!! I NEEDED TO PUT A LITTLE ALCOHOL ON IT!! 
Thankfully, a fellow beer-loving friend dragged my sorry ass out for a couple hours after the hubs came home. I savored a HopSlam, Crooked Tree & a Red’s Rye over the course of 2 hours and rushed home in time to tuck my kids into bed… Where they both slept fairly peacefully. 
Saturday, Sedona’s fever was up, but not nearly as awful.
She was still needy as hell, but not nearly as whiney.
Until… the night hit. 
Then we had one more awful level of hell to deal with. Or rather, I did. Because it was the hubs’ turn to go out, and since he didn’t get home until 3am (this is another blogpost entirely) I was up with a restless, cranky 5yo, on my own for a good portion of the night. Finally, around 5am, she crashed… and proceeded to sleep until I woke her up… AT NOON!!!!! 
I still can’t believe she slept that long, and I wonder how much longer she would’ve slept if I would’ve let her go. 
Sedona is still fighting the crud, fever still hovering around the 101 mark, but seems to be finally hitting the upswing portion of this craptastic sickness. 
And now I get to focus on playing catch-up with life & bleaching my way through my messy, infected house. Cue my Queens of the Stone Age-Jane’s Addiction-Yeah Yeah Yeah’s let’s-clean-this-bitch playlist. 
How do you deal with sick kids? 

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2 Comments

  1. Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Oh no!! That is awful!! I hope everyone is better soon. I have actually switched pediatricians for stuff like that. After yelling, “Look at our chart. I call you once a year. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I AM SAYING”. It sucks when you are treated like a schmo who calls every day because their kids sneezed or stubbed their toe…

    • Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Jen!! Glad I’m not alone here. And on that note — email me your pediatrician’s info if he’s taking new patients, please! Seriously… I’m still pissed about how I was treated. Plus — the pediatrician we LOVED is now one of the head doctors at DeVos Children’s Hospital… he was that good. We miss him. And this new doc they put in our old doc’s place just isn’t the same.

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    Kelli Williams

    Keeping up with 2 little girls, writing assignments, music gigs, the house, laundry, ETC, backwards, wearing ass kicking boots and a smile, without spilling my beer. Ok, ok, so I spill my beer, but my floors have never been more germ-free since I started putting a little alcohol on them. Who needs ammonia...

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