Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sick days

It turns out what I had interpreted as Ladybug’s “patience” during our downtime last week after I threw out my back may have actually been the start of a throat infection that has had her – and consequently us – absolutely miserable for the last 24 hours.

And I totally missed the signs.

In all of her 22 months, Ladybug has only had one other cold, and that was pretty obvious by the constant sneezing, runny nose and watering eyes. But this one snuck up on us.

First, she started pushing away solid food last week, opting instead for a purely liquid diet. That’s not unusual when she’s teething, as she is now, so I didn’t question the behavior.

Then Saturday morning after drinking her bottle, she threw up. Again, not an unusual occurrence during teething, as she gags herself chewing on her fingers to soothe the pain.

There were no other symptoms all weekend, unless you count the fact that she didn’t want to take a nap. But I chalked that one up to too much fun with Mommy and Daddy. And when she’d occasionally put her hands on her head and exclaim “Oh no!”, I thought it was just exasperation from the task at hand.

Then yesterday on the way home from the grocery store, Ladybug started to whimper. Her face was flushed and she looked exhausted. The first thing my husband asked when we walked in the door was “Is she feeling alright?”

That’s the hardest question to answer when your toddler can’t talk yet. It’s not like I can walk up to Ladybug and ask, “Where does it hurt?” I know; I tried asking in a variety of ways and got a blank look in response. But her burning forehead told us something wasn’t right. She had a fever of 103.4 degrees.

Then the vomiting started. That’s when you know you’ve become a mother in the truest sense of the word. When Ladybug was first born, I couldn’t watch her vomit without feeling my own dinner start to come back up. But last night I held her as she threw up down the front of me, liquid bouncing on my feet and oozing between my toes. I was so worried about her that I didn’t care. “It’s OK. Just let it go,” I’d tell her as she sobbed between heaves.

All night we were removing Ladybug’s soaked pajamas and carting her off to the tub, stripping her bed and sopping up puddles in the drawer under the crib, wrapping her in a blanket and holding her until she was comforted.

Every four hours we were in her nursery to check her temperature and give her another round of Tylenol and coax her to drink to replenish the fluids she had lost. She wanted nothing of the sort, so I ended up squirting Pedialyte into her mouth with a dropper.

Today was a repeat, minus the vomiting. But it was replaced with an equally nauseating trip to the doctor. I don’t know what’s worse: waiting to be seen or actually being seen. Ladybug screamed and clung to my neck the whole time. And unfortunately for all those involved, the pediatrician not only had to do a throat swab but a blood test when the first test came back negative for strep.

It turns out Ladybug has a viral throat infection. The vomiting is from the nausea and headaches, the loss of appetite is from a very sore throat.

She’s finally sleeping now, albeit with her nursery door propped open, a small lamp on and Beethoven playing quietly in the background. I’m going to check her now. It’s time for another round of Tylenol and Pedialyte ….

2 Comments:

Blogger Major Mom said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. There is nothing more exhausting or heartbreaking than dealing with a sick toddler.

I hope she feels better soon!

December 19, 2007 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Thank you for your thoughts. She's feeling much better now. In fact, you'd never know she had been sick.

December 20, 2007 at 7:13 AM  

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