Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Fever

Day 1
A low grade fever, 99ish, no biggie. She’s a little out of sorts.
Day 2
Slightly higher fever by noon, 101ish, and when it hasn’t broken by bedtime I decide to medicate.  She’s been complaining about her diaper area, but no rash.
Day 2.5
It’s past midnight, she’s uncomfortable, it’s 102+. I call the nurse advice line.  No other symptoms, she says it’s time to take her to pediatrician if fever doesn’t break by tomorrow morning.
Day 3
It’s 103+, I’ve never seen this before. We need to seek professional help.  After some strategizing with The Man, I’ve a choice to make and it sends me into fits for almost a half hour.  I can lie about my child’s age to get her into Walgreen’s Take Care Clinic (she’s one month too young) in order to say a little money…but then also compromising my personal integrity, and possibly compromising my daughter’s health. I can take her to a local pediatrician and we’ll pay out of pocket (which we do everything).  After some tearful introspection & deliberation I realize that if I lie to take her to a clinic I’m volunteering to become “one of those people” that tries to cheat a system, that I would be affirming a mental attitude of limitation and lack.  I opted to go see Dr. Pediatric, in my choice affirming that we are cared for, we have everything we need—and more.
Dr. Pediatric takes a urine sample (bag not catheter—phew!) and we chat about why I think it’s a urinary tract infection.  Toddleator complains while urinating (and she does practically on cue as I spoke), urine spots as if she’s leaking while I change her, the fever, and no other cold-like symptoms.  Doc prescribes Amoxicillin, but counsels me to wait as long as possible until urine culture comes back to be sure it’s not a resistant strain of bacteria.  After nap she spikes 104.5F. Medicate.  Nighttime sweats from acetaminophen/ibuprofen alternations, spikes 105F. I’m frightened but still faithful all will be well. I know it’ll do no good to panic.
Day 4
She’s totally out of it, so sad to see her feeling so poorly, spikes a 105+.  Keep medicating, and after a few phone calls to Doc, The Man eventually takes over.  Doc says start the Amox’.
Day 5
Some improvement, though she’s eating a little more, fever not quite abated.  Doc calls to says it is a UTI but don’t know the strain of bad-azz bacterium yet.  Now little one has poops to boot ‘cause she’s never had an antibiotic in her life.
Day 6
My sweet sweet girl is writhing and screaming on the floor when I come home from church.  Like a tantrum but worse. I calm her enough to sleep for a while thinking that she was just tired and she’d be better when she woke.  No dice, she picked up exactly where she left off, screaming alternately with arching back and flailing.  She wouldn’t walk, she wouldn’t eat, and had adopted such a sad pout I had to cry a little while as we waited (post Doc consult) for the pain reliever to kick in.  If it hadn’t worked we’d’ve ended up in the ER for sure.  Kidney infections are painful, mommies.
Day 7
Fever somewhat down, more eating, and something new, a rash.  She wasn’t bothered by it, but it was all over her torso, little pink dots.  Warranted a call to Doc’s again.  We received return information that the strain of bacteria was not as sensitive to Amoxicillin as another antibiotic, so we’re to switch, and we did.  She’s eating more. At bath time I’m disturbed to see her little body so changed from her lack of appetite in the past week.  Evoking terrifying thoughts of starving children.
Day 8
Finally, some very real normalcy returns in Toddleator E’s personality.  She’s eating and eating and eating, giggling with her sister and playing.  Oh, thank God.
Now that we’ve come out of it, save the daily doses of cephalexin, I realize how poorly I was taking care of myself.  Stress-eating, no exercise except a spotty shortened yoga practice, not enough water, and certainly not enough sleep.  We stepped out on faith and were supported, we are healthy, we are grateful.

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