Thursday, December 9, 2010

Staying sane when childhood illnesses strike

We all know when your babies are sick, no matter how young or old, it's a trial, physically and emotionally. You want to take the pain away, you want to make them better. Nothing is worse than seeing your kids sick and being helpless to do anything but let the illness run its course. Such was my weekend and early week.

Friday my little 20 month old developed a fever and loss of appetite. We didn't think much of it, since he's still teething. We gave him some ibuprofen before bed and figured everything would be back to normal come morning. However, Saturday morning arrived and with it a fever of 104.4. Now I knew my husband would panic, he always does when it comes to scary things with the kids. However, if you all recall, I've been here before and I knew the ER wouldn't take this concern of ours seriously. Still though, we piled in the car and headed to the hospital anyway.

They didn't get the same high temp we did, but that didn't shock me. When the doctor came in, my husband mentioned he'd been diagnosed with Strep throat two weeks ago. The doctor checked our sons ears, they looked good, felt his throat, swollen glands, checked his throat, red and inflamed. Yep, he must have strep. So they gave him a shot in the butt, after holding him down and traumatizing both him and I, and sent us home.

The rest of the day we struggled to keep his fever down while he fussed and slept, not wanting to do much more than climb all over my husband or myself. At ten that night, while sleeping on me, I noticed he was extremely hot. We still had a little while before we could give him more medicine, so I went to take his temp. 105.7. We were not expecting a fever so high! My husband called the ER, while I put the baby in a cool bath. Not surprising, the bath wasn't a pleasant experience, so I didn't keep him in long. Just long enough that his skin no longer burned to the touch. We fed him popsicles and gave him Tylenol. The ER said we had an hour to get it down or he needed to come back in. Thankfully, after an hour, we were able to get it down to 103.

Sunday his temperature was more under control, but he was so weak. He wouldn't take more three or four steps before just lying down on the floor. Still he refused to eat and now he refused to drink. By five that evening, we realized neither of us had changed a wet diaper. Concerned over his weakness and dehydrated state, we called our doctor. He advised us to force fluids and bring him in first thing Monday morning. After getting some fluids in the kiddo, he perked up a little.

Monday the fever had broken, woohoo! Take him to the doctors and discover he now has an ear infection. They give him another shot, kinder this time, and home we go. That evening though, I notice a rash is developing on his stomach. I ask my husband if he thinks it could be from the shot, or maybe its from sleeping on the couch, since we have a leather couch. My husband thinks its from the shot and I need to call the doctors again in the morning. I'm not so sure, so I decide to wait.

When I change his clothes Tuesday morning, the rash has progressed and so I call the doctors, hubby was right, sigh. Take him in and the nurse practitioner looks him over. She frowns, feels his skin and makes the same notation I did. The rash isn't normal, there aren't any bumps. That's exactly what I was thinking the day before, and why I wasn't positive he'd an allergic reaction. She goes to her laptop and looks over his chart, asking me some questions about how our weekend had gone. I inform her of the events and she says, "He's not having an allergic reaction, he has Sixth disease."

Anytime a doctor says your child has a disease, no matter how common it may be, your initial reaction is to panic. I clutched my baby to my chest and thought "Oh no!" She left to confirm her suspicions with the other doctor in the office and then came back to explain to me that Sixth disease, or Roseola, is a common childhood disease. A day or two after the fever breaks is when the spots show up, usually on the trunk and neck. She asked if he went to daycare or church. I said no daycare and we hadn't been to church in weeks. That left shopping carts, which aggravates me because A - that meant some parent took their extremely sick and contagious child shopping and B - those sanitation wipes, which I use religiously, failed! Grrr...

I'm happy to say though, little man is now back to normal. Eating and drinking and just generally being a toddler. :-) He's had his first experience with a childhood illness and made it through just fine. Thank goodness.



  1. Geez, this sounds just like our experience when our youngest got Sixth Disease. The fever was so scary! NOT FUN! I did learn something new and helpful from our Sixth Disease experience, though. When kids have high fevers like that you can give them a dose of tylenol AND ibuprofen, which works like a charm!

  2. Yes, that's exactly what we did!

    Whew, glad we aren't the only parents who've had to suffer through this. Thanks, Rhiannon!