Well, it didn’t take long for those daycare sniffles to turn into a full-fledged virus. It was bound to happen at some point, I guess. My little baby is officially S-I-C-K.
After the first day of daycare Owen came home with a runny nose. After a few more days of daycare, the runny nose turned into nasal congestion that made him sputter and scowl while he was drinking a bottle. In the next day or so the congestion moved from his nose to his chest, giving him a phlegm-y, productive cough. Still, he seemed happy enough. He was eating and drinking and playing like normal, aside from the drips of snot coming out of his nose. I checked his temp a few times and it was normal. Yesterday I dropped him off at daycare and told them about his cough. Their rule is that if kids have more than one symptom or a fever over 101, they are sent home. So with just a cough, he was allowed to stay.
A few hours later I got the dreaded phone call.
“Owen has a fever of 101.2. He’s ok, but he’s acting pretty fussy and didn’t drink as much milk as he usually does. I think you should come pick him up.” Hmmm. They warned me that some of the kids at daycare had run-of-the-mill sniffles, but some have come down with a bronchialitis, a virus that needs to be treated with antibiotics. They said it was up to me if I took him to the doctor or just kept him at home, but he had to be fever-free for 24 hours before I could bring him back to daycare. Since this is the first time he’s ever been sick, I absolutely wanted a doctor to see him, even though we were just there yesterday for his 6-month well visit (and our pediatrician looked at his ears and listened to his breathing and said he had a cold). Luckily our doctor’s office is in the same building as daycare, and we were able to get an appointment almost immediately.
When I picked him up from daycare he was a crying, clingy mess. I have never, in his entire lifetime, seen Owen cry that much. Maybe in the first week we brought him home, but I don’t remember it being quite that sad. He was MISERABLE. He couldn’t breathe through his nose, his chest was full of phlegm and his cough was worse. He had been sleeping pretty much all morning, and when I cuddled him his eyed closed as if he was so exhausted he could barely keep them open. He was like a completely different child than the one I dropped off that morning. Amazing the difference a few hours makes.
We went upstairs to the doctor’s office and they took his temp and checked him out. They, too, were overwhelmed by how sick and listless he looked. My mother always used to say that she could tell just how sick I was by looking into my eyes. I finally know what she meant. The doc quickly gave him some Tylenol for his fever and looked in his ears. Ear infection. At least one side, maybe both. After a general workup she was still quite bothered by how sick he looked, and wanted to make sure we did our due diligence and checked out all possible causes. She wanted a white blood cell count, which meant bloodwork. And a urinalysis.
Since Owen can’t exactly go pee in a cup, they had to put in a catheter to get a clean urine sample. Let’s just say Owen wasn’t thrilled with that little procedure. Then they needed a blood sample. And since they were doing several tests, they needed a lot of blood, so they had to stick him inside the elbow just like an adult. I held him on my lap as they stuck the little needle in, but his veins were so tiny that they could only get a few drops of blood. Not enough. Had to stick him again on the other side. One nurse couldn’t find the vein, so she had to call for backup. The pediatric specialist came down and still had to stick him twice. Poor little guy… and poor mom, who had to watch the whole ordeal!
We waited for the results and I gave him a bottle. He was beginning to perk up a little, thanks to the Tylenol. Again, it’s amazing what a few hours will do. The results came back and his white blood cell count was perfectly normal, which is what we were hoping for. We were sent home with a prescription for Amoxicillin (affectionately known as “Pink Medicine” in my house when I was a kid) and Tylenol around the clock.
After a few doses of the meds, Owen is doing much better. He slept soundly all night (except for a few coughing fits, after which he put himself right back to sleep). And today he’s smiling and laughing and eating and is back to his old jolly self. I love Tylenol!
Hopefully he’ll be fever-free today and healthy enough to go back to daycare tomorrow. Benjamin and I are both working from home today and splitting the time so we can each get some work done. Working from home while also being Mom is hard work!