She Says… Fever Scare

Owen did it again with the scary illness. This child doesn’t just get the usual colds or runny noses, he gets full on emergencies that send us straight to the hospital. Just like his Mama, unfortunately. Most of my life I was super healthy, but when I got sick, I would always have some weird combination of illnesses that made me super duper sick and often a medical mystery with conflicting symptoms since so many elements were at work at once. I’m sorry to say that it looks like Owen is following in my footsteps. Oh joy.

We did NOT end up at the hospital yesterday, thankfully. As I said yesterday, Owen was sent home from daycare before I even left the parking lot in the morning. On our walk home I called the doctor and explained his symptoms (general fussiness and less-than-stellar sleeping, but nothing really to speak of except the fever). In the early afternoon we headed to the doctor’s office and Owen was feeling pretty warm to me. I had given him Ibuprofen earlier in the day to bring down his temp, but he was still like a little heater. The nurse took his temp when we arrived and instead of calmly reading back the number to me, she gasped – audibly – and then said, “Oh my goodness. 105.3!”.

I took a deep breath.

Ok. I’ve never seen a temp that high, but the little trooper was laughing and giggling and although he was a bit melancholy and clingy compared to his normal rambunctious self, he was still in REALLY good spirits. As usual. Which is what makes it so darn hard for me to know that he’s sick. (Remember how happy he was the time we had to go to the hospital?). I have to admit, at that moment, all I could think about what how glad I was that I was the one at the doctor’s office with Owen and not Benjamin. Benjamin would have been a wreck. He’s not exactly the coolest cucumber in a medical situation. I am all business in times like that, for better or for worse.

The nurse gave Owen some Tylenol (stat!) and the doctor came in very soon after. We went through the normal questions and nothing popped up as a red flag. The doctor looked him over, poked and prodded, checked ears (clear!), mouth, hands/feet. I asked him to check his ears again, since they are generally the issue, and he pronounced them clear again. That’s the good news and bad news. Apparently the child is perfectly healthy. You know, except for the super duper fever.

We discussed what could possibly cause a fever like this, but what it really came down to is that all of these other (serious) illnesses were characterized by a fever in conjunction with other symptoms. And Owen doesn’t have a single other symptom except for a slight runny nose. There wasn’t a thing we could do for him other than to manage his fever and keep him comfortable.

Just to cover all of his bases, the doc ordered up a chest xray to make sure we weren’t seeing a symptom-less manifestation of pneumonia, since Owen may be prone to that since he had it a few months ago and suffers from asthmatic breathing when he’s sick. Just like last time, Owen and I both cried through the whole thing. I may be a calm, stoic Mama in times of crisis, but I kind of lose it when I’m standing there holding Owen’s arms against his head while he’s stuck in a weird machine and he’s bawling and I can’t hold him. It slices into my heart. I become a blubbering mess. I was trying to sing “The Wheels on the Bus” but all I was doing was sobbing. Once that fun was over, we went back up to see the doc again. Xray was clear.

He sent us home with nothing but a pat on the back.

So now we’re watching the fever and keeping a close eye on any other symptoms that pop up. I just got an email from daycare saying that someone came down with chicken pox, but I don’t think that is related to Owen’s surprise illness because he’s been vaccinated and doesn’t have any spots. My little medical mystery. The good news is that aside from being somewhat whiny and unsatisfied with whatever I’m giving him (you want food? no. you want water? no. milk? no. to play with mama’s phone? yes… no. take a walk? no. climb on the dog? yes… no.), he’s pretty happy. He’s eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, all that good stuff. So I think he’s just really busy fighting some virus and he’ll be back to his jolly little self in a few days. Fingers crossed.

What’s the highest temp you have seen? Are you the person who is good in a crisis or is your partner? I feel like usually there’s one person who is calm in situations like that, and one person who is kind of a mess.


27 responses to “She Says… Fever Scare

  1. Oh my goodness Kate! I seriously don’t know how you stay calm through this stuff.

  2. Poor baby 😦 Evidently I used to spike high fevers all the time as a child (I think 104.7 was my highest) for no apparent reason. Fever for a couple of days then gone. Weird.

    Eli’s highest fever has been 102.5… and he had no other symptoms. 24 hours after his fever broke, he broke out in a rash… turns out it was roseola.

    I am usually the calmer one. Hubby stays very calm, also, but he worries internally and can’t think of the next logical step. My mind totally clears and I just go into ‘let’s fix this’ mode.

    Hope Owen feels better soon!

  3. that IS a high fever! i think 103 is the highest i’ve seen and it was me when i was little. knock on wood we havent had any major crisises in our relationship yet but i do know i tend to stress out over things more than my husband.

    get well soon owen!

  4. High temps scare me to no end. When our second was about 7 months old, she spiked a high temp of 103.x at home. I took her to the hospital because she was acting lethargic and I believe had a mile seizure. At the hospital her temp came in over 105, and that was after the tylenol I had given her at home. It turned out that she had a really bad UTI which was brought on by kidney reflux that we did not know about until follow up tests after this event. But knowing that she can get seizures from a high temp makes me have my guard up at all times with her (and out other two kids now as well).
    Seth has had roseola twice (back to back actually) and his temps got up into the 104’s. Scary scary for a parent.

  5. That is a super high fever! My baby has actually NEVER had a fever before, but I’m pretty sure I’d lose my shit. My husband is the calm one and I’m in the “Why won’t someone think of the CHILDREN??” level of hospital panic.

  6. @thebakerbee, You made me google Roseola and I’m wondering if that’s what will happen in a few days. Strange that the doctor didn’t mention that, since it seems relatively common. Will be on the lookout for the rash!

    @Christina, The doctor mentioned that some kids get seizures with high temps and talked to me a bit about what to do if it happened. THAT scared the crap out of me. He said that some kids are just prone to it. I’m beginning to think Roseola may be behind this fever, based on these comments and what I’m reading on Google, but we won’t know until the rash comes, I guess. Good news is it’s common and you don’t do anything to treat it!

  7. That must be so scary. Hope Owen’s fever disappears for good!

  8. Did they test for a UTI or do blood work? Poor little buddy. He’s such a trooper when he’s sick, though! ❤ And so are you!

  9. Oh man, that is scary high. Glad you had an appointment. Hopefully he’ll get over whatever it is soon.

  10. My little girl (she’s 11 months now) had roseola about 2 months ago. She spiked a fever of 103.7 or something similar to that and then got a rash all over the place. Like you, I did not know she was sick til my mom said she seemed warm. I felt really bad when her fever was 103! But anyways, the fever was down to 99 with a bath, Advil and she went back to normal in a few days. I hope this is the case for Owen, poor thing. I think it’s so hard to tell when they are sick if they don’t have a runny nose or other obvious symptoms. And I don’t know about you, but I kind of always blame her moods on teething.

  11. The chest xrays are the absolute worst. They seem so small and vulnerable in that machine… that’s so hard to watch, as a mom.

    I guess I probably freak out more than Mike does. My mind automatically goes to the worst case scenario (I’m fun like that). But when Mike DOES finally get upset or stressed – I flip and become the calm one. Something in me innately knows that one of us has to remain level-headed.

  12. I’ve had lots of high fevers with my boys, and it is always unnerving, but after much research and calling my friend (she just got her doctorate in nursing with a focus on pediatric fevers!), try to remind myself that in the absence of other symptoms, and normal (relatively) temperament, fever is the body’s way of defending itself. Fever is a normal and healthy response of the body to an illness when the immune system releases chemicals that raise the body temperature. This is part of the normal infection-fighting process. Seizures tend to happen in some kids over others, but it does not *always* correspond to how high–it can correspond to the change or rapid spike. I’ve had a child with a fever of 103 who was just cranky, and another with one of 101 who was like lethargic beyond belief–and that was the more concerning situation, medically.

    No matter how much objective information you have, I think seeing a high number on a thermometer after taking the temperature of your little one will always incite a little (okay, sometimes a lot) of concern. But it sounds like at this point, Owen is healthy and you can breathe a sigh of relief.

  13. I’ve never seen a fever quite that high, but Moo is frequently sent home from nursery with a high fever (100 plus, although we work in metric!) – and no other symptoms. I have to say I’ve not investigated to a major extent – a fever is the body’s way of getting rid of infection, and if it’s doing it’s job and she’s otherwise well, then there’s not a lot I can do. She’s never had a bad reaction to a fever. However, she did have a urine infection when we were potty training, and the doctor wondered whether there was any possibility previous fevers had been caused by urine infections that hadn’t been picked up in a child in nappies… So we’re off to have a kidney ultrasound next week, just to be on the safe side.

    Hope the wee man is doing well.

  14. I used to spike fevers like that when I was a kid, too.

    I used to spike fevers like that when I was a kid too. When my eldest had a fever of even 99F I would take him to Emerg: by the time the youngest (of three) came along I was way more relaxed. He once ran a fever of 105 for two weeks before I took him to a doctor. He just had a virus that eventually cleared on its own

    I, as a former hospital chaplain, am the calm one. Hubs panics . . .

    I am the calm one: Hubs panics. I was a hospital chaplain – used to the drama.

    I am the calm one: hubby freaks easily.

  15. Sorry about all the duplication ; computer is acting weird – maybe it also has a fever??

  16. Wow that IS a high fever!! I’m like you and am all business, but I think if hubs and I were there together, he’d also be all business and it might allow me to loose my shiz a little bit. Cameron has NEVER had a fever (I am going to regret saying that really soon) but he starts day care on the 22nd. The good news is that he’s going to a “day home” where there is going to be 5 kids total (all 1 year old boys if you can imagine) so the exposure is going to be pretty minimal compared to the bigger day cares. I am fully prepared to have to take lots of sick time when I get back to work.

  17. Just a little info- The chicken pox vaccine isn’t usually given until one year old and then a booster at age 4. Has Owen already had his 1 yr old shots? Also if for some reason he has already been vaccinated for it sometimes it takes a while for the immune part to kick in. Just something to think about and maybe keep an eye out for a rash just in case. Hope he feels better soon!

  18. Oh, goodness! I had to do some conversion to Celsius, but yep, we have had a temperature almost that high – 40’C, which is 104’F. It happened over the course of a weekend when Devin was pretty much exactly Owen’s age, and like everyone else said, I guess he was just fighting something off – he wouldn’t sleep or eat and he was absolutely miserable, but he didn’t have any other symptoms. We gave it an hour after it hit that peak, though I still feel bad that I didn’t take him straight to the hospital. It did start coming down very soon after that, and just kept dropping over the next 24 hours until it was normal again.
    I have to say, I am the better person in a crisis, at least when it comes to our son. My partner is also a bit phobic of medical things and he’s easily worried by maladies, so I have to be the calm one!
    It sounds like you have a tough little boy on your hands – I hope he defeats whatever his body is fighting soon. 🙂

  19. We had 3 days of consistently in the 105 range whenever the Tylenol wore off, and one reading of 106. No other symptoms, then a rash when the fever broke – turned out to be roseola. High fevers are scary. Hope the little guy gets better soon.

  20. Could be ROSEOLA! My son had high temps for days and no other symptoms, we went to the doctor 3 times in one week and then a rash popped up and the doctor immediately diagnosed it as Roseola-and as soon as the rash shows up the fever goes away.

  21. OOPs, hadn’t read all the other ‘roseola’ comments! Sorry!

  22. Hope Owen is feeling better soon. Hang in there Mama 😉 I hope his fever breaks.

    With our son, he had a high fever of 104.something @ 28 days old. Turned out to be JUST a virus, but we were admitted & spent over 60 hrs. in the hospital. Since he was a newborn, they ran a series of tests. Never want to go through THOSE experiences(ie.-our son had a Spinal & was hooked up to a lot of tubes and pumped full of antibiotics etc; etc..) again!! Not fun having a sick NB & being a novice at parenting. Between the husband & myself, I’d say my husband holds it together fairly well.

  23. My money is on Roseola. As I said on Twitter that was what Will had a month or so ago and it sounds like Owen is doing the same thing… high fevers (Roseola can cause particularly high temps), fussiness, but no real symptoms. Will had temps for 3 days and his rash didn’t arrive until 24 or even 36 hours after his temp broke but once I saw it I was like “Bingo!”. It was nice to have an aswer and know it wasn’t something serious.

  24. Hunter has had a fever of 40 degrees before (same as 105) and when we took him to hospital they said there is nothing they can do apart from give panadol (our version of tyenol) and watch them. They say that a fever is good – its fighting the bug, and there is nothing we can do apart from helping to cool him down. We recently took him to the doctor for a 39 degree fever, adn the doc said the same thing. So next time we aren’t going to take him to hospital unless its over 41/42. (usual is 37 degrees)

  25. HI Kate,

    so sorry to hear Owen is sick and hope he gets better soon : ) My little one had his first cold last week and he had a fever of 100 and i freaked out like a crazy person. Its hard no matter what when they are sick but they soon bounce back. Take care and cuddles to Owen x

  26. My kids both had fifths disease (virus) that has high fevers then a rash of red cheeks after the fever breaks.

  27. I am going to go with Fifth Disease as well. My son is jus getting over the hives part of it. Let me tell you, if this is what it is: it gets worse before it gets better. Good luck!

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