Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sick Babies

I've been too overwhelmed to post this week. The beginning of the week was just busy--I was teaching Monday night and we had our book club meeting Tuesday night.

Then Wednesday came. Sedona woke up with a 101.8 fever and no other symptoms. Odd. Sierra was very very prone to ear infections as a baby, but Sedona's not. Sierra is also very prone to high fevers, Sedona is not. Since high, sudden fevers tend to be a symptom of viruses, we decided to give her ibuprofen and wait it out. A full day of baby cuddling later, we put her to bed and figured she was on her way to mending.

Then we went in to check on her before we went to bed. I'm not exaggerating--it hurt to touch her. That's how hot she was. The thermometer read 104.9. Here's where parenting gets oh so fun. My first baby, I would have rushed to the ER. Actually, that IS what I did with my first baby. Which is why I know that no pediatric people work in our local ERs, but high fevers still make the staff feel the need for an automatic IV, blood culture, urine culture (obtained through catheter) and if it doesn't come down fast enough, spinal tap. All very necessary tests at times, but, in short, horrific to go through when the staff are only used to working on adults. So, we chose to stay home. We stripped her down, wiped her with luke warm wash cloths, took her outside, turned down the A/C, turned on the fans, and pushed cold fluids on her (she already had ibuprofen in her system). It was past 3 am before we could sleep easy that she was okay.

Thursday morning was a continuation of the night with the added fun of her temperature jumping 2-3 degrees in an hour or less. We gave her more ibuprofen and called her doctor. When we got to the office, she was well into her ibuprofen dose and her temperature had continued rising and hit 104.6, so he gave her acetaminophen also in the office. She screamed through the insult of having her personal space invaded and it was determined she did not have ear infections or pneumonia. The hypothesis was a virus and to give her ibuprofen and acetaminophen (technically "outdated" advice, but makes more sense to me than leaving her at 105 for days) since one or the other wasn't helping. The doc told us to come back the next day if she still had fever. The rest of the day was an enthralling mix of snuggling with mom, crying and not sleeping. Thursday night was a repeat of Wednesday night. Using both drugs brought the fever lower, faster, but it still jumped several degrees in a matter of minutes before she was due for more meds, so we spent hours trying to keep her cool again.

With the same thing going on Friday morning, we went back to the doctor, where we knew we were in for (and dreading) a urinary catheter. Much to our surprise, this procedure wasn't traumatic at all when performed by an experienced pediatric nurse. I knew our doctor's nurse was good, but I figured a catheter on a baby would be terrible no matter what and it really wasn't. All of us thought everything looked fine, but babies are big on surprises and her clear, pale urine popped up with high levels of nitrites and white blood cells as soon as they put it on the dipstick. So, we had our answer---urinary tract infection. She got a shot of antibiotics and a prescription of antibiotics. The evening was another high fever extravaganza, but it finally broke in the middle of night and she hasn't needed any ibuprofen or acetaminophen today! The urine got sent off for culture and antibiotic susceptibility testing to be sure we're using the right thing to knock out the infection, but that takes 48 hours to run.

Thanks to our (really better than a lot of alternatives available in our area) health insurance we pay $650/month for, we "only" had to pay $50 in office co-pays and $42 for 10 tsp of antibiotic.

And now....we sleep.


Karen said...

it's SO not fun having sick babies. I'm so gald you were able to get things taken cre of b 4 they got worse. UTI's can become MUCH worse when not taken care of properly and with people who don't know how to put a cath on right. I think you did the right thing to wait until you got to her Peds Dr. Good luck this week end, glad she is doing better.

One Acre Homestead said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through such a tough week. Glad Sedona is doing better and that you were able to get to the cause of it. Those high fevers can be really frightening and not being able to get them down makes you feel so helpless. I pray you have a restful, peaceful weekend and that little Sedona catches up on her sleep and recovers quickly.

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