A sick toddler – Running a weekend hospital

Today I am at home. On my off day. The day that I usually spend with my kids, out and about, doing fun things, since I don’t get to spend enough quality time with them during the week. Why am I at home? Because the mother of all flu-bugs have us, big time!

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On Friday, A1 started getting sick. At first I thought it must be a cold. You know, the harmless “get-better-in-5-days-with-or-without-medicine” variety. So off to work we went (kids in tow of course since they spend most days with me at work). And 2 hours later, all hell broke loose. A1 was sleeping, then all of a sudden jumped up and cried for me, her Ouma, her Nanny, and the world in general. She was delirious. In her sleep. I took her temperature, no idea how hot she was since my thermometer decided to convert to F and I am no math boffin. But I assume it was hot based on the unhappy face displayed on the screen, and my burned hand on her chest. The doctor was hastily called, and both kids, myself and Ouma Uil jumped into the car to race down the road. At this stage, she already had fever blisters on her lips, and her eyes were blood red. I was a bit freaked. For all my reading and research, I remain somewhat clueless about children and disease. Plus I have an inherent distrust in doctors – either they misdiagnose and give you the wrong medication or they have no diagnosis but give you meds in any case since none of us like leaving empty handed after forking out a large sum of money to speak to an “expert”. In my opinion, antibiotics are also doled out too quickly, most of the time for ailments that definitely do not need antibiotics. Often they rob our bodies of the chance to heal itself. Nevertheless, I also strongly believe that when you are really sick, a doctor is the only place you need to go, except if it is straight to the emergency room. So off we went.

Doctor did the usual checkup, very quietly, and then stood back to look me in the eye (very dramatic I know, but that is how it felt). She could not find any sign of infection. No red throat, ears, or sinus canals, thus no way of explaining the 40degreeC fever (I read the unhappy face on the thermometer correctly – very high fever!). The high fever coupled with the red eyes could either mean infection where she could not check (like bladder) or measles. And since there is a current outbreak of measles in our area, she was leaning towards the latter. Not wanting to “waste” money on premature blood work, she decided the best course of action would be to subscribe antibiotics that will work if it is measles as well as if it is not. Plus something to protect her lungs should it turn out to be measles. We were released with strict orders to keep her hydrated, fed if she was hungry, and to keep a watchful eye for in case a rash appears (in which case, definitely measles).

Luckily the weekend was quiet at the venue, so I could stay home to help Dad look after the kids. A1 can be a terrible drama queen, which makes her being sick even worse. We spent the weekend either trying to hold her down for her meds, pleading her to drink water, and sleeping on the couch since either her meds made her hyper or she just didn’t want to sleep (she has never been a great sleeper). What a great weekend.

And it got better. Sunday morning, I got up with a sore throat and a throbbing headache. I got infected; Supermom was down and out. The silver lining – at least this ruled out measles. But instead of getting to stay in bed with a hot cup of tea and a fluffy blanket, I still had to chase A1 around with her meds, water, and food. Plus now that the meds were starting to work she started to feel better, and thus she had the energy for tantrums. She threw one every time her nose run, every time she had to wash her hands, and every time I had to blow my nose. At least she could get meds. Being a breastfeeding mom had to rely on grace and love to get better. Thankfully Dad was still ok, and could take over most of the heavy lifting and tantrum-handling.

So here I am, on my off day, sitting at home with an almost healthy-again toddler, being almost healthy-again myself. Hopefully it will be a quiet week. But I guess not, since A2 just started coughing….

Honest Mom Love