Thursday, January 24, 2013

The time has come. Penny is sick.

Just 'cuz I don't feel good
doesn't mean I can't look good
in my new rockin' jammies!
Home Diagnostics
We had a very fussy kid on Tuesday night, allowing me just about four hours of sleep all night.  In my brain, the all-night whimper party was obviously our punishment for accidentally disturbing her and waking her up after she had originally fallen asleep. Of course she wouldn't go back to sleep peacefully all night long, that would be too easy on mommy and daddy.

Wednesday morning, my mom (Penny's Grammie) called me at my desk at work.

"Hey mom, what's up, is everything ok?"

You know that careful voice that mothers use when they don't want to seem like they are telling their daughters (or daughers-in-law) how to raise their babies... but they know they are right about something?

"Um... well... I think Penny is coming down with something."

Background: Before she was a stay-at-home-mom, my mother worked as a pediatric nurse, so she is super knowledgeable and perceptive about all things baby and kid health -- she is pretty much always right, even when I am too stubborn to believe her.

I admitted that I had noticed a little cough in her throat that morning, but I had thought she seemed fine or I wouldn't have gone on with a normal day like I did.

"Well, I think she has a fever too" (again speaking cautiously, but knowing she was right)

I immediately felt guilty that I hadn't stayed home from work.  I should have caught it, or recognized it coming.  Or known she would get it; even though we've tried to keep her away from sick germs, pretty much everyone in our neighborhood has been sick and we can't control every germ that comes in contact with our child.  But I had to forgive myself quickly and just move forward.

Doctor's Notes
I called the doctor and got some great over-the-phone instructions:
(Have I mentioned that I love our pediatrician and his office?)

  • No over-the-counter cough meds or decongestants until age 5.  No Motrin or Ibuprofen at this age.  
  • Infant Tylenol won't help a cough, but give to her if we want to break a fever. 
  • To ease her symptoms: elevate her head when she sleeps, run a humidifier, maybe take her into a steamy bathroom for a few minutes before naps, lots of TLC.
  • Watch for: new or worsening symptoms such as signs of an ear infection or trouble breathing.
  • Bring her in if: high fever develops, she starts wheezing or any change in breath sounds, or if she won't eat.

(By the way, my mom already knew all these things...)

Sure enough, Penny's temperature was 101.3 degrees.
There went baby's first Tylenol, down the hatch.

Last night went really well.   We borrowed the second-hand Fisher Price Sleeper from Grammie's house (what a life saver! Such a comfortable way for her to sleep with her head up) and stopped and bought a humidifier on the way home.  She slept like a log.

She still had a fever of 101 this morning so we gave her another dose of Tylenol.  And today, I stayed home from work to snuzzle and nurse my sweet baby girl.

Silver Lining
Of course there's a bright side.
1) When kids get sick, their immune systems get to go to work, it's like training for later times when they have to battle worse illnesses.
2) I have a boss who is super understanding and supportive of me putting my family first, so staying home today was no big deal.
3) Daniel learned how to use a rectal thermometer.

Please cross your fingers for Dan and I not to get sick too!

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