Posts Tagged ‘ thermometer ’

My Kids’ Health Crisis, Part 1 = My Resolution Crisis

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Remind me to never make a New Year’s resolution for as long as I have kids under the age of 18. My resolutions were reasonable and tangible. For 5 minutes. At the top of my list: getting back on the blog. Posting at least twice a week. Followed by running 2 times a week and doing yoga at least once a week.

Then came the proverbial thunderstorm that sucked me into its vortex as it wreaked havoc on my week. Here is part 1 of my war story.*

Wednesday at 3 a.m.: Em coughs to the point of barfing. Fia wakes up complaining of something in her throat.

Em eventually falls back asleep, propped up in crib, humidifier at full speed, slathered in Vicks Vapor Rub, particularly on his feet (click here for more on this cough tip).

For Fia, I see a white “thing” almost like a skin tag on her tonsil. I give her Motrin.

Wednesday 9 a.m.: Em is doing awful. He can barely breathe because the cough is relentless. Fia is saying it’s hard to swallow. I rush both kids to the doctor. Em is diagnosed with full-blown pneumonia. They give him a hospital-grade antibiotic shot in the butt to try and avert an emergency room visit. I guess this is a super painful shot, and he screams bloody murder as big fat tears roll down his face. Fia can’t wait to tell everyone about this. She is almost giddy.

Meanwhile, she is diagnosed with a “tonsil stone“…which is when debris of food and bacteria build up on your tonsil, causing a hardened, white, almost scab-like spot. The doc doesn’t think it’s hardened yet though and is able to put a long Q-tip in her throat and knock it off. Or so he thinks. Problem solved. 

Wednesday 4 pm: Fia spikes a 105.5 fever. I’m suspect that the stone wasn’t the only issue.  Problem not solved. I give her Motrin, she seems fine and I am so preoccupied with Em, I don’t call the doctor. Em just wants to cuddle and sleep. For once the world’s most active (almost) 2-year old boy is passive.

Wednesday 11 pm: Em’s fever is 103 (love my thermometer because I don’t have to touch him to take his temp) and he is panting in his sleep at a rate of 70 breaths per minute. I speak to the on-call doctor. She said if we can give him Motrin and get his fever down, his breathing should slow to 30-35 bpm. If not, then we have to get him to the ER for oxygen.

Emmett is the worst child with taking medicine. Even at the doctor’s office the nurse gave up on helping me with Motrin when he barfed all over her. He is so stubborn, and he gargles it at the back of his throat until he pukes. But Phil and I had to get it down. So we get him up and pinch his cheeks so his mouth is open and the cheeks are between his teeth. That way the nurse said he can’t bite down because he’ll bite his cheeks. I get 1/5th of a dose in before he projectile vomits on us both. Fia is awake now screaming with a 104 fever.

I get Emmett in a cool bath, then try again once he’s dried off and a little calmer. I manage to get down about half a dosage. I decided not to push my luck, because I’d rather him have a little bit than barf all of it up.

Phil is with Motrin-medicated Fia, whose fever is down again. I’m with Emmett, waiting for him to fall asleep so I can count his breaths. 30 minutes later he is panting, but at a rate of 35-40 breaths per minute. I put him back in his crib and go to sleep on the spare bed.

It’s only been 20 hours since this all began…and that was just the beginning of my perfect shit-storm. And the end to my New Year’s resolutions. I’ll post the rest tomorrow.

*I realize in the grand-scheme of things, this is just a bad day/week. We are not battling a chronic illness or worse. But I like to put it all out there in case anyone else has experienced these same conditions or others. It’s parenting in the trenches. Thankfully I don’t have to do it often. Tell me your tips/stories.  It feels good to write it all down.

 

Yoga pose via Shutterstock

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A Must-Have Thermometer

Friday, June 21st, 2013

A few weeks ago Fia was sick. I snuck in her room and felt her forehead. She was burning up. I woke her and attempted the forehead thermometer. But I have found that unless you have a really high end one (like a $300 kind that pediatrician’s use) they are highly inaccurate. It registered a mere 106 degrees. While my heart attack was in progress, I did it again. The second time around it said 103. Whew. Now I only had to have a stroke. Then we did a rectal one and it was 104. I know those are accurate. So I relaxed (kidding).

In my frustration over thermometers I started searching for something better. I came across this new one that I think is revolutionary. It’s called VeraTemp.

Not only is it accurate, but you don’t have to touch anything to get a reading. I can sneak in and just point it at her forehead. Boom. It registers a number. I can see how hot her room is by pointing it into the air. It only takes a few seconds. And it doesn’t make noise if you won’t want it to. I have found the readings to be far better than the ear or forehead ones.

I don’t do formal product reviews but I just thought this device was too good not to share. If you Google it, you’ll come up with a bunch of places that sell it, including diapers.com. 

By the way, what the hell did our parents do? Did we grow up having rectal thermometers put up our butts? Until what age?  I try doing the under tongue thing with Fia and she doesn’t get it. But she freaks out if I try and do a rectal. Good thing she was born in 2009 and not 1969 like her mama…

 

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Fragile–and Now Frantic

Friday, February 17th, 2012

I am so ill-equipped at motherhood it’s astounding. I mean, I saw my mother through a crack addition and death. And yet, my tot gets sick and I freak the f–k out.

Last night out of nowhere, Fia spiked a fever. We were just finishing her bath when she went pale and started to shake. I grabbed the brand-new/expensive forehead thermometer I bought and swiped it on her. 105 it said. I began to shake.

I should note that Fia has never had a severe fever before. Which makes me one of the luckiest moms to have come this far, dodging bullets. However, it also means I’m no veteran when it comes to coping with a sick child.

Phil and I, both novices, did a couple stupid things. We a) panicked; b) put her in fleece pajamas, since she was shaking and wrapped her in two heavy blankets. (Apparently this makes the fever worse. Duh.); and c) took the forehead temp again…only to have it register 107. I almost went into convulsions right then and there. Note to all parents: those things suck. They are so inaccurate they must be designed to get you to the ER. Even if it’s unnecessary. I could get into some major anger issues over this.

We grabbed a rectal, stripped her down of the 11 layers, and were relieved to have it register at a mere 104.1. Never thought that would seem like a “reasonable” number. We gave her Tylenol. Then texted a friend, who suggested alternating Tylenol and Motrin/Advil. And giving her Pedialyte. We had none of that. Like I said, we’re ill-equipped and obviously incompetent. Or were. Not anymore. Now I have a small pharmacy in my house.

I called the pediatrician. It was after hours. They said on their machine not to page a doctor unless it’s over 105.5. Huh? I guess in some ways it made me feel better, as she was still in a decent “zone” if you will. They listed other reasons to call: a purple rash, seizure, etc. None of those she had.

We then put on a lighter pair of pajamas, took her 23 stuffed animals out of her bed, and covered her with a light swaddle blanket. I checked her throughout the night. The fever went up and then down…like a roller coaster. So did my emotions.

This morning she seemed much better, much cooler. Still has a fever of 102.1 but I began to calm down….until…. I got an email from her preschool. Apparently hand, foot, and mouth disease is going around. And this is the classic progression of it. First a fever, then sores. I just finished Googling it–bad idea. Especially the Wikipedia stats on how many kids died in Malaysia and China from it (note: none in the U.S., which should calm my nerves). And now I’m waiting for the doctor to call me back. Not only am I worried about Fia, even though this is a common toddler ailment, but I have a 3-week old at home. Dear God help me. I’m going to seriously lose my sh-t. What do I do? Never send her to preschool again? Quarantine our family from the world? That’s what I feel like doing. I know, I sound ridiculous. But being in my fragile state of mind already, this is going to send me over the edge.

That’s all for now.

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