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Friday, May 31, 2013

Fever Virus or Global Pandemic?

On Friday night, Little Man was sleepy.  He has sleepy nights sometimes if he doesn’t nap well at Gigi’s during the day.  So I didn’t think much of it.  He sat on my lap and let me rub his back and drifted in and out. 

The hubs came in from mowing the lawn and wanted to hold him, so I grudgingly handed over my unusually cuddly baby.  Hubs said, “wow, he’s hot!”  I hadn’t even noticed, because when he’s sitting in my lap I always get hot.  So we went upstairs and used our handy-dandy ear thermometer (may I say this is one of the greatest baby inventions ever?) and the GPS voice told us, “your temperature is 102.3 degrees Fahrenheit.”  

I thought, surely it’s wrong!  So we did the unthinkable and took a rectal temperature.  102.7!!!


Me: “We’re going to the doctor NOW!”

Hubs: “It’s 7pm on Friday, they’re closed!”

Me: “Then we’re going to the emergency room!”

Hubs:  “Really, are you sure?”

Me:  “Yes!  The sheet the pediatrician gave me said always bring them in if their temperature goes above 101!!!”

Hubs: “Ok, ok, so are we going to Children’s or the local hospital?”

Me:  “I don’t know, call and ask!”

Hubs: “Call who?”

Me (and this is a very typical response): “Never mind, I’ll do it!”

After grabbing the diaper bag and strapping Lane into the car seat, I call the local hospital to ask whether they can treat him there or whether I should take him to Children’s Hospital, which is 45 minutes further.  Much to my irritation, I get the following response, “Ma’am, I can’t give you medical advice over the phone.”

“I’M NOT ASKING FOR BLOODY MEDICAL ADVICE, I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF YOU CAN TREAT A 10 MONTH OLD BABY!!!”  (I've been trying to stop swearing and my substitute profanity tends to be British.  Weird, right?)

“We’ll be happy to see him ma’am.”

“THANK YOU!”  This is said with seething sarcasm, which I cannot adequately describe through typed print.

Of course once we get there we have to wait 30 more minutes before we are seen, and 20 more after that before he’s given any real treatment.  Now, I know, I know, you’re saying, that’s amazing for ER wait time!  But if you’ve ever had a sick child then you know that every second is more physically and mentally painful than the last as you watch your baby suffer.

And what was his treatment?  After finding no upper respiratory problems in his chest x-ray and testing negative for strep, they gave him some Motrin.  Not that I expected anything else.  They did thankfully give him a prescription for amoxicillin to treat the cause of the fever, whatever that may be.  The next day I heard that a “fever virus” was going around.  So creative with the names, that CDC. 

I’ve now done a little research on fevers (I included the links here, please read for your own mental health!)  After said research I felt absolutely ridiculous, because I was definitely guilty of believing most of the fever “myths.”  And I call myself an educated woman.  Did you even know there’s a name for that panic you get when your child has a fever?  Fever phobia, the only phobia where the fear is in someone different than the person experiencing the phobia stimulus.  I seriously thought brain damage occurred at 104°, you don’t reach that danger zone till 108°.  In reality, most fevers are a good thing, turning on a child’s immune system so they can burn off an infection. 

Looking back, I probably should have given him some Tylenol, see if it brought his fever down, and brought him in the next day.  Had I been properly educated, I would have avoided a near heart attack, and a scary unknown ER bill amount that I don’t even want to think about right now.  

Today, we went to the pedi for a follow up, and he asks me, "what were they trying to cure with the amoxicillin?  This does nothing for viruses."  Well, let me give you my medical opinion, oh wait, I'm not a doctor!  I don't know why the hell they gave it to him!  So apparently we all must add a line to our mom resume.

Lesson of the day:  Education, it’s not just for kids.

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