Monday, January 19, 2015

In sickness

Quick update on me- my hormone levels are negative. I will be tested monthly until June and then can hopefully move forward.

Ok, onto more recent matters.

Let me say that, I know everyone is probably experiencing some level of sickness this winter. The cold and flu season has been especially potent. We at the White House have been fairly fortunate. We just had colds. But Sophia's cough lingered for quite a while, waxing and waning.

And then, one morning two weeks ago, just after she woke up, she coughed so hard she gagged herself into vomiting. Poor thing. So Papa took her in to our pediatrician. He diagnosed her with double ear infections, probably from chronic sinus drainage from the cough. This was her first time with ear infections so I felt pretty lucky. He prescribed a 10 day course of Amoxicillin. All was well.

Then, 7 days into her antibiotics, she randomly slept til 9:45. This is not totally unheard of for a growing toddler. She'd been off her routine the day before. I just thought she was catching up. She acted fine all day.

The next day, she woke for the day doing the cranky/pain cry. I went in, and could tell she had a mild fever. It was 100.4, So along with her Amoxicillin, I gave her some Tylenol. And then she threw it back up on me. Great. Well, she must have kept down enough of the Tylenol because her fever went down and she acted fairly normal. But when she woke up from her nap, she was hotter than before and very pitiful. Temp was 101.4. I immediately was concerned for the flu and called the doctor for an appointment the next morning.

Again, the fever came down with Tylenol. We tried again before bedtime to give Tylenol and Amoxicillin. Vomit again. I really needed that fever to stay down so we tried Tylenol again. Same result. So, we just let it be. No one got much sleep that night. Sophie ended up spending a couple hours with Papa in the living room, then a couple hours in bed with me. Finally about 2am I woke up and she was on fire. I stripped off her fleece footed jammies, poor thing was so sweaty. I finally got Tylenol in her that she kept down, and I think we got a 2 hour stretch of sleep.

By 8 am it was time to get ready for the doctor. She actually was a little better and did not feel very feverish, so I held off on meds. At the doctor her temp was 99.9. He took a look and listen, and determined it was likely not the flu. Just a bad cold. No meds. Ears were pretty clear.

So Friday we continued our Tylenol, Motrin, herbal cough syrup routine. Things didn't really get much better, except no more vomiting. Friday night passed the same as Thursday. Poor baby was clearly miserable. Coughing, sniffing every 5 seconds, low-grade fever, achy.

I worked Saturday and since it was not the flu, went ahead and had Papa take her to great-grandmas. Well, when we picked her up that evening it was clear to me that things were worse. She kept asking to go home, her poor eyes were red and dark, she was moaning constantly. I decided to take her to the after hours peds clinic. She needed at least something to help her rest.

We had an excellent experience there. Flu and Strep swabs were negative. Pediatrician there said she had a lot of fluid behind her ears and that may be what made laying down uncomfortable. She also listened to her thoroughly. She said she appreciated fine crackles in her lungs and wanted a chest x-ray to see. Thankfully that was done in the same building and was read within 20 minutes. She said Sophia had a viral pneumonia. What virus had caused it, she wasn't sure. There are quite a few going around right now. But her oxygen levels and breathing were fine. She said that she was going to put her on two antibiotics, to cover if it was possibly a bacterial pneumonia also. I asked about meds for her racking cough, but she said cough meds weren't safe until 3 years old.

Sophia also had a slight rash on her trunk that I mentioned to the doctor, but she did not seem concerned.
My poor baby has never looked so puny

A tiny lead apron 

She did really well!

The face of misery. She has quit whining at this point she was so tired.

The 24-hour pharmacy had a 2 hour wait, so we decided to pick up her meds the next morning. It was already 11pm. We continued with Motrin for the aches and pains and the herbal cough syrup. That night passed roughly too, until about 3 am at which point she slept a decent amount until about 10am. But when I got her up and gave her a bath, I could see that the rash was worse.

Sunday morning, finally some rest

She's had a rash once before after a 24-hour fever and I know lots of viruses can end with a rash. I put a call into our doctor just to check, all things considered. I did not hear back. But, Sophia actually got better on Sunday. She ate a little, smiled and played some. The fever was gone. She was still on Motrin and herbal cough syrup and now antibiotics. Her cough was still racking, but not constant.

She only woke up twice, both before midnight, then slept til 8am. But when she did get up, I could see that the rash was much worse. I called our doctor and got an appointment for that morning. They may not have good after-hours service but their weekday service is great. They are a small practice in an old facility and there's only about 5-6 employees total. But I will take the older facilities for the quality time they spend with us and the same-day appointments.

Anyway, our pedi looked her over well. She still had a lot of fluid behind her ears "blue ear" he called it. But with the rash pattern, which was all over including palms and soles, but most concentrated on arms and face, he decided she likely had Fifth's Disease. He also looked over the radiologist's report from Saturday night. He was not so sure Sophia had pneumonia. And if it was a viral pneumonia, the antibiotics were unnecessary. He said her symptomatology from a few days ago sounded like the flu, or a flu-like illness, and that can turn to pneumonia. He left it to my discretion whether or not to complete the antibiotics. I did ask if he thought she could have anything for cough. He agreed to give her something.

The reason FDA put the black label on cough syrups for kids is because of the high potential for overdose. All the reactions kids experienced were in settings of overdose or improper use. The solution was weight-based rather than age-based dosing. The age-based dosing was too broad of a range. The FDA asked the drug manufacturers to do clinical trials for weight-based dosing, but due to high cost they declined. So instead, they're no longer safe OTC. But, being that I'm a nurse and he trusts me to strictly follow the dosing instructions, he gave me some cough syrup for her.

So now, we just treat the cough and the aches, and wait for it to pass. Fortunately she's no longer contagious, unfortunately when she was in the nursery Wednesday night she probably was. We are notifying our church.

It's been an un-fun 5 days for us, and especially her. It's very hard to see your kids, or any kid, sick. I'll be glad to put this chapter behind us.

Sunday morning after a bath

I could see the rash spreading

Monday morning. Things are worse.