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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Emily and the Sickness Saga of the Week

This past week has been yet another trial in motherhood.  Boy, Emily sure isn't making it easy on us!  Just a few days ago everything was fine.  Emily was her normal, happy self, and then suddenly after the end of a long work day, like a squirrel being run over by a dump truck, something went horribly wrong.  She became the fussiest baby I've ever met.  That was the start of my week...

Its true.  Mommy instincts exist, because immediately I knew something wasn't quite right with Emily.  While she was fussy that particular afternoon she wasn't the type of baby to be that inconsoable for so long.  Her cries sounded more like whimpers to my motherly ears so I checked her temperature.  When the thermometer beep and 101.6 was the result I dialed up the doctor and they told us to come right in.

As grateful as I was for the prompt invite from the doctor they really didn't offer much help when we arrived.  The doctor confirmed that a fever above 100.4 in a three month old is not healthy she also told us that since she had no other symptoms we should be on the watch out for more to develop soon and treat her with Tylenol as needed.  She also wanted us to come back the next day for a follow up.  

Throughout the next day Emily was largely afebrile.  A single dose of Tylenol was all she needed the entire day to break her fever.  When we went back to the doctor for a follow up visit there was little concern.  Emily was smiling as the doctor examined her.  Fifteen minutes later we headed home with no answers and no plan other than simply to continue what we were doing and come come back for a third doctors visit the next day.

We never made it to the third doctors visit, though...

Suddenly, early in the morning while we were sleeping, Emily woke up screaming in pain.  Again the motherly instincts kicked in and I knew it was a different cry than any other cry I had heard before.  Sometime was clearly wrong and she was burning up with a temperature of 101.9.  Both Shawn and I knew what we had to do next.

We were off to the emergency room at the wonderful hour of five in the morning.  

It was still dark out when we drove to the hospital with the faintest glow of daylight masking everything in blue hues.  Earlier in the night it had snowed every so slightly so everything was laced with snow and I knew the sunrise was going to be amazing.  Any other morning I would have eagerly planned out a trip to take a few photos, but that morning I had more important plans.

Emily and I in the Emergency Room

Relaxing in the hospital bed watching TV while we wait

Our stay in the emergency room was quite long.  Emily put on her "There's nothing really wrong" face and smile at everyone.  It made Shawn and I wonder where the screaming, feverish baby from earlier had run off to.  Clearly she didn't look sick and we felt like we had to convince the doctors in the emergency room that there really was something wrong.  Eventually they agreed to check her urine and after three catheter attempts, and two hours of waiting for her to pee in a bag we finally had a sample.  An hour after that we had results.  An apparent urinary tract infection.  


So we headed home with antibiotics to begin and yet another follow up appointment at the doctor the next day in hopes she would get better.  But she didn't.  She got worse.  Emily's fever did break, but she was so lethargic and tired that she didn't cue to eat.  Three days of fevers had finally caught up with her.  Shawn and I took turns forcing her to drink so she wouldn't become dehydrated.  There was honestly a point where I wondered if we would bring her back to the emergency room, but fortunately she turned a corner and began to get better.  Sort of.  

The next day we went for another appointment at the doctor's office.  It appeared that the antibiotics were finally working, the fever hadn't reappeared, and there were no signs of lethargy or dehydration anymore.  All signs pointed towards good, and then we undressed Emily to be examined and noticed something... a red rash covering her entire body.

Being a nurse and EMT I've seen enough cases of hives and allergic reactions to know what it was.  Emily was allergic to the antibiotic, penicillin, she was receiving to treat her urinary tract infection.  On top of everything else she had developed an allergy.  Good lands.  So, the doctor simply changed her antibiotic to a different one and we began the regimen over again.  Emily returned to her happy self and all seemed to be righting itself in our little world, but of course the sickness saga didn't end there. 

We now have a new issue to contend with for Emily... antibiotic diarrhea.  

One of the side effects of antibiotics is diarrhea and poor Emily has that very unflattering side effect.  Her stomach is as irritable as a hornet trapped in a screened porch.  In fact, we were in a store attempting to do some Christmas shopping when all of a sudden she let out the loudest Thhhhrrrrrrawwerrrpppp from her rear end.  It was loud enough that two old ladies at the other end of the aisle turned their heads and stared at us.  Sure enough Emily had blown through her entire outfit right there in the store.  We had to immediately abort our shopping mission right then and there. 

So, after all that we still aren't completely out of the woods.  The antibiotics continue, sans allergic rash, and so does the diarrhea.  From unexplained fever to poop everywhere, its been one heck of a week, but we're getting through it! 


Rachel said...

Sorry to hear about this fever ridden, poop explosive saga! Hope now that they figured out what was wrong, little miss Emily will be feeling better soon.

Country Girl said...

I was just about to warn you about antibiotic diarrhea and the possibility of a rash and sure enough - she had both!! Oh, poor baby ~ Hope all is right soon.

Connie said...

The joys of parenting huh? Been there done that many times! Hope Emily is feeling real better real soon.

It's as hard on parents as it is on them....probably even harder when it's the first child and the first time you go through it. Some children outgrow allergic reactions to antibiotics and hopefully she will too. My oldest is allergic to Penicillin and has to wear a medic alert necklace....she's allergic to rice ( of all things ) too!

Wishing you all a lot of rest and joy this holiday season. She's a little Christmas bundle to enjoy!


Glyndalyn said...

Wow. Hope she is better soon.

Nolie said...

That has to be my major peeve with doctors and infants. You know something is wrong with your child. You bring them to the ER or doctor and they are all smiles so the doctor tells you nothing is wrong with your kid as if there was they wouldn't be all happy. One day I went to our family doctor, then a walk in clinic and finally the hospital all in one day before someone took me seriously and looked at my child. Guess what.. mommy was right. I am so glad the ER doc listened to you and I hope she is back to her healthy happy self in no time. Sick babies are the worst since as their parents we want to take the sickness from them and we can't.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to be a working Mom. I raised my Son from 10 mo. old by myself. I too am an RN. I remember all the ear infections, temps., allergy to sulfa. It sounds like you are doing fine MOM. Happy Holidays Love Stella Ann

The Sweetest Days said...

Yup, sounds like parenthood to me! The worst part is when they can't tell you what's wrong. Glad you're getting through it Jen. Emily will too, but the days and hours when they're sick can seem like a lifetime.

Buttercup said...

What a week! Hope Emily is back to her sunny self.

Fire Wife Katie said...

Oh the middle of shopping blow-out is the worst! I have having to try to change a poop slimed baby in store bathrooms. I hope her tummy feels better soon!

Smile Steady said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear this! This story breaks my heart 10 times more now than it would have a month ago because now I know what it's like to have a little one at home. And I absolutely dread the day I hear that pain cry... it will probably make ME cry!

Glad to hear Emily is on the mend though. Hopefully it will be all cleared up in no time. Thinking of you guys!

Jessica @ One Shiny Star said...

Pro-biotics! They help restore the natural bacteria in the intestines faster, so your kiddo will heal up quicker (now, and for future reference). We went through something like this was Ginny was less than a month old, it can be really scary. Glad Em is on the mend though!

Erin said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry to hear about this. My baby boy is 12 weeks old and I am so nervous about having to deal with something like this! You are lucky you have medical training so you were able to recognize some of the issues fairly easily. I hope that Emily is feeling better soon!

Dianne said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to read this! I do hope little Emily is feeling MUCH better and gets well soon!

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