Sleepless Nights, Fevers and Worry: This Mom’s Weekend

I am up blogging in the middle of the night because I cannot get rid of this horrible, scary nagging feeling about my daughter and her being so sick.  I check on her about every 10 minutes.  I check her temperature. I put cool rags on her.  I rub her back and will her little body to be healthy, be strong and fight this fever and whatever virus is attacking her.

You see, Gabby has been sick for days.  Not the “Oh, honey, here is some juice and Advil, go back to bed” sick but the kind of sick where we are watching her around the clock and piggybacking meds to attempt to keep her fever down.  (Not very successful but keeping it lower than the danger zone.)

She complained on Wednesday of not feeling very well.  By that night she had a 104.7 fever.  We medicated her, called the doctor and got her in to see her pediatrician first thing on Thursday.  He said she has the flu and it was most likely the H1N1 version.  (Most likely?)  Since everyone and their brother are freaking out about the swine flu, doctors tend to be seriously under reacting.  We were told to keep her hydrated and keep up with the medicine to keep her fever lower and let them know if she became worse.  Friday we managed to keep her fever between 102-103 degrees.  She seemed to maintain and the doctor said that would be normal.

Of course Friday night after the doctors have gone home to the comfort of their homes, all hell breaks loose with my daughter.

Her fever shoots up. She begins screaming with ear pain.  We manage to get that under control. (I think her eardrum burst and gave her the relief she needed.  I called the “on call triage nurse” who said that we were doing the right thing and if she got worse and I felt it was life threatening to take her to the ER.

Can I even begin to tell you how much I do not want to take her to an ER with every germ and virus known (and unknown) to man lurking there on the weekends?

In the wee hours of Saturday morning she begins screaming and crying because her bladder hurts.  After much water and Advil, the pain subsided and she was pain free within an hour or so.  She is still having problems but they are much better.

Finally Saturday afternoon her fever broke.  There was much rejoicing.  She was getting better AND we avoided the ER.

Until Sunday morning rolled around.  Before the sun even rose, her fever spiked again.  By mid-morning she was crying and in severe agony with her other ear in pain. I felt so helpless.  Hasn’t my baby been through enough already?

We started the piggyback pain meds again only to see that we cannot break her fever.  Again.

Clint has been amazing.  While I stay up all night and make sure her fever stays in the “safe zone” every couple of hours, he takes the day shift while I sleep.  Tag team parenting at its best.

Right now, I should be trying to sleep.  Yet, here I am counting the minutes until her doctor’s office opens.  Tonight just fills me with restlessness and worry.  Tonight has gripped me with fear.  Tonight I can’t sleep.  What if she needs me tonight?  So I sit and listen.  And pace.  And check on her.  And pray.  And read.  And do all I can to keep my panic attacks that I am so prone to having at bay.  For her.

We are sleeping in rooms that attached to each other.  Both on couches and within easy hearing range.  I can hear her breathing as I type this.  I can’t sleep.  I just continually, obsessively check on her.

Is there anything as powerful as a sick child that can keep a mom running on nothing more than worry, adrenaline and coffee for days without crashing?

My baby is sick and I have not been able to make her better.  That hurts.  Please, just let my baby be okay.  My little girl just wants to feel better.  I just want her to feel better.  I want her healthy.  That is my plea and my prayer for my girl.

If a mother’s worry were medicine, she would be totally healthy by now.  And we would both be sleeping peacefully.

14 Comments

  1. Oh Jenn. How scary for you. I will keep praying for your daughter? I agree with you — the docs seem to be under reacting these days. I have a teen, tween and toddler, and I’m scared for the toddler, especially. Has you doc even offered to put her on Tamiflu or Relenza? I pray she improves drastically today!

    Michelle

  2. Still praying. Hoping, too, that as I write this, you are at the dr.’s office for a little relief!

  3. My prayers are with you all. Hang in there!

  4. I have never had (knock on wood) either of my children be seriously sick for more than a day or two.

    My prayers are with you both.

  5. It seems like the Dr’s are Under-reacting to this! Maybe you should take her to a different doc? Not to scare you but I have a friend who’s daughter had swine flu. They put her in the hospital and it was touch and go for a while. Thankfully she pulled through. The only kid in NM so far to do so. I hope and pray your little one gets better. Stay tough!

  6. “…a mother’s worry…” If only it were so. Hugs.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear she’s having such a rough time. My two youngest are fighting the flu-presumably H1N1 right now also. Thankfully (?) they haven’t managed to get above the 103 range, but they’ve been pretty pitiful. If her ear drum did indeed rupture-as in there was goo/fluid running or dripping from her ear or all over her pillow-she’ll need a round of antibiotics to fight infection. I’m not a doctor (just married to one) but the reasons they aren’t testing for the H1N1 specifically are 1)they don’t have a rapid test and 2)they wouldn’t change the treatment anyhow. They are reserving the Tamiflu for children under 2 or who have a compromising condition (asthma, immuno supressing illness, etc). Our pedi said they have seen a few cases of resistence to the Tamiflu in the adult ICU and they are working hard to prevent that from happening even more.

    Anyhow, my prayers are with you and I hope you are able to get the care she needs soon.

  8. Thinking of you & the kiddo. It’s scary.

  9. If it is any consolation at all–I have a dear friend whose nephew had h1n1 and the symptoms you describe of the high fever and the return of the fever a day or so after breaking are consistent with what she described that he’d had. (His mom is an ER NURSE btw) He got better after about a week on and off of fevers. All that to say: you’re doing the right things. Your sweet girl will get better. And I know how hard worrying about a sick child is. One of the hardest/saddest/scariest things in the world!~

  10. I know this feeling. About 5 years ago my middle kid was sick like that. And we had just moved to a new town. Doctors couldn’t diagnose her. It turns out it was type A strep. If her skin starts looking like she has a bad sunburn, it could be strep A. Hope they figure out what it is and start treating it ASAP. I know that feeling of “what in the world is happening to my child?!” Terrible feeling.

  11. I found you through your great article on changing your blog identity.

    Oh!! I so feel for you…

    My asthmatic son is recovering from pneumonia WITHOUT the flu. It has taken more than 2 weeks of round the clock care.

    Yes to strep tests; at LEAST one rapid and one culture.Strep is ultra serious if it gets in the blood.

    Yes to having her seen whenever YOU feel she needs it. You are her mother and know her best.

    If she indeed has the h1n1 flu, watch for respiratory complications. ANY sign of nostril flaring or ribs showing when breathing (retracting) needs immediate emergency care.Make sure your doctor is ready and willing to be proactive with the antibiotics should post flu infection become an issue.

    I hope and pray for relief and healing of your little one…

    xo

  12. terrifying indeed. I hope she is feeling better soon! Like, today would be good. Hang in there, Mama.

  13. Thinking of you and your daughter…

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