My kiddos have been sick for a week and a half. It started the Thursday before last (12/6). I picked D1 up from school but she wasn't as perky as usual. D2 and I ran errands while she was in school. We finished 2 additional errands together and ended the day at Dairy Queen. I rarely splurge but I have a soft spot for candy cane blizzards. The kids obliged. We happily went home and they went to nap.
After nap D2 felt warm and had a strange hivey rash from her armpits down to her diaper. Just on the sides. Was very weird. Before bed I gave her Benadryl and Tylenol. The next morning I let the kids sleep in and at 9am D2 had rash everywhere.... everywhere EXCEPT where it was the night before. She was also hot with fever. Her hives were so bad her left eye was swollen and she had a huge raised area on her left forehead. Was extremely odd. Odd enough to make her nurse mother and doctor father rush her to the pediatrician. D1 was unwell but it seemed like it was a typical 'cold'. At the Dr office they said that it could be a viral rash. Gave us some prednisone for the hives and sent us on our way. It was nothing "bad" but I did have to reveal that I gave them the DQ blizzards as it was the only 'different' thing she has eaten. She was MY child... so there was no way she could be allergic to a blizzard!
The fevers persisted. They were both pretty ill over the weekend. Unfortunately for me, Hubby worked all weekend. D1 started turning the corner on Monday but I kept her from school Tuesday. Wednesday we all seemed better. So much better that Hubby took D1 and I took D2 shopping. Big mistake. By the 2nd store D2 was hot with fever. Damn. Thought some fresh air would ward away sickness. Wrong.
I took D2 to school Thursday and came right home and had some cuddle time with D1. Hubby got frustrated that Thursday night (12/13) with her persistent fevers and called in an antibiotic for both kiddos 'just in case'. The fevers were no longer 101/102 they were 103/104 degrees. I called the office Friday morning as she was 104.1 when she woke up. They did a flu swab assuming that was the culprit but alas it was negative. Her eardrums had some scarring so it was thought that she had a resolving ear infection and to follow on the course we were on. Call Monday if fevers persisted.
Plans were cancelled for the entire weekend. We were hunkering down and beating this thing. Saturday (yesterday) morning was great. NO FEVER. D1 was a happy clam and D2 was on the mend. She went to nap with with a 98.4 temp and woke up at 5pm 98.1. YAHOO. Then it happened. I noticed that she was extremely whiny repeating "mommy" over and over and over again. She then looked like she was shivering. Checked her temp... 102.1. DAMN. Tylenol administered and rechecked at 6:30 and it was 104.1. UGH. Lukewarm bath. Before bed she was down to 102; Motrin given. I woke her up at 11:30 and she was 103. I slipped in an extra dose of Tylenol because I HAD to do SOMETHING. UGH. Of course Hubby was working.
This morning (12/16) I let her sleep in until 9am. Went in and knew she was hot. It was like I could smell it in the air. 105.6. Dear God. I am a nurse of 14 years and I can not remember the last time I had taken a 105.6 temp.... and this was MY BABY. I woke Hubby up (he worked until 1am), gave tylenol, called the MIL to get D1, and called the pediatrician. I made an appt at 1030. Thank goodness for Sunday hours. We got there and temp axillary was 99.5. She felt much hotter and I HATE axillary temps. They are shit. We got examined. Flu swab repeated and negative once again. 10 days of fever now. Then I heard it.... recommendation to go to the ER at Rainbow Babies. UGH. I knew it. Getting outpatient labs, X-rays, etc on a Sunday is ridiculous.... so off we went. I shed a few tears, tears of confusion, pity and helplessness. Hubby had to work at 2pm.. so it was just me and D2.
We arrived at Rainbow around noon. D2 was 'acting normal'. We got triaged and they did an axillary temp. 98.6. My ASS. She had flushed cheeks. NO WAY was she 98.6. I rolled with it. I met the attending doc and labs were started immediately. Cath urine, 22g IV, labs, blood cultures, Chest X-ray all ordered and underway. Poor kid. Heart rate was 168 at rest. She was taking good fluids by mouth but she was just so hot for so long my baby was dehydrated. Everyone was great at Rainbow... I can't complain at all. I did ask to have her temp retaken and of course they did it axillary and it was 101.8. She was BURNING. No way 101.8 but again, I rolled with it. She was given Motrin and it was finally confirmed. D2 has a left lower lobe pneumonia. Her white blood count was 28.7. Poor kid. Two fluid boluses and some IV Rocephin and we are in business. They offered us an inpatient stay but it was felt that her oxygen saturations were good (96-98%) and she was having no difficulty breathing so we could go home. We have a recheck with her pediatrician in the morning.
Weird tidbit... I held her the entire day with the exception of the car rides and the chest X-ray. My chest feels like I have a sunburn. I can only imagine how she felt. I hope she is on the mend.
I'm now reflecting on this entire experience. I'm probably overly emotional because this comes just days after the Connecticut 1st grade class was gunned down and I have shed many tears for them. I just feel that life is just so fragile. I have been a nurse for 14 years and none of it has prepared me for how I felt last night & today. This morning holding my hot sleepy baby bawling because between myself and my emergency room physician husband we could not fix our child. We now have an answer but it will still take time for her to heal. It's a helpless feeling... one that I do not wish on my enemy. I can not even fathom having to deal with a lengthy or permanent illness in a child. My heart has been aching the last 10 days with what I had to deal with which is minor in the real world scale. I spoke with a friend today and she said that things like this will make me a better nurse/nurse practitioner and I have to agree. Many times I would balk at a family bringing in their kid with a runny nose. I now understand why SOME people end up in the ER. Its that prolonged sickness that just wears you down and you feel like you have to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to make them well. The babies will be hugged and kissed a bit more in the next few days.