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My baby is sick

The Child woke up from her nap yesterday hot to the touch. Very hot. I let her sit for a bit, clinging to my shoulders, in the hopes she would cool down and was just overheated from the blanket over her.

She continued to be hot.

I should mention, in here somewhere, that she hasn’t really been sick in her two and a half years. A few colds but nothing bad, just sniffles and whatnot. And if there’s been a fever, it’s been so low I haven’t noticed. I took her temperature a few times during those first terrifying months, but really, I’ve been very lucky. I’m very very aware of just how lucky I’ve been.

Which is why I am crushing my panic down into a small box under my spleen, stomping down with clenched teeth and willful optimism.

The panic started when, after half an hour, she was still hot. Not warm, mind you, hot. So I dug around for fifteen minutes until The Husband took pity on me and he dug around and we finally found my old ovulation thermometer. (The Child plays with her regular digital thermometer as a toy. We’ve never had to use it….) Then I had to find the KY and then I had to have her lie on her tummy and she lay there, with the thermometer inserted just so, and whimpered and I soothed her as best I could as I watched the numbers climb… 100, 101, 102, 102.5, 102.8…. I pulled the damned thing out and called my sister in law.

Okay, she said, soothingly. Don’t panic. 102.8 is like 101.8 if taken orally so it’s not so bad as all that. Give her some Tylenol and call the doctor if she’s still hot in an hour.

She cooled right off after the Tylenol and I figured I was probably totally overreacting. She was cool enough that I didn’t even take the temperature again. It’s so damned invasive taken that way. She woke up find this morning.

About 10:30 though she started wilting a little. We were out for a walk in the heat, so I convinced myself that’s all it was — she was hot and tired. Then she said her head hurt. I took a minute to convince myself it’s not meningitis. We went to Bloc 11, got her cold water, let her sit in the AC for an hour. Eat something. (Did I mention anywhere that she hasn’t been eating well all week? Very unusual for her.) She perked up slightly but only slightly.

I got her home and she was hot again. More Tylenol. I soothed her down to nap, her body hot against my bare legs. She has woken from her nap twice now, whimpering and crying. I lay down next to her, my cheek against the cool hardwood (she naps on the floor) and she snuffles and hiccups and makes small noises that are not at all like my usual hoyden. She held my hand until she fell asleep this time.

She’s been down about two and a half hours now and she’s still asleep. That’s good. The fever is down. That’s better. She’s still whimpering once in a while. That’s awful.

I don’t know if I’m just being, you know, a mom. Panicked over nothing much. I’m a catastrophist, I know this. I see fever and think meningitis or West Nile Virus or EEE. And, to make it worse, this is really the first time I’ve seen a real fever in the poor girl. Clearly I’m jumpy and inclined to panic.

But if she doesn’t wake up much better, then this may be the first time I take the Child to the doctor because she’s sick and not because I have a little appointment card that says “Your Child has a well baby check up on ___________ (fill in date)”.

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Categories: motherhood
  1. karriew
    July 7, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Poor dear. 😦

    Do you have some Motrin on hand? We’ve had a couple of “OMG! He’s really sick. What do I do??” freak outs here as well.

    I should warn you that the usual progression here is M is not well for a day, then wakes up raring to go. Meanwhile, I come down with some extraordinary preschool crud and am sick for a week. So get some rest while she does, if you can.

  2. karriew
    July 7, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    (Motrin lasts longer, and IME brings a fever down faster.)

  3. aguane
    July 8, 2008 at 12:17 am

    you can also alternate ibuprofen with tylenol if you need to. the ibuprofen is every 6 hours, the tylenol is every 4.

  4. serahrose
    July 14, 2008 at 1:59 am

    All better yet? My generally healthy daughter managed to contract both Roseola and Coxsackie at the same time last month. A weekend of 104 degrees with Tylenol in her the whole time. No fun for you or Child. Hope she’s on the up and up.

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