Jan 12, 2009

Just when you think it's safe ...

Jake has been doing really well lately, and we've been thankful that the RSV seems to have resolved and that he's been feeling better.

Yesterday, though, when I returned from a weekend scrapbooking crop (much fun was had!), he was lethargic, feverish and wasn't eating well. I took his temperature and it registered as 93.6. I took it with a different thermometer and it registered as 95.2. Knowing full well that it HAD to be over 100 because he was just radiating heat, I reached for the thermometer they'd sent home with us from the hospital just last month. 94.5 degrees.

Is there a WRONG way to take a child's temperature axillary (under his arm)? Because clearly I need a tutorial.

We considered calling the on-call nurse at our pediatrician's office to see what they recommended, because when I timed his respirations, his resp rate was up in the 80s (like last month). But I checked him every half an hour and it seemed to fluctuate from the 50s to the 70s, and he seemed to be breathing OK other than the frequency. We elected to wait until this morning to take him to the pediatrician when the office opened.

Cut to 11:30 p.m., when he awoke in his crib and whimpered and grunted for 15 minutes, sounding pitiful. I went and got him and brought him into my room, where I sat him up to see if maybe the breathing difficulty was positional and would improve if he were vertical. Nope. We sat up for 45 minutes, and then I lay him down beside me to see if it would still be a problem. Yep.

When Grayson came to bed at 12:30, he decided to just get him up and take him downstairs since I had to work today. He came back up to ask me where the nebulizer was (which we'd also brought home from the hospital but hadn't had to use in the last month), so I went downstairs to find it. Of course, it then took both of us to administer the breathing treatment (at 1:25), and after waiting 20 minutes to see an improvement (to no avail), we decided to call the on-call nurse.

She sent us straight down to the ER, so Grayson and Jake headed down there at 2:15. They were seen MUCH more quickly than last time, thank goodness, and of course Jake's temperature was over 103 degrees. Apparently their thermometers WORK.

They really think his breathing issues were more related to his high fever than a recurrence of the RSV or the onset of pneumonia, which is a blessing. Fever, I can deal with. Pneumonia, I was totally stressed out about.

I purposefully haven't written about it here, but I have a friend from high school who just lost one of her 1-year-old twins, sweet Alexander, due to complications from RSV. Since it's not my personal story, I haven't written about it, but it was emotionally devastating and has stirred in me an urgency about trying to be even more diligent about medical issues with my own kids. Hence, my worry last night.

Anyway, hearing that Jake's lungs were clear was a huge relief to me, and he was released and came home and slept from 4:30 to 8 a.m. I went on in to work and Grayson -- with his new-found daytime flexibility! -- was able to stay home with him. One unexpected benefit (perhaps the ONLY benefit!) to last week's layoff is that this is maybe the first time EVER since we've had kids that we didn't have to Rock-Paper-Scissors it to work out who would stay home with the sick child today. Stellar!

Anyway, no pictures from this month's Wee-Morning-Hours adventure, but at least it has a happy ending. Oh, and for my CLOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILY who are learning about this here for the first time, SORRY ABOUT THAT. I went straight to work and then came home with no time for phone breaks yet!


Sarah T. said...

Yikes. That makes my stomach turn with worry. Glad everything seems to be okay.

Patrice said...

Glad he's doing better. Yeah, ever since I read about your friend's child who passed away, I have added RSV to my big three.

Step 1: Get baby here safe and sound. Be completely paranoid and overreact to every little symptom in the process.
Step 2: Stare at baby ALL the time to prevent SIDS. Sleep is overrated.
Step 3: Freak out EVERY time he has congestion or gets a fever, thinking it's RSV. Rush to the emergency room at the first sign of trouble.

Although with Gabe I prided myself on being totally relaxed and calm about everything, this time around, I have a feeling I'm going to be VERY high maintenance. I think I need to stop reading. I won't have time to read anyway once he arrives, I mean, with all that constant staring at him and all.

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