Entering Day #4: The Fever That Would Not Go

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I am doing my best to learn how to be a calm and stable, all knowing force when it comes to illness in my house but I confess that my nerves and confidence become a little racked when things don’t clear quickly. I have a hard time just sitting and waiting.

Camden started acting a bit whiny late morning on Saturday. She came with me on our drive to pick up raw milk from a farm not too far from our town. She mostly slept for the hour long drive there and back which was nice. We got home and she acted pretty normal while we unpacked all the milk. About an hour later, after we’d eaten lunch, she fell asleep on me in the office while I checked my email. I thought that was a little weird since she’d all ready napped in the car and she’d given up naps about 3-4 months ago. When she woke up from her nap she was a little beast. She was crying inconsolably and was pretty combative. We had dinner plans at a friends so I was worried she would not be awake enough to go. When I finally got her to calm down and was holding her I noticed she was really warm. I thought it might have been from all the crying but I decided to take her temperature anyway and it was 102.4. Drats. Dinner plans cancelled.

For the rest of the evening she was my velcro child. Every time I had to pee, she cried (and I’m pregnant, so that is often). Every time I filled my water glass, she cried. Every time I moved in a way that didn’t please her physical senses, she cried. And then she puked. I reassured myself this would be over in 24-48 hours.

Wrong. We are entering Day #4 of whiny, velcro-attached and sickly child. I feel blessed that we’ve been able to keep her hydrated with water and apple juice but up until today she had absolutely no interest in eating. Just fluids, which we’ve been pushing.

Her temperature fluctuates from 101-103 during the day and 102-104 at night. Neither of us have slept well. It is hard sleeping next to a portable heater. We’ve been watching late night movies to assist in sanity; Pride & Prejudice (twice) and A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Entertaining enough for me, boring enough that my sick princess will fall asleep (all though she’s been requesting to watch Pride & Prejudice again).

Today she woke up and I was hopeful. The first thing she asked for was to eat and she wanted a flour tortilla, which I obliged her to. She took 3 bites and told me she didn’t like it. It was worth a try. I took her temperature and it was only 100.5. I really thought we had it made. Until about 10am when it was back to 102. Later we tried a banana. Bad idea. She walks to me with half a piece of banana in her hand and a very familiar look on her face. I grab the puke bowl just in time. We did make some additional food progress later that night and she ate 2 small yogurts and I’ve managed to sneak some probiotics into her apple juice.

As each ticking hour passes so does my mommy poker face. The dread of worry starts to sink in and I forbid myself from googling what kind of complications could lurk behind a fever that lasts more than 4 days in a 3 year old. I try to pretend I am like my friend Lisa who could probably cure the diseases of the world with garlic and cold socks (ok, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration). But at least I’ve learned to forgo using tylenol and ibuprofen for fevers.

And then, as I’m typing this little blog entry I hear something that has become very familiar over the last few days. “Waaaaaaaahhhhhh.” I rush into the master bedroom. Camden is crying. “What’s the matter?” She is holding her throat. “It hurrrrttttsssss”. I calm myself and collect my thoughts. What would super Lisa do? Oh yes, she would make some honey tea. So I warm up a mug of water (I nuked it – EGAD, don’t kill me Lisa!) and dissolved two spoon fulls of raw honey in the radiated water. By the time I get back to the bedroom Camden is all ready asleep. I coax her awake and get her to drink half of the mug of honey tea, which she likes but is too tired to drink all of.

I lay her back down and am called into the room half a dozen more times for re-arranged pillows, a request to go to Shelby’s house, a request for cartoons and a gripe about how both of her arms don’t fit into one of her pajama sleeves. I try to be calm and patient. I try to tell myself I should lay in that bed with her but heaven help me, four days lying in bed when you are not sick yourself quickly loses its novelty.

Needless to say, my mommy nerves are a little rattled. My confidence has waned and her new development of a sore throat on top of the fever, vomiting and diarrhea has left me needing reassurance. Off to the doctor we go tomorrow…

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8 comments

  1. Grace · March 3, 2008

    Thanks.

  2. journeytocrunchville · March 2, 2008

    Grace, I can appreciate the reasons you come to this blog. It’s actually part of the way I started to question things as well, hearing stories and experiences from other mothers. I was raised in a very mainstream household and other than having a family that promoted the use of vitamins and such I was never taught to question cultural parenting or healthcare practices in the United States. While our country is blessed in many, many ways I feel that some cultural practices have left us wandering in the wrong direction (again, this is only a personal opinion – but one I am not alone in).

    My daughter is only 3 so I am not very far removed from where I started. When she was an infant I never hesitated to give her baby tylenol (with red dye) for every little whimper and whine that resulted from teething or giving her OTC cold medicine for her first sniffles. I was a panicky mom when my child became the least bit ill and I rushed to the medical field for advice. In 2007 all over the counter, cold medicines have been removed and recalled for infant consumption finding that the health risks to small children can be severe (this is a different post in my blog) and they have even proposed that OTC cold medicine may be bad for children up to seven years old (the recall was only for infant cold medicine though). In almost all cases things are recalled after they are proven to be bad. There is sometimes little long term study on the effects beforehand.

    So part of the hesitancy that you may feel thoughout my blog is because I am fairly new on this journey. It was never a journey I sought or wanted. I didn’t want to be different but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to parent the way I felt I needed to and the way I was being lead to (spiritually) without becoming different from those around me and from family members. While I am now receiving great support from some of my family members I know my choices disturb and/or raise the eyebrows of other family members and I love all my family. It’s just not a position I ever wanted to be in but I would never base my decisions on the uncomfortableness aof being different. I hope that makes sense.

    This comment could go on forever so I think I will create a new blog post that will address some of this in regards to medicating common run of the mill fevers/colds.

    I do appreciate your presence here, I think it is good to have a balanced audience and I apologize if I jumped to being too defensive. I welcome your comments because they cause me to reflect further on my own positions.

  3. Grace · March 2, 2008

    Wow. What you have here is really well written. I did not mean to offend.
    I read your blog to get a different perspective. I don’t question things as much as you do, and maybe I should. I try to see all sides and your blog is one of them.

  4. journeytocrunchville · March 1, 2008

    While I appreciate your concern I think it is stretched a bit too far.

    A few thoughts to clear a few misconceptions you may have.

    -I am very unconcerned with what others think. While I may wonder how so and so would think of this or that it certainly does not sway my choices in regards to doing something to please someone else. When you walk away from mainstream practices there is sometimes the natural reaction to question what others will think, but I don’t let it determine how I will parent. That’s now how I operate.
    -People that I respect and admire I do sometimes wonder what they would do because like anyone else there are people that I mimic because they have qualities I admire and their life refects the fruits of their labors.
    -I will agree wholehardedly that modern medicine has created many blessings for many people. It is the ability to discern when modern medicine is needed and not needed that is the key. You can not simply say that because something is modern it is therefore “good”. It takes a balanced approach, research and even prayer.
    -I have never thrown a blanket over modern medicine and called it bad. I have never and will never. Modern medicine allowed for my quick healing and the removal of my appendix. It has allowed for the curing of cancer in two of my grandparents. It has allowed for many things. But I will not wave a white flag to all modern medicine just because it can be life saving. Like any and all things, it must be used appropriately.
    -I’m trying to be as removed as possible from your statement about my daughter needing a mother who is willing to look at her current sickness and meet her needs and not try to be different. I spend countless hours researching ways to not only promote my daughters health but to prevent needless illnesses in the first place. It has very little to do with doing things for the sake of being different. How silly to have decisions drived by such a desire. I simply point out the fact that unfortunately, I am different. I research all aspects of something and I make a decision based on my research, the council of others I trust and through prayer and faith. The fact that my choices are different from others is not the driving factor, it is an end result.
    -And of course, I would never let me daughter suffer, just to suffer. That would be morbid and I don’t know any mother that would ever do such a thing. Sometimes life results in suffering, and yes, I think that includes the occassional fever. And we comfort as far as we can and we address illnesses as they need to be addressed.
    -I followed your link and am not sure of your point. I am aware and have read all that was listed many times over from many different resources, they are all favorited on my web browser. I was simply saying I was not going to try to read into the fact that my daughter has a major life threatening illness or make myself sick over nothing because she has a long lasting fever. In all reality, I understood it was probably just a nasty virus. Which it was.
    -I did take her to the doctor as I said I would and like I suspected it was an unnecessary office visit. The doctor congratulated me on all I had done. Assured me I was correct in the treatment of her comfort and non-treatment of the fever. And said there were no signs of infection. And this was a mainstream doctor. We tested to make sure she didn’t have influenza (she didn’t) and tested to make sure she didn’t have a UTI (she didn’t). Anyway, my daughter is completely healed and running around like normal.
    -This is a blog and I welcome comments but I wonder if this is even a blog you should be reading since you seem to have such a disdain for a mother trying to trust her intuition and parent from a less automatic medicalized approach. I don’t distrust the use of needed medicine. I distrust the use of blindly accepting modern medicine without question and without discernment.

  5. Grace · March 1, 2008

    I find it interesting that you pride yourself on being so “crunchy”. By constantly claiming to be crunchy and pointing out whenever you do something that isn’t exactly like your neighbors, you seem to be trying a little too hard. And too worried about what others are thinking about your actions.
    This latest entry is a bit disturbing. I think you are a praying woman and would take a blessing from God were he to hand it to you. Is not the development of modern medicine in some ways an answer to the prayers of mothers and fathers over the centuries? Sure, just like everything, medicine can be twisted and misused or even easily abused and over prescribed. But you cannot, like so many, throw a blanket over all medicine and call it bad.
    Your poor child needs a mother who is willing to look at the current sickness and needs and not just try to be different (or just like her friends). You did great comforting her, but sometimes there is more you should do. I hope you do go to the internet and look up these things as you suggested you would. Don’t just let Camden suffer.
    http://www.lpch.org/HealthLibrary/ParentCareTopics/FeverInfectionsCrying/Fever.html

  6. melanie · February 28, 2008

    I am so sorry for your past REALLY hard mama days. Sick three year olds are not fun. Margaret is FINALLY better. remember that this too shall pass and that diarea (however you spell it) usually means things are getting better. YOu may be near the end!! OK so no tylenol and ibprop? TEach me…….I was very thankful for them at last week, all weekend and really until monday am. Again, teach me a better, healthier way!! =-)

  7. Emeth Hesed · February 27, 2008

    Jessica, I’m SO sorry she’s sick. I would be worried crazy if I were you. I will be praying, praying, praying she gets all better soon.

  8. Andrea · February 27, 2008

    Oh Jessica,
    I TOTALLY feel for you. That sounds EXACTLY like what Corina had and EXACTLY how Corina behaved back in January on her birthday. Its soo soo hard! Give yourself (and Mike) a huge pat on the back! My prayers are with you all!

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