I have a love/hate relationship with our pediatricians and my kids' health in general. Because both kids have had more ear infections than I'd like to count, extended fever/fussiness always amounts to a day or two of hemming and hawing about taking them in to have their ears checked. Then when I do, it's a relief if they don't have an ear infection, but also a relief when they do and I have some guidance to making them feel better. I can't wait until Catherine can verbalize and help localize her pain, but until then I'm stuck with this terrible dance. On Thursday, the fever/fussiness was not an ear infection. The doctor did notice two giant molars and we chalked it up to that, ignoring and misattributing two very small symptoms. She had a small diaper rash (we assumed it was from too much carseat time in Yellowstone) and a small rash on her chin (assumed it was from teething/drool).
Getting a clean bill of health, we sent Catherine to daycare on Friday, only to get "the call" that she was really warm and slept all day. It was a concert weekend for me so James was a saint and took care of both her and Matthew from Friday on so I could work. By Monday, Catherine was still rocking some raging fevers with no end in sight and was getting more and more lethargic. I took her in Monday afternoon. We ended up spending all Monday afternoon and most of Tuesday morning at the doctor's office battling dehydration and running tests.
With a few antibiotic shots and IV fluids we tried to stay ahead of the dehydration and treated the strep and pneumonia so her fever was down but not gone. On Thursday and Friday she was still cranky and lethargic which was just killer. We did everything possible we could to make her comfortable, eat and drink, including some TV remote time (the remote is far more exciting than the TV for her):
By Friday afternoon her fever was creeping back up and lethargy was setting back in and we ended up taking her back in to the doctor. They ran a quick blood test and her infection(s) were creeping back up so they wanted to hospitalize her for a few days of fluids and stronger antibiotics.
Needless to say, the whole experience was miserable. She was miserable and I felt helpless to make her feel better. On the bright side, we have an awesome pediatrician and staff who were very involved and stayed on top of it and to their credit, tried really hard to keep us out of the hospital and recovering at home. We also have an amazing group of friends who checked in on us the whole time, jumped in to take care of Matthew as well as bring coffee and treats, as well as some fun toys to the hospital which made the stay all the more bearable:
Friday night she conked out in the hospital crib as well as much of Saturday. However, by Saturday night you could tell she was feeling much better as she ended up yanking/wiggling out her foot IV. They put in an arm IV but by Sunday morning she was moving around even too much for that, including calling some touchdowns while watching football with daddy:
Luckily her blood work came back okay and we were discharged to home. Everyone was very happy:
In retrospect, our doctor believes the small rashes were hand-foot-and-mouth disease, which lowered her immune system making her vulnerable to picking up the Strep and Pneumonia. She then ended up with crazy swollen lymph nodes, which combined with the Strep made her miserable when she ate/drank which combined with the raging fevers made her highly susceptible to dehydration. However, what's most important is that she's been fever free for a few days and her energy levels are back. She's been playing:
And because we are just trying to get her to eat and drink as much as possible and she's still real tentative about it, we've had lots of ice cream, frozen yogurt, applesauce, prune packs and chocolate pudding (her fave):
And lest we ignore big brother, he's been great through this whole thing, all things considered. We started a little experiment the other day. What started out as "you can pick out one treat at Michaels" turned into some bartering down from an expensive plastic frog to a $2 snake for a science experiment. Here he is measuring the snake when we started. His estimate was that it would grow "as big as a tree":
As it was about a foot and a half and was supposed to grow 600% we decided that the bathtub was the best place for it to grow:
Unfortunately, our little experiment got put on the back burner but we have managed to check it "officially" once more:
And after Catherine's hopefully final check up for a long while, we hit the park for some fresh air. It was good for all of us: