Thursday, February 28, 2008

Can't this wait 'til Monday?

Kids have impeccable timing, don't they? For example, they do things like wake up with a 102 degree temperature at 1:30am the morning after their daddy boards a plane for New York, leaving mommy all alone to take them to the emergency room, in the middle of the night, in the freezing cold.

Ugh, seven and a half months of perfect health and Alex decides to wait for his daddy to leave to spring a high fever on me. He had been waking up and talking to himself all night, but when he cried at 1:30am, I checked on him and discovered that he was burning up. His temperature was 102, so I called the after hours clinic and left a message, then I called the nursery to see what I should do while I waited to hear from them. The nurse said that 102 was pretty high and that I should take him to the emergency room. For real? Do I have to? A was in high spirits and wasn't acting emergency room worthy, but I figured, better safe than sorry.

We got to the emergency room in about 5 minutes (there's not much traffic at 2am). I went up the counter to fill out some paperwork, then handed it to the woman sitting there, who asked what the issue was. Despite his high temperature, I had brought Alex into the building wrapped in a light baby blanket (it was 32 degrees out), which I removed from him the minute we entered the heated building and was currently holding in the hand of the arm that I was holding Alex with. Nonetheless, her first comment when I told her about his fever was, "Well, take that blanket off of him." My mind was racing with emotionally charged responses, such as, "Here's an idea. How 'bout I strip him naked and sit him outside on the concrete in the freezing cold for a few hours. That should take care of his fever, huh?! HUH?!!!" But, ever calm and collected in the face of an emergency, I calmly switched the blanket to the other hand and said, "It was really cold outside."

She told me the wait could be 4 and a half hours, and as I glanced around at the waiting room, empty with the exception of two ladies and a half naked baby (who probably also had a fever) and some woman with crutches, I again felt that urge to speak my mind. But again, I practiced restraint and asked her whether I needed to wait, whether a 102 fever was something to panic about, and whether teething might have anything to do with it. She said the fever was too high for teething and basically told me to go home, alternate Tylenol and Motrin, and keep an eye on him. Well shoot, lady, I didn't need to drive down here in the middle of the night, in the freezing cold, to have you tell me what I could've figured out on my own.

Looooong story short, Childrens Hospital called back and basically reiterated what I already knew. A has developed a pretty nasty cough, so I called our regular nurse this morning who said that a fever and a cough could lead to the flu, and suggested I just monitor him at home until his fever spikes or more symptoms appear.

This whole thing would've been somewhat nervewracking were it not for Alex's attitude. He is just as cheerful and animated as ever, so that really put me at ease. Here he is after we got back from the ER, sometime around 2:30am. I mean, seriously, does this look like the face of an ailing child?

He wasn't really interested in sleeping when we got back. I tried rocking him to sleep (he woke up less than an hour later), gave him a bottle, let him talk, let him whine, all to no avail. So basically the two of us pulled an all-nighter until he finally fell asleep around 5:15am. And here he is, up and at 'em at 8am.

As you can see, not even a fever, an all-nighter, and a hacking cough can get this kid down. He's just one tough little booger, I guess...


hillarykey said...

Neither of my boys act bad when they run a fever. It is really astonishing to me that they don't act more run down. I know when I run a fever like that I am moody. I hope A is feeling better soon.

Chatter said...

Poor guy. Hope he feels better soon.