Yesterday, Declan had a fever. It started about 11 am, and was high and low throughout the day. He wasn't very keen on eating for most of the day, but had a little bit of applesauce at dinner. We gave him a quick bath, got him a dose of Tylenol, and sent him to bed in footie pajamas and his blanket.
This morning he woke up crying, and all he wanted was to be held and to cuddle....which of course I LOVED, but at the same time, I'd much rather he not have the fever. I checked his temp and it was low grade, so I didn't worry too much and didn't give him Tylenol. I'm a believer in the "if the fever is low and the kid is in good spirits, let the fever burn off on it's own" theory. He wasn't his normal self, but he wasn't as bad as he had been either. He ate two Gogurts, and had some water, so he was taking in some food.
Then at about 11:30, I took his temp (in the armpit) and it was 104.3! Ooh, kinda scary. Time for Tylenol FOR SURE! I figured at this point, it wouldn't hurt to call and ask the advice nurse what I should do, if I should do anything. I've called before and they suggested to take him in to Urgent Care, but that's all. No "go to the ER" freak-me-out kinda advice. Until today. Me: "Really? The ER? Not even Urgent Care?" Nurse: "With a temp that high, it's kind of concerning." Oh dear.
I called Trevor to let him know, and D and I took off to the Kaiser ER in Irvine. Trevor met us there, and we checked in right away. They took us into triage pretty quickly, and his temp was already down to 99.6, also in the armpit. However the nurse told us that armpit temp is about 1 degree less than the real temp...so make that 100.6. Still, that's WAAAAY better than 104.3, or rather 105.3 if the armpit temp thing is real. Sooooo, going to the ER was probably a really good idea.
The whole triage experience REALLY upset Declan: getting the hospital bracelet, having a strange wire taped to his finger to take his pulse and BP, having his temp taken. And then we were told his PJ's should come off, they were keeping the heat in and not helping with his temp. While we were taking his PJ's off, he got so worked up, he started gagging, and finally, threw-up his Gogurts....all onto daddy. :( Yeah, it was really quite gross. Poor kid!
A few minutes later, we were called back. And then it wasn't long until the doc came in. The Doctor. Hmm. He was really nice....but boy did he like to talk! (I know-I'm not one to judge.) He just talked about random things....I really can't explain well, but let me just tell you one thing he said: "It's like a fart in a windstorm." I really can't even remember the context. Weird guy. But good doctor.
He checked Declan out, and that was one of the worst things I've gone through as a parent. Declan's feeling like crap and here's this guy, putting some cold thing on his back and chest, getting mom and dad to pin him down and having something poking in his ear and then some stick stuck down his throat, practically gagging him. It took two tries to get a good look down his throat, second time around with the doc laying on top of him. He got so worked up, he almost threw up again. It was really difficult to watch it all and know I could do nothing to stop it, and had to actually help it happen.
But his ears were clear, his throat was good, and his chest and stomach sounded fine. So. That left the blood and urine to check. Dang. This leads me to THE actual worst thing I have gone through as a parent. More pinning down, but with needles involved. :( Thankfully the doctor didn't believe in making him go through the experience of getting a catheter put in, and just had a bag taped around his diddle to collect pee. (TMI? Oh well!) He needed a couple blood tests and a urine test to rule out other infections. Those tests took about an hour and a half to run, so that's where most of the time was spent. Dec mostly laid on dad and dozed a little, but he was still really miserable. During the bag-attachment process, his temp was taken again, rectally (DEFINITELY TMI!) and it was back up to 102.5. :(
This was the only picture I took today. That's the IV taped to his hand. What you can't see is the flat board taped to the underside of his wrist to keep it straight. What you can see is Declan not having a good time. :(
All tests came back positive....or um, negative....what I mean is there were no infections found! So then what's with the fever? Well, there are two more tests being run, blood cultures, which take 48 hours, so we're still waiting for those results. Until then, he could still have an infection, so the doc recommended we give him some antibiotics, through a drip, using the IV that was put in his hand during the blood draw. And while we're at it, let's give him some IV fluids, just to be safe. Ok, you're the doc, you know what's best.
Oy, another hour and a half. Me to the nurse: "You guys don't happen to have a TV we could watch?" Nurse: "Actually we do." He leaves and a minute later comes back with a TV, a VCR/DVD player, and a PILE of Disney movies!! Fantastic! The Lion King got us all the way through until we were discharged! Weeee! And while the movie was on, Dec totally perked up. Even ate some Cheerios, Animal Crackers, and drank some water! After he finished his meds, they checked his temp again and he was at 99 or 100. Not bad and he's in GREAT spirits!
So home we went, with the instructions to give him Tylenol every 4-6 hours, and have a follow up with a pediatrician tomorrow. The doc is about 90% sure that it is Roseola which is a high fever, followed by a non-itchy rash. It's not really dangerous, unless the fever gets REALLY high, and it's treatable at home. So, now we're just waiting for the fever to completely go away, and we're on the lookout for the rash. He's already gotten a few weird spots on his legs, but they've gone away, and the rash usually hangs on for several days. We'll see I guess.
Since being home Dec has gone from being miserable and not wanting to eat, to VERY sleepy, to bed, to wanting to be held, to being in the bath, back to wanting to be held, to laying on dad and then getting up and walking to his bed to go to sleep, to being woken by the fire alarm (apparently my shower steam got to the alarms), to wanting to eat crackers and drink milk, to playing and laughing and dancing around, and finally back to bed! Crazy!
I had a hard time when we first got home and he was not doing good. The nurse told us to keep him as uncovered as possible, for him to be just in his diaper. If he got the chills, still keep him from being bundled. The more you bundle the harder it is for the fever to drop. Makes sense. But I really can't watch my son shiver and shake and be COVERED in goosebumps. We put a onesie on him, and he still was shaking like crazy! He was laying on me, face down, with all his limbs tucked in and my arms around him and he was still shivering. I couldn't handle it and I put a blanket on him when I laid him down. I got the thinnest blanket we had, trying to not break the rules too much. :) After his bath, he was doing a lot better, temp wise, so we just put him in some loose pants, and he's been fine ever since.
We'll see how tomorrow goes. His fluctuation tonight doesn't make me feel too great, but we were also told that if his fever spikes again to take him back to the ER. Great. Hopefully that won't happen and I won't have ER Trip #2 to write.....I don't know if I have the stamina to write another saga! :) But, I will keep you posted!