So I've been a really bad blogger of family moments..... It's been 4 months since my last post. So I had to restart with something really big right?! How about a trip to the hospital?
I always knew Joseph would be the kid that introduces us to the emergency room staff. However, I pictured a broken arm or gash in the forehead from a wrestling injury incurred while attacking his older sister or jumping off a playground set. Example.... last week we were trying out a new park and this one had some stairs that went up about 3.5ft to a landing. The playground was all sand so it was very soft. Josh and I are sitting a little ways away at a picnic table finishing off the scraps of the sandwiches the children refused to eat but insisted on tearing apart. Joseph climbs up to the landing and mosies to the edge and looks over then looks at us. "Don't do it Joseph. Back away." Josh warns. Joseph inches closer to the edge so his toes are hanging over. "Joseph, you're going to get an ouchy!" I warn. He sticks one foot over the edge. Josh and I continue to sit and whisperingly debate the odds of him actually getting injured when he falls. "Joseph...." Josh says in the parent-warning tone... and boom. The kid flops belly first onto the sand 3.5 feet down. He isn't hurt but he has a mouthful of sand that he does not like the taste of. Josh and I just roll our eyes and place bets on the next time our little Evil Kinevil takes a leap.
So fast forward to last Thursday when I get a call from daycare that Joseph is running a temp of 101 and they ask to give him Tylenol. I okay it and then head to pick him up. The little guy is just laying on his napper and all the little girls in his classroom (he's the only boy) are surrounding him rubbing his back and he's just soaking it in. We head home and he snuggles up on the couch to watch Cars while I try to get dinner thrown together. He falls asleep and I enjoy having only one begging child at my legs in the kitchen. I realize it's time for more Tylenol so I go to check his temp and it's 105.7F. 105.7?!?! I've been working in the hospital for 8 years now and I've never seen a number that high on a thermometer! I recheck the other ear and it says 106.1. I begin a mini heart attack as my brain goes into overdrive. What causes temps that high and to escalate that quickly? Meningitis is my first thought. I take my own temp to verify the thermometer isn't off. Nope, I'm normal. Miriam's temp is normal. I recheck Joseph and it's 105.7. He's lethargic and radiating heat. I have on my PJs, so I throw a tshirt on as I speakerphone Josh (who is at work) to tell him to meet us at ER. After carrying both children down the 3 flights of stairs (we are in a new apartment... another story) I realize I forgot the keys. Back up we go and back down we go. Mind you... I'm 32wks pregnant and no stairmaster these days. Enough about me.
We get to the ER and having been a nurse, I know that when they pave the way for you... it means they know something is bad...something is not right. So it just validates my fears when 2 nurses start looking Joseph over, taking vitals, and the resident with Pediatrics (whose name is Dr. Hanson, but Miriam misunderstands as Dr. Handsome) comes to our room immediately to assess Joseph. Temp still 105.7. Everything else checking out normal. The attending physician comes and recognizes us from church (I'm sure because of our noisy children and frequent bathroom breaks), and orders some tests. Throat swab, blood cultures, labs, and Ibuprofen later... Joseph's temp is 103 and he finally starts perking up. 3 hrs later his temp is 100 and with all tests negative so far, they tell us we can go home so long as he keeps drinking and his temp stays below 103. They are thinking it's something viral, so just waiting it out and trying to control temps with Ibuprofen and Tylenol are the best bets.
I set my alarm for every 30min the rest of the night to check his temp and make sure we don't miss times for meds. Friday his temp hovered at 101-102. We head to our doctor and find nothing more has shown up on blood work and they're still thinking it's something viral that should turn into a rash and go away soon. So all weekend the poor kid was 101-102.7. Finally Sunday evening the tiniest of tiny rashes appears on the backs of his knees and fades within 30min. His fever breaks and he starts wrestling with Miriam again. Thanks be to God.
Things I learned from our first ER visit:
- It's pry best to wear a bra of some kind at all times so as to avoid having to sit in an ER at the hospital you work at with your arms crossed over your chest for hours on end. Awkward....
- I'm stronger than I thought I was... I didn't cry, I kept my cool, even when they had to stick my baby twice for labwork and I had to help hold him down and try to calm him. It was worst when he was so feverish and lethargic that he didn't even fight off strangers attaching cords and stickers and armbands to him.
- Sometimes I wish I wasn't a professional healthcare provider. Not knowing is scary, but sometimes knowing too much is scary too. The physicians were thinking meningitis as well but that diagnosis requires a needle into the spinal column of the child and that obviously comes with risks. So they tried to rule out everything else first and when Joseph's fever started responding to meds and his head/neck seemed fine they opted to not do the spinal tap unless his fever got above 103 that weekend. So I lived in the fear of it getting to 103 and having to take him in for that.
- Kids are amazing at recovering. The kid is back to his maniac self. I'm sure he'll be back to diving off playground equipment tomorrow.