When the Thermometer Says 104

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's official: we're dealing with our first ear infection.  Not just one ear infection, but two.  And it seriously came out of left field.

It all started this past Saturday, though over the last week I think there were signs of sickness that I attributed to teething.  (She finally got her 1st tooth, which was exciting but HELLO CRANKY CHILD).  Anyway, Saturday afternoon I had laid down with her to take a little nap and when we woke up I noticed that she felt unusually warm.  I took her temp with the ear thermometer and it said 101.3.  I gave her a half dose of Tylenol and checked it a half hour later, and it was up to 102 degrees.  I gave her the rest of the Tylenol and put her in a lukewarm bath.  She seemed fine in the bath, was playing and generally well-spirited, so we went on with our night.

Because she had been feverish I put her in bed with us so I would know quickly if she was hot, and sure enough, around 5am I woke up to a burning hot baby.  Absolutely burning up.  I didn't even take her temp because I knew it would just scare me and make me run to the ER.  I got her up, gave her another dosage of Tylenol and a little bottle - which she ate - and we went back to bed.

The next morning - Sunday - we woke up and she seemed just fine.  Playful, happy, etc.  We decided it would be okay to go to church, especially because we had missed so much lately due to being out of town.  Around 11:30 she started to get warm again, and by the time we got home she was burning up.  This time I did take her temp using the ear thermometer (side note - I normally use a tiny rectal thermometer cause I don't like the guessing game with ear/digital thermometers, but used the ear thermometer this time).  The temp came up 106 degrees. My blood froze.  We gave her the Tylenol again and I quickly called my best friend who is a Physician's Assistant.  She said to take her temp with the digital thermometer under her arm, which came up 103 (102 + 1 degree).  Still super high but said we could just alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen and wait until Monday to call the doctor, especially since there didn't seem to be any other symptoms.  In the meantime I decided to throw away the ear thermometer.

Sunday we alternated the meds and by that night she was her happy playful self.  I held off on giving her the next dosage when I put her to bed, hoping the virus was just a 24 hour thing that had passed.  We weren't that lucky, though, and Sunday at midnight we woke up yet again with another raging 103 degree fever.  It had been 24 hours of high, high fevers, but what scared me the most at that moment was her demeanor.  She was almost listless - eyes were a little glassy, she just laid in my arms not looking at me while I rocked her.  That was when I woke Brad up and said that we were going to the ER. I knew he was a little resistant but was also concerned.  We got all dressed and were getting ready to leave and it was like, all of a sudden, the medicine kicked in and Happy Hadley was back.  Her eyes cleared up, she became alert and even started smiling at Brad.  I texted my best friend and she said that we could take her in if we wanted but that if it were her, she would wait until Monday morning.  So because of that, but mostly because of her improved behavior, I said we could wait til  the morning to take her in.  We got back in bed, said a prayer over her, and went to sleep.

At 8am on the nose I called my clinic and got her in for a 10:30 appointment, which was really good because when I got her up, her temp was at 104.  I gave her the Tylenol and we proceeded to have a rough morning full of puking up her bottle, crying, and an unsuccessful attempt at a bath before we finally went to the doctor.  By that time she was in a much better mood due to the Tylenol.  As soon as the PA came in he looked at her ears and sure enough, both were flaming red, according to him.  He wrote her a prescription for the Amoxicillin, which I got filled and administered ASAP!  For the record, she had been pulling on her ears a tiny bit, but she's also done that in the past and it was nothing, so that wasn't really an indicator for me.    One clue that it was possibly her ears was that she hadn't been eating her whole bottle in one sitting - she would break off often.  However, I attributed it to teething.  Also she hated being laid down to change her diaper or clothes and would cry every.single.time.  Both of those things are symptoms of ear issues.

So there you have it, our crazy weekend with a pitiful baby girl.  I do have to admit that I'm proud of myself that I didn't just run her into the ER, which was my fighting instinct pretty much the whole time.  I definitely believe there's a time to do that (if her temp would've gotten to 104 I would've gone in right away), but I tried to use my common sense and trust that those around me - like my best friend who is a PA and a momma of 3 - knew what they were talking about.  And now we won't have to pay an emergency room bill, thank the Lord.

Once we got home from the doctor I stripped her down - it's finally a warm day! - and let her sleep in my arms.  There's something about when they're sick, they seem to sleep much better when they're snuggled up with you (even though it's tough when they're running a fever.  But she wasn't when I took this).

Here's to hoping for better days ahead!

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