Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Always Something

He doesn't look it, but he's actually sick.

The fever from the weekend? It's Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease. Except minus the hand and foot part. He only has the painful mouth sores, which explains why he won't eat much.

You know how when you have a baby "they" (whoever they are) tell you to trust your instincts? It's so true. I just KNEW something was not right. I kept describing cold symptoms, but he has had colds before and didn't act the same way. He has never been a drooler but he has been soaking his shirts. Something was amiss, but I just couldn't put my finger on what exactly it was. I knew something was up when he laid in my lap and watched Oprah with me.

He seemed ok Monday morning so we went to work and daycare. I told his teacher he hadn't been feeling well and if he seemed like he felt crummy to call me and I'd come get him. I checked on him at lunch and the instant I peeked through the window I could tell he was pretty miserable. I went back to work long enough to tie up a couple loose ends and log off my computer and then I went and got him.

I called to make him a doctor's appointment, but they wouldn't give me one until I had a phone consultation with a nurse. She told me it sounded like he had a cold and there wasn't much to be done about it other than comfort him. And then we had the worst bed time ever. Ever. He went to sleep and quickly woke back up. His voice is hoarse so I didn't hear him at first and felt like a jerk because I don't know how long he was awake. When I picked him up his sheet was soaking wet. I thought it was sweat due to his fever. Turns out it was that drool I mentioned. I spent an hour trying to get him back to sleep. We rocked, read books, I sang, we laid in my bed, we walked down the street, we sat on the sea wall. Nothing worked. Finally, we went for a drive and he was out within five minutes. I put him back in his bed. He woke back up 40 minutes later. His sheet (a fresh one) was soaked again. We got in the car and headed to the ER. It was around 10:00.

The ER waiting room was full, of course. We checked in and I heard some idiot telling his wife that their daughter had priority over everyone in there. I was this close (finger and thumb a fraction of an inch apart) to telling him I'm pretty sure every parent in the room felt the same way about their own child. Thank goodness they had already been seen and I didn't have to hear any more.

We went through triage and the nurse kept commenting about how he was obviously so miserable, but since his temperature was only 99 he didn't get to move to the head of the pack. Call me crazy but I think small children should get to move to the front of the line. We were the last to be seen. I'm pretty certain some adults came in after we did and were seen before us. Not quite fair. We finally got to see the doctor around 12:45. He spent approximately a minute with us. And he was a jerk. He recommended a strep test and said it would take 20-30 minutes. And when I expressed some frustration at having to wait that long when we had already waited two hours, his response was:  "Well, we don't have to do it." Which to me sounded like, "He's not my kid. I don't care if you do it or not." And then he shrugged his shoulders and said, "A lot of people have to be seen. Sorry." Absolutely no compassion. I'm pretty sure he heard me call him a jerk as he walked out because when he came back to give me the results (after only 10  minutes, not 30) he was much nicer. The test was negative but he told me to make a follow-up appointment with his pediatrician the next day. So, we basically went to the ER for nothing. Although he was a jerk, everyone else was very nice. I knew we would have to wait a while, but I think frazzled moms and sick babies deserve compassion, not sarcasm, when they're at the hospital in the middle of the night. I could be wrong.

So yesterday we went to the Kadena clinic and saw my favorite doctor. And she immediately knew what was wrong. Lesson learned:  When I think something is wrong, INSIST on an appointment!

Unfortunately, Hand, Foot & Mouth is pretty contagious. We have to stay out of work and school until he is fever free for 24 hours and he stops drooling. He's drooling because it's painful for him to swallow. And that means he hasn't been eating, and it's been difficult to get him to drink. Although he doesn't look it in these pictures, he's felt pretty crummy all week. Sometimes he spends an hour just crying. At times he just comes over and lays on me. In fact, tonight he laid his head in my lap and went right to sleep in the middle of our living room with all the lights and TV on.

He got into some trouble today, so that's a good sign. He's staying home tomorrow for sure but I'm hoping we'll be back at work and daycare Friday.

He even ate more today than he has all week. Hopefully, he's on the mend. I hate to see him sick.

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