Friday, March 8, 2013

Adventures in Murphy's Law

I want you!

Before this past weekend, Finorah has had two teething episodes, breaking a total of three teeth.  During each of the past two teething episodes, she has had double ear infections.  The first was obvious that something was wrong as she spiked a fever.  The second wasn't as obvious.  I brought her into the doctor the following morning after a mid-night scream fest with no fever.  The nurse and doctor looked at me like I was cray cray for bringing her to the doctor a single episode of crying.  Mama's instincts were spot on -- double ear infection.  Both nurse and doctor commented on what a great baby she was despite having two ear infections.  I couldn't understand why she was getting ear infections while teething and didn't think the two were related.  Well, they always say, "The third time is a charm."

I now know that every time my child cuts a tooth, we will have to take her to the doctor's to be treated for an ear infection.  Stories are always best to start at the beginning...  Our story starts on Sunday.  On Sunday afternoon, she began to act fussy (for Finorah), not want to be put down, just wanted to snuggle and sleep all day.  As you saw in the video from the previous post, she was out for the count when she slept, no like sleeping on Sunday.  We all go to bed and she wakes up at midnight after sleeping on her own for the past week.  I told E to bring her in bed with us since she wasn't feeling well.  She fell back asleep, fairly quickly.  Around 1:30am, I woke up to her fussing.  I picked her up to move her and almost recoiled at how hot she was.  I woke E up and asked him to feel her so he knew that I wasn't just exaggerating.  We got out our thermometer and it was reading about 103.6.  We gave her some Tylenol and I sat with her for the hour or so it took to get her back to sleep.  Some of that time was straight screaming, the other time it was just standing and swaying as the minute I sat down, she would begin to scream.  That was all I needed to know and immediately knew that she had an ear infection in each ear.

The next morning, I stayed home with her and got her in to the doctor's.  Her in-office temperature reading was 104.2 and she fell asleep while we waited for the doctor.  She was diagnosed with two ear infections, a sinus infection, and an upper respiratory infection.  We were given a prescription for amoxicillin and told that we should alternate doses of Tylenol and Motrin every four hours until the fever broke and if it hadn't broke in 48 hours, we were to return to the office on Wednesday.  She was given Motrin in the office.  She was happy as a clam once the Motrin kicked in.  E was supposed to leave the next day for Columbus to help a friend for a couple of days.  He wasn't going to go, but I told him that since we had medication, she was going to be better by Tuesday evening and so he should go anyways.  Rule #794:  Never, under any circumstances, proclaim that your kid is going to get better without any hitches just because she did the last time.

So E takes off on Tuesday morning after dropping her off at daycare.  As I'm picking her up from daycare, the lady there says that she has been sleepy all day.  I explained that is her way of saying that she doesn't feel well as she never cries (as long as she is being held, which they do a good job of at daycare, obviously).  She felt warm as I put her in the car and she cranks a little.  As we roll into the house, all holy hell breaks loose.  Rule #290:  Shit will hit the fan the minute that you don't have anyone to help you.

We spent Wednesday, hanging around the house, not feeling good.

I walk into the house with my fevered, cranky girl and notice the dogs look really guilty.  I immediately begin a house inspection to find two tore of bags;  one was the remnants of a 2 lb bag of butterscotch chips and the other was about half pound of chocolate protein shake mix.  The first thing that pops in my head is that now with a sick baby, I'm also going to have to deal with cleaning up after sick dogs (to ruin the end of that story and to make you feel better -- the dogs don't end up getting sick, but it is nagging in the back of mind that that shoe is going to drop for the next 24 hours).  After a dose of Tylenol, our usual nap time was like someone sticking a knife in-between the tines of a fort (does that make you shiver?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Okay, so it's just me...).  She was arching in pain, throwing her head back and stiffening her legs and body.  I couldn't sit down, I couldn't rock her, I couldn't lay down with her.  The only comfortable position was standing up -- so I began about 30 minutes of singing and swaying.  She did fall asleep for a short spell, long enough for me to pick up after the dogs.

She woke up in a better mood, but her face was really red.  She doesn't feel warm anymore, so the fever was respondent to Tylenol which was a good thing in my book.  As we are eating dinner, her face starts to produce this wonderfully red rash.  I was starting to get concerned as I sent a photo to E and he agreed that it didn't look good.  I decided to let the dogs out while she was still happy in her high chair.  Rule #612: Skunks, like plagues, will appear at the worst time.

What the hell is a skunk doing out in freezing Cleveland March?!?!?!?  The poor dogs didn't know what to think as I started going 50 shades of crazy, trying to rush them back inside mid-pee.  The skunk came within 20 yards of the dogs, stuck his tail up, but the dogs didn't see them as they were too busy paying attention to the mad-woman waving her arms and screaming their names.  But the skunk wasn't done yet.  Back inside, the rash was getting worse.  So as I put her in the bath, I called my doctor's office who has an answering service with an on-call nurse 24 hours a day.  Rule #850: Even though your kid has been good for the past two hours, the minute that you get on the phone, she is going to scream.

The nurse was very thorough, but she kept me on the phone for over 30 minutes, because I had to repeat myself multiple times as Finn was screaming too loud and the nurse couldn't understand what I was saying.  She wanted to make sure that Finn wasn't having an allergic reaction to her amoxicillin, but needed to speak to a doctor before telling me to not give the nighttime dose of medication.  She tried to call the hospital that houses our pediatrician for the on-call doctor.  Her intent was to transfer me to the on-call doctor and re-explain my situation.  I was totally dreading another 30 minutes on the phone with the doctor, starting from the beginning, but the fear of what would happen if I did or didn't give her the medication was enough to keep me on the line.  Rule #43: When dealing with operators, always hope for the best, but realize that you are going to get the worst possible outcome.

I think that I'm such a big girl.

According to the operator, there was no on-call doctor at the hospital (!?!?!?!?), so before I could tell her my doctor's office was close (it was 9:30 at night), she transferred me to my doctor -- my doctor's personal cell phone!  My doctor answered in a confused state and when I tried to explain who I was and who transferred me with a screaming baby in the background, she said that she had no idea why they would have me call her.  I was absolutely fed up and wanted to silence my crying baby, so I told her that I could try the operator again and hung up the phone.  I went about calming Finorah and trying to get her to sleep.  I could call back once she was sleeping.  About 15 minutes later, my phone rings from an unknown number.  I don't usually answer my phone if I don't recognize the number, but this time, I figured it must have been important as it was 10pm at night.  It was the on-call nurse who didn't feel comfortable, leaving me with the operator and had followed up on her own.  She spoke with my doctor, via a transfer from the operator like me and explain the situation to her.  They decided that I shouldn't give her the medication tonight, to make an appointment with my doctor for tomorrow (another day of unscheduled time off from work), and to give her a dose of benadryl before bed.  Rule #6: As much as you prepare your medicine cabinet for emergency situations, you will NEVER have everything you need.

It was 10:00pm, I was alone with my girl, and we didn't have any benadryl.  So I bundled her up and off we went to our grocery store, which is thankfully open 24 hours.  We looked a hot-mess.  She was in her jammies, fuzzy boots, her cute jacket & hat, sucking on a bink and wouldn't let go of Porkchop (her snuggle lamb).  I was in bright green sweat pants with a bright yellow t-shirt with a black bra on underneath and no makeup.  Oh, the adventures in motherhood...

The rest of the night went fine, until around midnight.  I bolted upright in bed and thought the skunk was in my room.  In my tired haze, I thought the skunk was inside the house -- it smelled so potent.  I'm not sure exactly what happened, but my whole house, right down to the basement, smelled of skunk for the next two days -- so I think Pepe LePew took revenge on us and sprayed my house.  No other explanation.  Finn woke up at 4:30am and screamed until 6:00am.  As we woke up at around 8:00am, I noticed that the rash on her face was 95% gone.  I lifted up her jammies and saw that she now had red speckles scattered over her torso.  So off to the doctor's, we go.

The doctor said she still had both ear infections and the rash looked like a viral rash -- one that was brought on by her high fever on Sunday and Monday.  She said that the rash might get a little worse, but it should definitely be better after 24 hours.  But then she told me if I had any concerns at all, I shouldn't hesitate to call her and she would start us on different dose of antibiotics and we would chalk the rash up to an allergic reaction.  I gave her the amoxicillin at 1pm that afternoon.  As the evening progressed, she was still crabby and I thought I saw a couple of splotches starting to develop on her face.  By bedtime, there was a definite, but smaller rash on her face -- in different spots than the night before.  I didn't give her the amoxicillin, but gave her benadryl.  She slept better, only waking for about 10 minutes at 4:30am.  Thursday was a big day at work for me -- we had a faculty retreat, which I had responsibilities for.  Rule #201: When you are single-parenting and are absolutely needed at work, your child will undoubtedly wake up and make you question what's more important.

See, Mama, I'm a big drinker and a big girl!

I woke up and rolled over looking at Finn's face.  Nothing there.  Yeah!!!  I went about getting ready to go to work.  Once I was finished, I went into the bedroom and she had rolled over onto her back.  There it was -- THE RASH!  But it was on her tummy now.  The rash that appears on her stomach was different from the scattered speckles from the day before.  This rash resembled the rash that was on her face.  Holy hell.  I sat on the edge of the bed and began a mental battle with myself.  I was needed at work that day and I was totally out of paid-time-off.  I began fervently searching online for images of fever-induced viral rashes and allergic reaction rashes, trying to see which one this rash more resembled.  I also found out that a rash is a side effect of amoxicillin in children -- that it was common for a child to NOT be allergic to the amoxicillin and still have a rash developed.  I took a photo of her tummy and texted Eain.  Then I immediately called him and woke him up to discuss what I should do.  Everything I read said that an allergic reaction would be itchy and she was letting me rub and touch the rash without any reaction.  E, being the herpes virologist, said that it could be roseola (Roseola is caused by one of two strains of herpes -- strain 6 or 7).  Do I give her the amoxicillin and send Benadryl to daycare with her, telling them to watch her carefully?  Do I not give her the amoxicillin and call the doctor later?  I knew the minute that I called the doctor, she would put in her chart that she was allergic to amoxcillin.  Call me crazy, but I didn't want my daughter to have an allergy placed in her chart if I really didn't think that she was allergic.  I also knew that I couldn't keep starting and stopping the amoxicillin -- that she would develop a tolerance to it and then it wouldn't be effective anymore.  E and I discuss what to do for at least 20 minutes, throwing around all sorts of options.

I ended up, giving her the amoxicillin and sending Benadryl to daycare with her, telling the ladies at daycare to watch her for any sign of reaction (spreading of the rash, swelling, etc...).  I also was going to call in later that day, just to check on her.  I went to work and just wasn't feeling like a good mom, leaving her in the hands of someone else, worried that she might be developing some sort of reaction and I wasn't there because I chose work over her.

See the path of destruction that Tornado Finorah brings behind her...

The faculty retreat that I was working had a wide range of doctors in attendance (even my OB-GYN was there -- I wanted to approach him and say hello as he is such a great doctor, but thought it was probably too strange to have him be approached by a patient at a professional event).  One of the ladies that I work with pulled a doctor that she works with aside who is an allergist and asked me to show her the photo of Finn's rash from this morning.  The allergist spoke with me about what she thought it was.  She didn't think it was an allergic rash because Finn didn't seem uncomfortable and the rash wasn't itchy.  She reassured me that even if it was a reaction, Finn wasn't going to have an anaphylactic reaction (which was my worst fear) as that type of reaction usually happens after the first dose, not on the third day.  I was so thankful that I got to speak with the allergist.  I sighed my first sign of relief and relaxed for the first time in over three days.

Last night, E arrived home and Finn was more like her normal self.  She didn't nap, so I couldn't distinguish whether she was cranky because she didn't feel well or because she was tired.  But it was nice to not have to  see a rash develop over the course of the evening and to have the household back to a slight sense of normal.  Her appetite really wasn't there last night and she didn't really drink anything -- I'll have to keep an eye out tonight for that.  I also noticed while holding her, that she had THREE of her teeth cut this week (her two top teeth as well as her fourth bottom tooth).  As someone has commented, "Finn does it big..."  I guess so!

Today (Friday), she doesn't have a rash anymore.  So the doctor was probably correct -- it was a viral rash brought on by her high fever on Sunday.  But the more that I look into E's suggestion that it might be roseola, the more similarities I see.  The only discrepancies that I see in her case is that roseola's rash usually begins on the trunk and spreads to her legs and face.  She did have a very small amount of speckles of rash when her face rash began, but I could easily count the dots of red on that first day.  There is no treatment of roseola and most children recover easily from it.  Either way (fever rash or roseola), I'm hopeful that we have put this sucker behind us.

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