Wednesday, March 07, 2007

You give me fever

Yesterday, Elijah was pretty out of sorts: clingy, whingey, off his food. By lunch, he was feeling very hot, so I took his temperature. It read 38.6, which is high, but not alarmingly so. Still, because of all his other symptoms, I was worried.

After making some phone calls, I decided to give him some baby paracetamol. We haven't given him any of this in a long time, so I was not expecting the incredible fight I had on my hands. Elijah did not want that syringe anywhere near his mouth. It's as if he knew if was medicine when he saw it coming.

I already had an upset baby on my hands, and now I had a screaming, fighting one. Any time I got some medicine into him, he'd gag and then throw up. And these were no ordinary reflux spews. No, this was everything in his stomach. All the mashed banana he'd eaten came back up.

I tried again, but he threw up even more. It was running out of his nose and just gushing out of his mouth. It was horrible.

I tried phoning a nurse. The reception at the clinic put me on hold for six and a half minutes, even though she would have been able to hear the screaming child when I spoke. I cut off the call and called back. I wasn't going to sit on hold. All I needed, I said, was a medical opinion as to whether to take him to emergency. They still wouldn't put me through to anyone. I gave them a piece of my mind and hung up.

I thought I'd try calming him by breastfeeding him. That seemed to work a little, but he was still feverish. I tried sneaking the syringe in his mouth next to the nipple. He then threw up all of the milk he'd just ingested.

So by this time, he'd thrown up four times, hadn't taken any medicine, was feverish and inconsolable.

I remembered that the drop-in clinic was open on Tuesdays, so I grabbed our stuff, popped him in the car and drove there. It was closed, so I had to sit and wait outside for it to reopen.

The clinic nurse was concerned. She checked his skin, eyes and mouth. She asked if I'd brought the medicine with me so we could try together to give it to him. I hadn't thought of bringing it. She suggested many ways to get him to take it. Everything suggested was something I'd tried, except for putting it in his food. Because his skin was fine (I'm assuming she meant because there was no rash to indicate anything more serious), she said it was likely that the fever was caused by teething. One can only guess. She also said that from the sounds of it, Elijah had been making himself throw up as a reaction to the medicine, as opposed to the regurgitation being a symptom of an illness.

So I returned home with instructions to keep him cool and try and get him to take some paracetamol (which was what I'd been doing anyway!). At least it put my fears at ease.

Eventually, Elijah got some rest, and his temperature did go down. And with Daddy coming home early, both of us were able to care for him. He had some paracetamol mixed in with his dinner, which made it smell awful. Elijah wasn't keen on eating it, but got most of it down.

It was clear at bed time, that the fever had definitely broken and Elijah (and we) did manage to get some sleep last night. Today, it appears he is in some kind of recovery mode. He's had a huge nap this morning - over two hours. Hopefully this will fix him right up.


Anonymous said...

That sounds quite traumatic for both of you! :( I'm glad he is well again. Try to remember though that nurses at clinics are very busy and probably have several other equally important calls and patients at the same time and they don't leave you on hold unnecessarily :)

quilldancer said...

I am glad Elijah is doing better. Sounds like mom needed a sedative. I hope you got a nap, too!

The Mumma said...

Anon, the point is, they wouldn't even go and ask the nurse my question. That would have taken 30 seconds. I've been in the clinic, being tended to by that nurse before and had my consultation interrupted twice and I had no problem with that. I don't see why they didn't interrupt her consultation this time.

Quilly, I did need a sedative - or maybe a brandy - or maybe the whole bottle!