O.M.G. I rarely use that "phrase" but right now, it's the best way to sum it up. I've had a baby attached to me for three days. Where do I start?
First of all, I want to thank everyone for their concern and prayers for our Kinley Bug. I sure hope that we're on the up-swing...but I'm not confident in that quite yet.
So it started on Friday, she was fussy and refused napping and started running a low grade temp. No big deal. We have been blaming her lack of naps, poor night time sleeping, fussiness on teething. She's now ten months old with no teeth. Surely they've got to be coming, right?
Saturday night was pure hell. She was up every hour and her fever kept climbing. She ended up in bed with us and finally was able to sleep for about three hours.
Sunday morning was the marathon and I had decided that I would stay home with her and let Richie go to the city to cheer for Paul. Her fever was up to about 102.5 at around 6 a.m. By 8:30 we had it down to 99 and she was back to normal and playing on the floor as normal. We started to think that maybe she was over it... we decided that if she was still acting well by the time the 10:45 train time, we'd go ahead and take her in to see Paul finish the race and then come straight home.
We got off the train, still no fever.
We walked the few blocks from the train station to the marathon area....still no fever.
We found the finish line area, checked for fever....104.5.
WTF. (I don't use that "phrase" too often either.)
PANIC. The family (Richie's mom, dad, sister) found us and saw the fear that we had while I held our baby girl, down to a diaper and crying. They told me to run her to Buckingham Fountain and dunk her to cool her down. All that was going through my mind at that moment was when our new (trusted?) pediatrician said to me "febrile seizures are brought on by the temp going up or down too quickly...that is why we don't recommend cool baths for fevered babies." I had her advice in my head and the family (Richie's mom is a nurse, so she knows) telling me to do the opposite. I didn't know what to do! We didn't have our car in the city to just go home. All of the streets were closed down, so we couldn't get to a cab to get back to the train...I've never felt so stranded IN MY LIFE. We put Kinley in her stroller and thought that walking her around in the shade would help her to stop crying and calm down. It didn't work. She cried harder when I put her down.
I couldn't remember our new doctor's last name. We call her "Dr. Natalie" everyone calls her "Dr. Natalie" and I couldn't remember the name of the freakin' practice. I didn't program her number into my phone yet. (Mommy Mistake #2). All that I could remember was that pediatrician that we chose but then decided against after her 9 month well visit. So I called him. Told him the situation (for all he knew, we were still his patient. I didn't officially "fire" him yet--thank God) and he said to get her to the ER immediately.
OMG. (I guess I do use this "phrase" more than I thought.)
It was like a movie, I was standing in the middle of Grant Park in Chicago, holding my screaming baby, looking all around and seeing NO ONE that could help us get our baby to the ER. Richie ran up to a race official in a golf cart and said we have to get to the hospital now. He told us to jump in and off we went. Kinley was a limp rag at this time....completely lethargic. Oh, let me back up. As soon as we got the 104.5 reading, we gave her Motrin.
The golf cart took us to the marathon medical tent. They got us cold rags and called an ambulance. The only way out of there was via walking or an ambulance. They didn't feel safe letting us walk a few blocks to an open street to catch a cab. (Mommy Mistake #3).
The ambulance ride was THE MOST traumatic for both Kinley and me. I never, ever, ever, ever, want to see my tiny baby strapped to a stretcher AGAIN. I have never felt so helpless in my life. Richie wasn't allowed to go with us so he had to run with the stroller to an open street to catch a cab to the ER.
Traffic was horrible. With the marathon going on, there were an estimated 1+ million spectators in town. All of that plus the usual city traffic....the ambulance didn't get far very fast. The sirens were blaring, Kinley was screaming and I was doing my very best to rub her little ear lobe and sing "You Are My Sunshine" while trying to fight back the tears. It was hell. I didn't want Kinley to see me upset because I was trying to keep her from being more scared than she already was.
Finally got to Children's Memorial and rushed into the ER. Her fever was down to 102.7 and they couldn't have been more relaxed. They gave her a dose of Tylenol and that was about it. No joke. They said they consider a high fever to be 108. ARE YOU ______ KIDDING ME? In our defense, the doctor told us to come. But they acted like we were fools for arriving via ambulance. When they realized that we were standing in the middle of the marathon finish area when this all happened, they quickly changed their tune and understood why we had to do what we did. Richie arrived about twenty minutes after we did ($16 cab ride, damn!). Kinley was up and playing pat-a-cake before we were discharged with orders to follow up with the "fired" doctor.
We cabbed it back to the train station. Had a two hour wait for our train back home so we grabbed some food in the food court. Kinley ate and drank and acted fine. Little booger.
Her fever remained in the 101-102 range all night long. She went back to being lethargic and miserable Sunday night.
Monday we woke up and her fever was still at 102. I called Dr. Natalie and was completely disappointed. I had to jump through so many hoops and talk to THREE different people to convince them to get me in that day. What is it with doctor's offices up here?! Seriously! My baby has been sick since Friday, was seen in the ER on Sunday and is STILL fevered. GET HER IN! After the third person I talked to, they agreed to see her at 11:45.
Upon arrival at the doctor....her fever was 102.7 and Dr. Natalie pushed the call button to get the nurses in there. She immediately ordered her to be catheterized, a chest xray and blood culture "stat". PANIC! Why? What did she think was wrong? She initially thought a UTI or Pneumonia.
As a mom, having to hold your baby down for these procedures has got to be the worst. I think she cried for the entire four hour appointment. Yes, we were there for FOUR hours.
The urine came back clear. UTI ruled out.
The chest xray came back clear. Pneumonia ruled out.
Blood culture came back questionable. White blood cell count is 10,000 at a normal range. She expects it to be 15,000 for a sick infant. Kinley is at 18,000. The level that shows she's fighting a bacterial infection is at 8.0 and the level that says she's fighting a viral infection is 8.1 (or vice versa, I can't remember for sure--and there are "technical terms" for these levels but remembering those are not high on my priority list). So we are left with a big fat ?. The other issue is that another level of cells (sorry, can't remember that technical name either) is elevated and shouldn't be. She explained it to me as this.....think of these cells as your army. The white blood cells are your front line. You send more "guys" out when you're sick and need them to fight. This group (the elevated ones that I can't remember the name of) is the army that is still in boot camp. They aren't mature enough to be "sent out" to fight anything. So why is her body over producing them right now?
She decided to give her a shot of Roceffin (sp?) and see her again today. She isn't sure that what she's fighting is bacterial but she said it was her only line of possible defense. We go back this afternoon, 24 hours from the time of the shot.
I have noticed that her fever hasn't gone above 101 since the shot, but she's very limp and lethargic still.
All that I can say is that this has been the worst time of my life. I can't help her and she looks at me with these tear soaked eyelashed eyes and just wants me to fix it. I can promise that I won't give up until we find answers as to why the fever won't go away. I don't care how much the tests cost. I don't care how many doctors we have to go to. I don't care whose feelings I will hurt. The reason for the fevers and sickness is there, we just have to find it.
Today is day 5 of fever and sickness. Hopefully it's the last. So many things have come to light during this time of trial as parents. Lots of things to work through, that's for sure. But that is for another time....and another blog. So many of you have been asking what was going on with her that I felt I should take my first break (in several days) to fill you in.
She woke up at 5:30 this morning crying, fevered, etc. I nursed her and she sat up in my lap for a couple of hours. She fell asleep on my shoulder and I carried her to bed. This is her first nap in her crib in a long time. Normally if I put her down she screams...so this could be a good sign. I needed this nap, and so did she.