Monday evening when I picked up Cooper from school, he felt a little warm. I thought, “well, it’s warm in the building today, so I’ll not worry about it till we get home.” We get home and as I’m pulling him out of the car, he still feels really warm. I have Justin feel his head (I’m perpetually cold, so I just wanted to be sure before I violated him with a thermometer), and he agreed. So we check his temp and it’s 100.6 degrees. Great. Since I have been home with him about 99.98% of the times he was sick since starting daycare, I asked Justin to stay with him if he was still running a fever in the morning.
Tuesday morning, Justin gives Cooper his sippy cup of formula and changes him and proclaims him “hot.” I come in, touch him, proclaim him “hot”, then commence with the violating again*. 100.8 degrees at 8am. We all know what that means! No daycare and staying home with Daddy. I give Justin a few pointers before I leave (i.e. don’t expect to get anything done because he will become Velcro-Klingon-Baby;
violate check his temp again in about 5 hours after Tylenol wears off; lots of water and formula; he gets worse or he’s messing with his ears, call the pediatrician). Normally we wait a good 3 days of fever before we call the pediatrician (unless it’s like 103 range…that just freaks me out a bit), but this is his second bout of fever in less than two weeks and so I’m feeling a little unnerved by it…especially since he was just there a week ago for his 9-month check-up (oh, dude! I forgot to report that our little porker is 20lbs, 6oz, and is 28.25 inches…not as big as some other babies, but big for us!).
So I go to work and Justin calls me no less than 8 times. No joke (although maybe slight exaggeration). One of those calls, though, he mentioned that Cooper was messing with his ear, so he called the pediatrician, got an appointment, and had fun with Velcro-Klingon-Baby and his Fever of Steel. Even with Tylenol, it stayed over 100 degrees. At about 2pm, Cooper’s temp had shot to 102.6 degrees, which made me glad I wasn’t home because that’s when I start getting a little nervous (yes, yes, I know babies and kids can handle high fevers, but for some reason 102.6 gives me aggida). Justin gives him some Motrin, and yet, his Fever of Steel kick’s Motrin’s butt and stays above 100 degrees over an hour later.
Justin and Cooper go to the appointment. We get the dreaded response of “everything’s fine…must be viral. Wait it out. If he’s not better by Saturday, then come back in.” When Justin reported back with that info, my brain immediately said,”What?!? Saturday? Is this woman going to come stay with my child so that we can go to work if he decides to hold onto this high fever? Whatever. If that child still has this high fever by Thursday, I am calling and insisting on seeing his pediatrician, not this nurse practitioner that only does the occasional sick-visit. Crazy! How does she expect me to pay them if I’m not working?” I’m sure a lot of you have had similar things go through your head. Or maybe it’s just me because I am wound up tighter than a drum. Then Justin dumps additional info on me: this woman was also concerned about this itty-bitty tiny dot on Cooper’s face (what I thought was either a scratch in its healing stages or one that turned into a tiny red scar…I have one or two myself). I guess she found like 3 total on his face and wants all this blood work to check for low platelets. At first I said, “have fun!” since I have done 99.98% of all medical visits with both children, including blood-work for Gavin (at least 3 times) and X-rays (that child did not believe me when I said they were taking a picture), not to mention all the shots, etc. Justin gets to the lab and they’re closed. At 4:15pm. WTH? Now I have to take him?
I get home and grill poor Justin about exactly what the nurse practitioner said, trying to understand how a dot or two on our baby’s face could warrant extensive lab work (appears they are requesting 4-5 vials of blood). I get up this morning and call the nurse line and wait and wait and wait for someone to call me back (heaven forbid I ever get to actually talk to someone when I call like I do with my GP or OB-Gyn…but I digress). The nurse calls me back and explained that what the CNP saw was petechiae and that warranted all the blood work. I kept asking, “but what are you looking for? what are you trying to rule out?” and it just seemed that her answers weren’t quite getting into my skull. So I thanked her, hung up, checked Cooper’s temp (97.9!) and put him down for his nap. Then I went and looked up “petechial” because when she first said “petechia” my brain automatically went into CSI, Law and Order, Crossing Jordan, Forensic Files, and every other Crime Drama and True Crime show I watch (OMG I watch waaaay too many of them, apparently). Thankfully, Wikipedia was able to calm my nerves…slightly. For a lot of you, “petechial” makes you think “petechial hemorrhaging”, like what they see in the eyes of someone who was strangled or something like that…that’s what it did for me, at least. So to see that it can be caused also by coughing, crying, or vomiting, etc., made me feel a bit better because that kid has had a cold with a cough, he’s puked (from coughing-till-he-gagged), and he cries a lot. He’s fussy and high-maintenance. And he usually throws a fit about being put on the floor with his toys when he wants to be walked around instead. But then I read about the low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) and while most of the diseases and illnesses didn’t mean much to me, or seemed awful extreme, leukemia jumped out of the list and slapped me in the face. No, really, I swear it did. Or at least I think it did. Since one of my best friends in elementary school died after a long battle with leukemia, it kinda freaked me out. Kinda hit the panic button for me. I’m not going to search on leukemia and its early symptoms so that I can get my heart rate back where it belongs, and so I can focus on work, and having some lunch (or not losing it). We’ll see how long that lasts.
* I cannot, for the life of me, get those darn ear thermometers to work right…even on me…so I have no choice but to use the old rectal thermometer.