A Mother Of All Weeks

This week was hard.

Early last week my little one had a bad cold. Last Saturday, I stepped outside with her (she was fully clothed and had a blanket on while I held her), for a couple of minutes. When we came back inside, she was shaking uncontrollably and her lips turned blue, her face white. It was a very scary moment. I also noticed she was burning up. I started to freak out and contemplated calling 911. Luckily, my sister was over so she suggested we take her to Children’s Hospital and she’d stay with my oldest.

I sat in the backseat next to my baby and slowly watched her lips turn back to normal. A smile on her face almost the whole time. She is sweet, except when she is tired or feels like poop. The whole time in the car, she stared at me with her warm blue eyes. I feared the worst. Not even knowing what the worst could be.

After arriving, the nurse took her temp; it was 103. He attached a monitor to her foot to detect her heartbeat. She wasn’t very happy about that. The doctor came in and asked about any family heart disease in either of our families. She said that the reason for the blue lips indicated a heart or throat problem. My own heart sank, considering this was something that could be wrong with her. Neither of our families has heart issues that we know of, and of course, I wasn’t sure about my own father’s side. I then remembered after she was born, the pediatrician that examined her had said he heard a small murmur. But, the next day it was gone and he even said it was normal in newborns.

With an anxious mind, we then take her into a room to have an x-ray on both her throat and heart. She was hysterical. It broke our hearts. We held each of her arms to make her feel somewhat safe as the nurse strapped her into the chair. I had so many thoughts in my head. It was awful, but was over quick.

Once back in the room, I tried to hold and calm her but she wasn’t having it. I suppose she sensed my worry. The nurse came back in and swabbed her nose – to test for the flu. She freaked out even more. It totally and completely sucked. Luckily, the tests for everything came back normal. No flu. No RSV. No heart or throat issue. Phew. I could then breathe again.

Of course, our biggest concern still was, why did she have such a bad reaction to being outside for a few minutes. The doctor said it was probably a bronchial spasm. More than likely the change in temperature from being inside to outside hit her hard. She also indicated that this could be a sign of asthma. But, they don’t diagnose children with asthma until the age of 2+.

And so we went home with not so bad news. It was a problem we could live with… if she even does develop asthma. But our trip to the doctor didn’t end there. On Monday, while at daycare, the baby’s fever was 101, she wasn’t eating much and was falling asleep at the kitchen table. Red flag. I was at work (and our office was being audited this week), and put a call into our pediatrician to see if I could bring her in, they have an opening – so I leave work.

At our pediatrician’s office, the baby’s fever was just under 102. Worried yet again with the fever issue, and no other symptoms, we wait for the doctor. He comes in, exams her (she wasn’t happy about that), and says it is either a viral infection or UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). I have my doubts. He says they will need a urine sample for the test. I ask, “how do you take her urine?” The worst response imaginable for a mother to an almost 1-year-old, “a catheter.” Gulp.

The nurses prep her, she is screaming bloody murder while I have to hold her arms down and she looks into my eyes, and I just want to cry. As the nurse is wiping her bottom, my baby starts to pee. The nurse grabs the cup and gets enough urine. No catheter needed after all. Hallelujah.

Our pediatrician tells us 48 hours for the results. Again, I have my doubts that it’s a UTI. But, I also had doubts that it was just a viral infection. We go on with our days. Two days later and I get a call. Our doctor confirms the baby does, in fact, have a UTI. Clarity helps, I will say that. But this and the blue lip thing have no connection, unfortunately. So, we get her an antibiotic – which is always a struggle to get down her throat – hoping for the best.

In the meantime, my 4-year-old’s hands and nose start to get red little pimples. I have eczema. I know what eczema looks like. When I get a breakout, mine looks nothing like hers. I call several dermatologists to try to get an appointment sooner than later. I finally get an appointment with one. I take her. He looks at her very briefly and says, “she has sensitive skin,” after he tells her how much he loves her shirt and loves the color purple. I question it, “really, just sensitive skin?” He goes on, “it’s eczema. Only use Dove soap. Oh, I love purple, and look even my paper is purple.” He was animated and fun. He was just the type of doctor we needed after the week we’ve had. My husband and baby were with us as well. None of us wanted to leave his office. I think that says something about our lack of entertainment.

After some recommendations and a script for her skin, we go home. My husband stops to get her prescription and was floored when the pharmacist rang it up to, “$489.” Yeah, back to the Aloe Vera plant for us. I was drained. Drained from not sleeping well this week, our office having a rigorous audit, a sick baby, a 4-year-old with itchy skin, and a unknown bill for all these doctors’ visits (we have a High Deductible Health Savings Plan). Fun times.

To end my week, I am enjoying a glass of wine with Ken. Because this is my workspace…

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