Thursday, October 28, 2010

The big bad sickness

Poor Jael had her first real "bug" this week. She woke up to nurse yesterday morning with a high temperature, but I thought she would sleep it off. When she woke up after that, she had a temp over 103 and Jeff took her heartrate at 240. At first, he didn't believe it, but he took it four or five times, and couldn't figure out what was wrong. If it hadn't been for that, we probably would have just given her tylenol, but with that heartrate, we decided to take her in to ER.

It turned out to be nothing but a viral infection and after taking her vitals and giving her some tylenol, we had to sit in the ER for four hours waiting for her temperature to go down - sitting in an uncomfortable bed with nothing to do and a miserable, crying baby who hated the heartrate monitor on her foot and the nurses who kept coming to take her temperature. They were nice, but it wasn't the most comfortable experience for any of us! Fortunately, it did go down and even though it went up again last night, I think she is on the mend now.

I learned two things from this experience.

Lesson 1. When it comes to a common cold or flu, the ER can't do much that you can't do at home. Further, they seem to be quite interested in covering themselves and less interested in what is really wrong with the patient. The doctor wanted to give Jael an abx shot, which I declined because his only reasoning was that one of her ears was a little red and he didn't want to be liable. He was nice, but wanted to know if I was "against" abx - probably based on her (lack of) immunization record! I was a little bemused and a little annoyed, but told him I certainly wanted her to have abx if she truly needed them and I simply didn't want to "jump the gun". I tried to say it nicely and didn't want to be a know-it-all, but it bothers me how much abx are overused and Jael didn't need them! We saw the pediatrician that afternoon and he found that her ears were a little clogged with earwax so he had to clean them, which the ER didn't do, and they were perfectly healthy. He told us it was probably a viral infection and she just needed rest and TLC.

Lesson 2. Children's Tylenol, Motrin, and store brand acetaminophen have shocking ingredients. I went to the store to find something last night and besides the recall sign for half the Tylenol products, the high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sorbitol, red and blue chemical dyes, and preservatives turned my stomach. I'm trying to make my baby healthier! We finally bought adult tylenol that is scored and Jeff calculated Jael's appropriate dosage, cut it up, and dissolved it in apple juice. (Please note that the full dose of adult tylenol is NOT safe for children!) If anyone is aware of a healthier brand that has just plain old cane sugar and real fruit flavor, I would love to hear about it.

We are all much happier this morning, especially Mama, who can't stand to see her baby so miserable. But it is makes me glad that Jael made it to 13 months before getting sick, except for some sniffles at 6 months! I credit breastfeeding for helping keep a lot of illness at bay. :)


  1. The only thing I've seen is this which I know nothing about but thought I'd pass it along. It doesn't look like there are many options out there.... Let us know if you find anything that works!

  2. Thanks, Kirstin! I will have to check that out. It's probably worth a try, anyway! :)