Two weeks ago, we had a scare that landed us first at urgent care and next in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. It's taken me awhile to write about this because I'm just now getting back on track with things. It's quite true that when your child is sick, you become traumatized in a way. You get set back weeks and your routine is shot to hell. But I'll tell you one thing, I do anything and everything I can when my girl is sick to make her comfortable even if that means holding her all day long and destroying that beautiful schedule I worked so hard to create. Even if it means not sleeping for days at a time and not eating either. I'm not too sure I'd ever been so worried about her before and I can't tell you if that's because COVID exists or because of the events that took place. I'm not even quite sure I can express my emotions in words because I was distraught, worried sick and completely out of it.
On Thursday, 30 minutes before I was about to get off of work Johanna's teacher called me. I obviously knew something wasn't right because they knew I would be there soon. Why call me with an update on her day if I would be there in 45 minutes, right? I picked up the phone and said, "Is Johanna okay?" At that moment my worst fears during this time in the world came to face. I don't even think I realized that this was my worst fear until the phone rang. Weird, right? Her teacher said that Johanna had a fever of 102 and that they would be calling the CDC to check the guidelines on a COVID test and obviously I needed to com get her. Because my coworkers are absolutely amazing, I left right then and there to go get her. I just want to be clear that I did not think for a second that Johanna had corona virus but the "what if: was absolutely real! I also want to tell you now that she did not have corona virus. God is good!
On my car ride to get her, I remember feeling so guilty. I remember thinking that I didn't think about what would happen if she got sick during a pandemic because lets face it, toddlers get fevers all the time! I remember feeling guilty because maybe I didn't take the pandemic more serious. But then I thought, no I have been! I wear my mask in public, I don't take her into buildings and we only participate in outdoor activities with one friend. I thought, she's only around my family who she has been around this entire time. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what to do after I picked her up. I didn't want to take her into any doctor's offices or urgent cares or hospitals (probably the most dangerous places to be right now).
But that question was answered for me when I picked her up... I was to take her to get a COVID test. And where.... urgent care where you can walk-in and get a test. So that's what we did. The first place I was told to go to didn't have any tests left and wouldn't for a few days. So I took her to another place. I remember walking in and just feeling so weary. The check in receptionist told us we had to wait in the car for about 30 minutes. Johanna was very hot and I could tell she was uncomfortable. She now understands what the doctor is and really doesn't care for them. Can you blame her?
That 30 minutes waiting in my car was the most agonizing 30 minutes of my life. I asked the receptionist what kind of test this would be and she replied "nasal." I wasn't really expecting that at all. I was thinking that the test was a mouth swab as I had heard so many others had. As we sat in the car, I knew what was about to happen but she didn't and I was terrified. Trying to keep my composure, I held her in the front seat and apologized over and over in my head to her. I texted my step mom, Dad and my good friend just to keep my sanity. The receptionist called and said we could come in now and I pulled myself together for Johanna.
We walked back into the room, the doctor did an exam and quickly diagnosed her with a double ear infection. I felt so relieved but was skeptical because she didn't really look in her ears much and there's that motherly thing where you just know. Johanna has had an ear infection before and it wasn't the same this time around. I did feel a little weight though like maybe the doc is right and this is all it is! Next came the test. I'm not going to describe this part to you but I think you can picture it. One nostril at a time, a mother holding her sick child who is visibly terrified and in pain.... I cried and I cried hard. I would go through childbirth a million times again before I ever want to see that test performed on her.
After leaving I felt some sense of relief that it wasn't corona virus and it was just the ear infections. She would take the antibiotics prescribed, motrin and tylenol and she'd be back to normal in a day. Well this is not what happened.
The rest of that night I held her, gave her medication, checked her temp 30 minutes, gave her pedialyte, rubbed her down in lavender oil and held ice packs on her. Obviously, she slept in my bed with me. I'm pretty sure I only slept about 30 minutes. Her temp was up and down and at about 4am it spiked to 104. So unfortunately, I had to wake her for more medication and a cool shower. That broke the fever and she was back to sleep, comfortable.
The next day didn't go as well. After picking up her prescriptions and her temperature going up and down all day I was getting frustrated with myself that I wasn't able to break this fever. At about 1:30pm her temperature was 101.5, a few minutes later it was 102.1. At this point I was texting my parents telling them that I didn't know what to do because I couldn't get her fever down no matter what method I tried. A few minutes later it spiked to 104.4. I took her in the bathroom to give her another cool shower and something told me to check it again. This time, it was 105.8. After sending the pictures to my parents, my Dad replied saying I should call 911. Johanna was extremely lethargic and red as a tomato. So I called 911.
I met the paramedics outside with Johanna in my arms and to be quite honest with you I don't remember leaving my apartment and walking outside. I was frantic and all I could picture was her having a seizure. After working for fire rescue, I know exactly what to do in those situations but for some reason it just wasn't kicking in. I couldn't think of what to do if Johanna had a seizure in our house with only me there or in my arms. The thing is, when a child's fever gets too high, they can sometimes have what is called a febrile seizure. I pray to God that if that were to happen I would know what to do but I'm just not sure I would.
To be clear, Johanna did NOT have a seizure. The paramedic took her from me and put her in the ambulance. The other helped me in and even with his help I tripped up the stairs... They took her temperature under her armpit and it was 106.2. Immediately, they put ice packs on her, the other paramedic grabbed her car seat out of my car and off we went.
This hospital experience was like none I'd ever had before. It was like ghost town but at the same time I knew there were people there I just couldn't see them. All of the doctors and nurses had hazmat suits on, face shields and masks (as expected). They advised me that there were no visitors allowed and if I decided to leave even to go to the bathroom, I wouldn't be able to go back in the room with my daughter.
The doctors and nurses were so nice and helpful. In the room they immediately took her temperature again and it was 105. The ice packs had been working. They gave her medicine and she went to sleep. Next, they would do two urine catheters on her to check for a urinary tract infection, which she did not have. As you can imagine, that was just as devastating as the COVID test. After a few hours, they were able to get Johanna's temperature down and we were released from the hospital with the idea that it could be corona virus, just a regular virus or inflammatory syndrome (rare illness that children get post COVID). The doctors assured me the pre-COVID this would just be diagnosed as a virus and we'd be sent on our way. He made sure I knew all of the things to watch for that would require me to bring her back including a high fever on Sunday.
I am so grateful to God that she did not have corona virus and furthermore, I'm so grateful to him that we didn't have to return to the hospital. By Sunday morning her temperature was back to normal and she had most of her energy back. By Monday morning, she was her normal self. All of the prayers I had said over those few days were answered. She was okay!
I waited a bit to take her back to daycare but she is now back and doing just fine! The fever is still unexplained and that's okay, as long as she is okay! Now we are getting back to our normal schedule and Mama is attempting to catch up on some sleep. I'm still waking up several times a night to check her but I know I won't do that forever. I'm still out of it, don't even know what day it is, forgetting about plans and late to everything...
So moral of the story, when your babies are sick it's okay to be out of whack, Just hold them and deal with everything else later!!!!