Archive for September, 2011

Hot and Delirious

Well my predictions were 100% spot on. Reid’s way-too-high fever finally broke and started coming down last night. It’s pretty crazy when you take your kid’s temperature and are relieved to find it at a chilly 102 degrees. Reid spent the better part of 3 days with a temperature close to 105 degrees, sometimes probably higher. I didn’t take his temperature because he was SO uncomfortable already and hates having his temperature taken. I just watched him to see if I needed to worry.

The first night, he had a hard time sleeping, which we expected. He woke often, but also fell back to sleep relatively easily. But at 5:30am, it was too hard to get him back to sleep so I just got up with him. We snuggled on the couch while he dozed on and off. Because he only wanted me, and would have nothing to do with daddy, I didn’t end up getting to nap or rest much that day (Saturday).

We gave Reid Motrin a couple times (we tend not to give medicine during fevers at all because they are the body’s way of battling the illness and reducing fevers can actually prolong the illness, but in this case, we felt intervention was necessary due to the extremity of Reid’s discomfort)–once before bed on Friday night and once on Saturday when his fever seemed out of control. The last time he had a fever like this, Tylenol did nothing for him, and it was a huge production to even get him to take it in the first place. When we tried Motrin, the fever went way down and he actually had a fraction of a personality again. But the Motrin gives him a tummy ache and gas reminiscent of the kind dogs get when they eat people food… absolutely horrible. So we tried to get away with not giving him any medicine the next night in hopes that the fever would break or at least that he could somewhat sleep through it.

He went to bed easily enough at 7pm while I sat by his bedside. But within about one minute of my sneaking out of the room, he was awake and crying. So I went back and sat down until he was good and asleep again. And again, within a minute of my leaving, he awoke crying. This went on until about 11pm. It didn’t matter if I stayed in his room for 5 minutes or 30. The result was the same. So I finally just gave up and brought him into my bed and went to sleep. But as fevers tend to do, his kept getting hotter and hotter as he slept and he got more and more uncomfortable. He was waking every 20-30 minutes screaming and crying, shaking and begging me to hold him. And every time there was some specific reason for his episode. “Don’t take my trains away, Daniel!” he screamed once. Or “Don’t push me!” or some other wrong was being done to him. He was having little tiny 2-year-old vividly real bad dreams (hallucinations?), and it was heart-breaking.

Around 4am, I finally got out of bed with him since no one was getting any sleep, and sat on the sofa with him on my lap. I watched movies and he slept fitfully, but cozily snuggled in my arms. Curiously, during two of the movies I watched: The Business of Being Born and The Science of Babies (by National Geographic), when Reid would wake and catch a glimpse of the TV, for a moment or two, he seemed like his regular self. He loved seeing the babies on the TV, talked about mommy’s baby and Reid’s baby (he’s convinced he has a baby in his tummy, too), and asked where the babies went when he couldn’t see them on the screen.

But around 7am when he was STILL waking up screaming and crying for one reason or another with no sign of a reduced fever, I finally gave him another dose of Motrin. He napped for about 45 minutes before waking again, and I decided it was time to wake Dan so I could get some sleep. Dan got up and cuddled with Reid (after much crying, cajoling and convincing that Reid didn’t, in fact, need Mama, and that Dada would hold him and comfort him) for a few hours so I could sleep. Around 10:30am, Dan brought Reid to bed and he and I slept solidly until Dan woke us both up at 2pm!!!

I can’t remember the last time I slept until 2pm in the afternoon–probably not since college when I pulled all-nighters. Even when Dan and I first got married and we would stay up late nursing a bottle of wine, I don’t think I managed to sleep that late. It felt surreal to wake up for the day with only a few hours of sunlight left, but Reid and I were the better for it. I rushed to get myself ready for a meeting I had at 3pm. Dan let the kids watch Rocky and Bullwinkle and when I got back home around 5:30pm, Reid still had a fever, but it had obviously dropped because, while he was still obviously clingy and acting sick, he wasn’t a miserable fire bomb anymore. He was interested in playing trains, he was willing to eat some dinner, and he didn’t require a lap in order to exist.

He actually slept well that night and today he and Daniel both woke up with the sweetest, politest, most helpful demeanor than they’ve had in a long time. And even though they argued a couple times, once was over who was going to clean up the space toys that were all over the table. I’ll take that kind of arguing any day! They played happily together in their room for over an hour while I cleaned the kitchen, they laughed, they said please and thank you to each other, they even went to bed without much of an argument.

So except for the fact that Reid may still be contagious and we’re stuck in the house for at least another day, I’m actually looking forward to tomorrow. And I’m thankful this illness happened when it did because beginning on Thursday, our days are going to be packed with activity. But more on that later.

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Sick Again?!

My poor little boys are sick again. This makes the 3rd time this summer! It’s so entirely frustrating given that we’re a generally healthy bunch. But here’s the pattern.

Daniel gets really grumpy for a day or two and I just about lose my mind. I find myself going completely against everything I believe in as a parent: yelling, scolding, taking toys away. And then I notice a bit of a runny nose, or that look in his eyes (you can always see the “sick” in Daniel’s eyes), or he looks like he may have a sore throat (you know, that slow gulp-type of swallowing you do when your throat hurts). And then I feel terribly guilty that I lost my cool at him when he wasn’t feeling well. But by that time, the hard part is usually over and the next few days he has a runny nose, a few sneezes and a bit of a cough at night due to the drainage, but he is completely back to normal.

Then when Daniel’s about better, Reid develops a super high fever (the last two times it was at 105!) super quickly (like over a period of a couple hours) that lasts for about 3 days. He gets super clingy, tired, and completely uninterested in anything but sitting on my lap or being attached to me in some way. Then the fever breaks and he has a mild runny nose for a few days, but that’s it.

Right now we’re in the beginning stages of Reid’s fever (I only just noticed it a few hours ago) and he has a tiny hint of a runny nose. Daniel is pretty much better except for the remnants of runny nose that drives him up the wall, so he’s constately (and I mean constantly) rubbing his nose with a cloth or tissue which results with a bright red scabby patch just under his nose from all the irritation.

And guess what. Soccer picture day is tomorrow. And my son looks like he painted a Hitler mustache under his nose. Sigh.

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Brain Fog

What the heck is it?! I get brain fog a lot–or at least more often than I care to. For the last several years I have been calling it by different names: exhaustion, pregnancy brain, chronic fatigue (due to a case of Epstein-Barr virus last year), busyness, distractability, laziness, getting older, etc. And I don’t really notice it on a day-to-day basis–until I have a day of clarity. Then I realize I’ve been walking around in a fog.

It’s not forgetfulness really, though I am forgetful at times. It really just is fogginess. Sometimes I’ll be chatting with a friend and I’ll realize I don’t really hear them, that I can’t even muster the strength to be active in the conversation–that I’m just zoning out (and trust me, I usually have plenty to say!). Sometimes I can’t even manage to get myself a glass of water when I’m thirsty. On these days, I let my kids watch too many videos (lately its been Caillou), and I get frustrated easily.

Today was a day of clarity despite the very few hours of sleep I got due to the fact that first Reid crawled into our bed, then a couple hours later Daniel crawled in. And Daniel never fell back to sleep–he just lay there sniffling and coughing from his third cold this summer. I finally pulled myself and him out of bed and dozed on the sofa while he watched Caillou and sucked on a cough drop.

I realized tonight that the last week or so (and maybe a little bit the week before), I’ve been in a fog. I’m annoyed that it keeps happening and that it seems so random. It makes sense that it would be tied mostly to sleep (I certainly do not get enough–and completely by my own doing), but then why would I have such a clear day today? I don’t know, but I’m grateful that I’m back to myself for now. And it wouldn’t hurt to get more sleep. (Margo, are you reading this? I will get more sleep–I promise).

And hopefully my next post will entail many many days of clarity (and energy!). The upcoming holidays are already packed with plans (“Christmas Cocktails and Desserts” is already in the works!), and then I’m having a baby immediately following (please, God, following) the holidays! I’ve got to get this figured out, or at the very least under control, and stat!

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