Thursday, September 18, 2008
In Sickness and Health
Evie woke up with a fever Friday night.
It ended up being a mild illness. She ran a moderate temperature for a day or so, and was a bit irritable. Then yesterday, I noticed a fine pink rash on her torso and back. After consulting a handbook from our pediatrician, I diagnosed (all on my own) Roseola. The rash has already disappeared.
She is just fine - healthy and beautiful.
But every time I feel her hot skin, I think about the time Evie was hospitalized. And it kicks my Mother-Worry-Skills into high gear.
It was April 23rd, and she was just three months old. I had only been back to work for a week. Evie had run a fever for a couple of days, and Monday morning we took her to the pediatrician. He knew she had an infection, but couldn't diagnose the cause. The doctor sent us to the emergency room so they could run tests and treat her.
Oh, the ER! We waited and waited and waited! We were there all morning and into the afternoon. She was finally examined by a doctor who told us her RSV test was negative and ordered a breathing treatment.
While we were waiting, Evie's breathing became extremely labored. Her whole body moved with the effort to get oxygen to her lungs. The doctors talked about admitting her to the hospital, then to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She got worse and worse. She was so dehydrated they had to put an IV in her little head and she needed to wear an oxygen mask.
That night was terrible. The house pediatrician at the hospital prepared us in case they had to intubate her. She was hooked to so many monitors that we couldn't hold her. We huddled over the sterile metal crib and tried our best to comfort her. Monitors beeped warnings all night. I was scared to death.
She recovered faster than anyone anticipated, and was home by the end of the week. Mickey and Minnie Mouse even had a chance to visit on our last day. But the experience has stuck with me. I have a little too much fear when she's sick, worrying the fever will escalate into something more.
Most of all, though, I appreciate my healthy child. When we were in the hospital, there were so many other children in the PICU who wouldn't have such a happy ending. So much suffering in such tiny bodies...
When little, unimportant things disrupt my world, I have to remember how blessed we truly are. We have our health. And we have each other.