Friday, December 3, 2010

Down With the Sickness

The past 24 hours have been kind of hellish for me as a mom. Yesterday when Gracie came home from school, she complained of back pain. I called her to me and asked her to point out where it hurt. After that, I swept her bangs aside and kissed her forehead. Her hot forehead. Immediately I laid her down and gave her some ibuprofen... and got to worrying. 

I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. I say a bit because I realize that most of the time I'm wrong and that I'm probably just being paranoid. But the hypochondriac in me won this time as I began searching I searched for back pain and fevers in children and the results came back with spinal meningitis. 

Just a heads up to the people at (you know, because I'm SURE they're reading this.) - It is really not cool to immediately point the finger to deadly illnesses. Because a lot of times when people have fevers, they have muscle and joint pain, and sometimes that pain is in their back. It doesn't always mean they are going to die. In fact, it rarely means that. 

At any rate, I was worried. The realist in me knew that this web diagnosis was probably just as accurate as the one I got in the 9th grade that told me that I would, for sure, be marrying Leonardo DiCaprio. But that didn't matter. I was still worried. I managed my worry and didn't immediately rush to the ER, but I did spend several hours bugging the crap out of my kid by hovering. 

"You okay sweetie? Can I get you some water? Do you need another blanket? Eat something, please?"

As the night wore on, I was less and less worried, but the thought remained and so I put Gracie to sleep in my bed instead of hers. 

Gracie slept restlessly. She tossed and turned and ended up waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 4am. Luckily Jason was still up, so he handled her for about an hour until I got up and set her up to lay on the couch and watch movies. I told her if she needed anything to come and get us, but it was still really late, so we all needed to try to sleep. I am pretty sure she didn't end up back asleep though. 

I woke up periodically throughout the rest of the morning and came out to check on her. Each time she was lying quietly on the couch watching a different movie. Her only request was a glass of water. 

I woke up in time to call her in to school. She still had a fever at 7:30 this morning, so I gave her more ibuprofen and headed back to bed. Jason woke up a few times before I ended up getting back up and he checked on Gracie in the meantime. 

When I ended up getting up, I asked if Gracie was hungry. She said she thought she could eat, so I went and got McDonald's pancakes. (Her favorite.) We got home with them, but she wasn't hungry after all, so we just hung out and watched movies all day. 

I decided to call the doctor's office at about 11:30 to see if there were any viruses going around I should be aware of. Gracie's fever wasn't coming down, despite the round the clock regimine of ibuprofen. The receptionist passed Gracie's symptoms on to the doctor and I got a call back at 1 asking me to bring her in. Her appointment was set for 3:15. 

I decided to throw the kids in the tub, hoping it might make Gracie feel a little better. While in the tub though, Kairi decided it would be a fantastic time to clear her bowels. So I cleaned the tub and put the kids back in to re-clean them.

As 3:15 got closer, Gracie became more and more active and acted like she was feeling better. I felt her forehead and it was significantly cooler. Kairi, however, was growing pale, and she felt warm to the touch when I checked her at this point in time. I decided my best bet was to take them both in just to see. 

Gracie's temp at the doctor's office was 99.8 and the doctor said that it was probably just a virus that will pass in 3-5 days. Kairi wasn't really looked at, as it was assumed that if she's sick, she's got the same thing Gracie has. So we got our suckers and headed home. 

I pulled into the driveway and turned to make sure Gracie was getting unbuckled alright before I got out of the car. Just as Gracie got out, Kairi started throwing up. I got her as clean as I could with the napkins I had in the car before taking her inside where I proceeded to finish cleaning her up and making sure she wasn't too upset over what had just happened. Once she was taken care of, I set out to clean her car seat.

Let me tell you something, folks. Cleaning up poop out of a bathtub sucks. Cleaning up vomit out of a car seat, however? Sooooo not fun. I did the best I could with it for the time being, shoved a clean, folded towel in the seat and packed the kids back into the car so we could take Jason to work. 

On our way home, I had the pleasure of having to pull over to clean Kairi up again, as she got sick once more. Yet another cleanup added to my checklist. 

Finally home, I decided to put on a movie for the kids and try to relax. Both of the girls were in high spirits despite feeling crummy and were open to the idea of just relaxing. Kairi came out of the bedroom and wanted to snuggle, so I popped her up on my lap and set to writing this blog post when -- Guess what happened?! If you guessed that she threw up again, you'd be right. This time, all over the floor in front of us as well as my legs and my chair. 

As of right now, the kids are clean, my chair has cleaner soaking on it and I'm rocking a different chair. I'm praying that I have no more vomit to clean tonight, but I have a feeling that we're going to be down with this sickness for at least a short while longer. 

So tell me, guys, what do you do when your kids are sick? Is there any way to avoid the horrendous messes that come with having a small child who is sick? Do you have any tricks or tips on how to keep the kiddos comfortable? Help me out here! I'm really struggling with this one tonight.