Blogging is always on my mind, it’s a matter of whether or not I can find ten to thirty minutes to type and post on my blog. That has been rather difficult in these last few, very busy weeks.
Yes, we had a baby. And sure, that takes up a lot of time in addition to caring for our other two children. Three under four. A lot more work than we anticipated, especially when you add on the stomach bug for a few of us, a bout of mastitis that included an achy fever for Mom, and a cold virus for all five of us which landed our brand new baby in the hospital for a four-day stay. NO FUN.
I will say that the medical system should find an infection in your child, should your child unfortunately be the one in a million that gets infected. Thankfully, the health care plan in place at our hospitals (& most around our country) can determine if a child has a life-threatening illness & treat that patient accordingly. The problem? Even if your child is referred to the Emergency Department by your pediatrician for a fever alone at a mere two and a half weeks of age, they have to endure the same rigorous testing as everyone else.
You can’t take any chances. Should our baby have had meningitis or some awful viral pneumonia or other, we would have been devastated. We thank God it was “most likely just a virus”. Unfortunately, she had to go through a lot to determine that vague diagnosis. (We can send men to walk on the moon & video chat with others through wireless internet…why don’t we know more about viruses?!) A blood draw, an I.V., an X-ray, a catheter urine sample draw, and two separate attempts at a lumbar puncture by four doctors (the second of which we tried to refuse until they pretty much threatened us with a two-week hospital stay to keep her on antibiotics). A two and a half week-old baby. Then the waiting game began along with “the slippery slope”. She had to get an I.V. to pump three different antibiotics into her system for numerous suspected “just in case” infections. She had to have maintenance fluids to prevent the side effect of one antibiotic – crystallization of her kidneys. From the fluids came pretty severe bloating. Her body looked overfilled with fluid. And the side effects from the antibiotics…diarrhea, distended bowels, gas and diaper rash. This, of course, all causes discomfort and pain in our otherwise happy baby girl. So they suggest Mylecon drops for the gas and Desitin for the diaper rash. Not interested. Enough already.
I am not complaining of the care we received. It was excellent. The nurses at our local Children’s Hospital are phenomenal. The doctors are too, but they have to stick with protocol and aren’t really allowed to score 10+ on the bedside manner chart with the system that is in place. And should our child have a horrible outcome with the testing? We would be more than thankful of this system. It just seems like a lot for someone who only has a cold virus, yet there is no way of telling this upon arrival.
Luckily our baby is a healthy, exclusively breastfed baby. They think that helped a lot.
And we just went through the exact same process with our son one year ago (almost to the date). And he ended up with “most likely just a virus”. In fact, a doctor on the resident team told us that 90-95% of people leave the hospital without a diagnosis.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. With warning signs such as a fever in a two week-old, you can’t take any chances. As our pediatrician explained, things could turn very quickly. Better safe than sorry.
We are home now. We are glad that is behind us and all still recovering from the cold that void nearly a week of our lives. We are so very thankful for our family and friends who helped care for our other children during our hospital stay. The greatest lesson we learn: health shouldn’t be taken for granted. Health is wealth. We lived with others less fortunate for a few days & realized how awful it must be for them. It is heartbreaking. As parents, you want to reach out & hug them for the rest of the day. We want to let them know we are thankful for our health, albeit with a non-debilitating virus. We pray for them to have their health, and to recover from whatever it is they are fighting. Wouldn’t the world be such a better place if it were rid of disease and infection?!
I hope to return to blogging a bit. Eh, I know, I always say that. I won’t make any promises but will certainly post when I get a chance. I enjoy it, and I hope you still enjoy reading.
Oh, and P.S. I hope this to be the most negative of my posts (was it negative?!). I apologize for the rant, I just thought it would be insightful for those that have to visit the emergency room with their little ones. I have a new resolution to only post positive. Who wants to read negativity, right?