Penelope has had a fever every other week since the very first of this year and, I can't help but blame myself since she is in my constant care. I disinfect the whole house every other day, her toys once a week, and make sure that everyone is washing their hands and yet here we are on fever #8. It's hard as a mom to not feel like there is always something more you can be doing, or wishing you had done more in the past (lately I've been mostly blaming myself for not being able to breast feed her past 3 months and wondering if this is why she is sick so constantly). We went a week and a half with no illnesses until today and I was so certain we were done with it that when Penelope had a high fever today I contributed it to something else.
I took Penelope for a walk to the park because it was a beautiful day and I love seeing that happy little face whenever she notices a slide (seriously, the park is her favorite place ever). We played only for 20 minutes because we needed to head back for lunch, and everything was normal and had been normal all day. However, when I put her in the stroller to head home she started acting funny. I thought, maybe she was just tired, and didn't think twice about it...until...
We got back home (15 minutes later) and she was burning hot and disoriented. I'd say her name and she'd act like she had no clue where she was. I immediately took her temperature and was surprised to see 104.9. Certainly this was the highest tempeture she's ever had, let alone the highest I've ever even seen in my life. I did what I have always done with fevers, I stripped her down to her diaper and got her some Tylenol. After a few minutes, with her snuggling in my arms, I realized that she was nearly passed out. That's when it dawned on me (or maybe because I'm a first time mom hypochondriac) that maybe this wasn't just some out of the blue temperature. I typed in the symptoms and was surprised when I realized my poor baby girl might have heat exhaustion or worse, a heat stroke. It had been very warm today (75 degrees compared to the mid 50's we had over the weekend) and it made sense. I went into crazy lady mode that truly only a concerned mom can understand and did everything the source recommended. I had her lay down in our bed, blasted a fan, and wet a rag in cold water and gently patted her down. I'm reading more and more about this as I'm doing this and getting more worked up. It said things like, "call 911 immediately" and "heat stroke has high death rates, especially children under 3" and "most common on the first warm/hot day of the year." So naturally I'm near hysterical when I call my husband and ask him to rush home so she can get a blessing and so we can take her to the hospital (context: we have one car in which my husband had for work.)
He comes home as I'm in the process of talking to her doctor's nurse who is telling us after hearing the symptoms to go to the ER right now and to not let her fall asleep, which was kind of difficult since she was practically half asleep in my arms. We're rushing out the door when we get another call from the nurse saying that a spot opened up and the doctor actually thinks it's best to come to his office first (which honestly was a relief because just in case I was wrong, I wasn't looking forward to an ER bill. You do what you gotta do, but you know.)
After an examination, aside from her high temperature and fast heart rate, she was fine. Because she keeps getting sick so frequently and doesn't go to daycare, he recommended we see a specialist just to be certain there are no allergies affecting this but mostly to get piece of mind that she's okay.
So 3 things I've learned from this experience:
1. Do not do research online. Just call the pediatrician first so you don't get worked up about something that it isn't.
2. Too many symptoms of different illnesses are the same and it's
3. Parenting is hard and I have no clue what I'm doing.
Parenting friends, do these fears go away with having more kids or will being a mom always make me a worry wart?
Your friend, the hypochondriac,