Friday, April 10, 2009

Fever all through the night

Would that my title were ironic or obscure or, you know, anything but an apt description of last night's insanity. J got three vaccinations yesterday (due to the doctor's being out of chicken pox last time we went). He was very brave, not crying at all. Actually, that's not really accurate. With the first shot, he was shocked; with the second, hurt; and by the third shot, he was really, really angry. He practically growled at the nurse, wrenching his arm away from her so violently I almost dropped him when she was trying to put on the Band-Aids. He was most put out, but just with her, thankfully! (It's her job; I feel no guilt about being happy he associated all his bad feelings with her.)

As usual, they said he might have a fever later because of the tetanus and then again (a fever or a rash or something) 10-14 days later because of the polio or chicken pox or both. In the past, he has had a mild feverish reaction every time we get shots, so I dosed him with tylenol after we left the office, and we went on our (not so merry) way. That evening, I forgot to tell the husband to give him another dose before he put J down, but J seemed totally fine, so I didn't pursue it.

Big mistake. HUGE.

At 11 pm I woke up to hear a strange, frenzied, keening kind of crying. It was so odd, I went to check on J. I found him huddled on his haunches in the corner of the crib, rocking back and forth rapidly. When I picked him up, he felt like he was on fire. His temperature was at least 105 (I stopped measuring at that point and moved into prevention mode). We had some Tylenol, drank some water, took off some clothes, turned on a fan, and wet his head. Then we rocked and rocked and rocked and I prayed and prayed (because what else can you do? Take him back to the doctor who gave him the fever in the first place??). Finally, with a very awake baby in my lap, we got up.

And up we stayed for many hours. He didn't fall back into anything resembling sleep until almost 3 am, and even then he wouldn't let me leave his side, so we both crashed in the guest room. He slept fitfully while I passed in and out of consciousness but was mostly in, unfortunately, as I tried to keep us both from falling out of bed. At 6:30 am, he woke up again for good this time, so I took him into our bedroom, woke up the husband, explained he still had a temp and needed more medicine, and cried that I had to get some actual sleep before the husband went into work or we both weren't going to make it through the day. Thankfully, I got another solid hour and a half of sleep, and we survived today, barely, with an ongoing fever and a desperately unhappy baby who didn't know what he wanted from one minute to the next.

Right now, it's 7:20 pm on a Friday night, and I am about to get into bed. J is already in his, with still more Tylenol on board, and the husband is working late. I'm exhausted. I had a nightmare that J got chicken pox. I think I was hallucinating at one point this afternoon. Let's all be grateful the day is mercifully over....

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