Saturday, August 19, 2006

On Bladder Infections and Banished Ideas

As I sit here trying to properly express this blog moment, I'm confronted with a repeated task. Landon has a basket of small quilts he's enjoying playing with. He continually unrolls this certain quilt, brings it to me to put back together, squeals with delight when I hand it back to him, tucks it in his basket, picks it up and then promptly starts the process all over.

If that quilt starts wearing thin and looking a little antique, we'll know how this heirloom quilt came to be.

So, I get a bright idea: popcorn.

Landon and I always are the popcorn makers around here and tonight is no exception. Usually just two bowls for the popcorn suffice us all but tonight, Landon needs his own.

Which is fine except a 2 1/2' little guy traipsing and tripping all over the just vacuumed carpet is not such a pleasant idea. Oh well. At least he's not making me roll quilts anymore.

As if rolling quilts and popping popcorn isn't enough, he comes over and bends over my lap requesting me to, "Tickle my back, mommy."

And then he asks to take my popcorn and leave me his.

"Noooo... you keep your popcorn, Landon."


(He has no clue what the word means. Or so I like to think.)

Though Landon's every move seems to be demanding my attention, I'm resolved to never waver at my duty as a mom. I'm convinced that if a person survives the first 24 months of his life, his life expectancy improves remarkably.

Not only that, but the robust and rigorous fervor of my little man is a bright spot in my day considering my little girl is fairing quite the opposite. It's sad not to see the two of them traipse around together, tug-0-warring over popcorn bowls, pushing trucks together across the house, feeding Jea's babies their bottles together and just running and laughing together.

The last 48 hours have been pretty rough on Janae. She came down with a 102 fever suddenly on Thursday evening. I started her on Tylenol and some vitamins and immune boosters while pumping her with fluids. By the next morning, the fever peaked over 104.

I had to stay on top of the fever by going back-to-back with Tylenol and Motrin. That seemed to keep her comfortable but never took her fever away completely. And certainly isn't healthy.

This morning she seemed better, or so I wanted to think, but her fever continued staying high as soon as the meds would wear off. Finally, over her afternoon nap, I tried having her go without any meds.

Within an hour and a half, her fever peaked at 105.

We put her in a cool bath, started the Motrin again and tried to make her comfortable. In the back of my mind ever since her fever first came, I had a nagging suspicion that she had a bladder infection. I had been treating her as I would myself for a UTI but the fever continued to keep ahead of us.

Unfortunately, ever since Janae first came down with this fever, Toby's grandparents have been in town for a visit. His grandma has health issues that are dangerous enough and so she should definitely NOT be around sick people at all. So, Janae was promptly quarantined away from everyone else except for one exception one evening when all the family celebrated Toby's mom's birthday.

For 4 1/2 days, the family is all together for the traditional once-a-year get-to-gether and my baby gets sick. A variety of events were planned for this entire weekend for the whole family but we've had to keep Janae home and comfortable and away from anyone who doesn't want to get sick.

By this evening, we feared that her fever would spike again during the night so we decided to take Janae to a urgent care office just minutes from our house. (Oh the joys of living in town.)

The nurse checked her temp and would you know it was normal. I didn't believe it though because it was one of those ear thermometers. Just before we left home, her fever was around 102 -103.

Then the doctor came in and did a rather casual exam; checking ears, heart and throat. He hardly asked me any questions, never felt her abdomin or checked any of her limbs or diaper. He must've been in the "practice" mode of his practicing medicine occupation. He did find "puss" on her tonsils so had a strep culture done.

Another nurse came in to do that. She was bemoaning the fact that she was going to have to be the "mean" one and kept trying to sweet talk Janae while she got her swabs and tongue depressor ready. When she pried Janae's mouth open and stuck the swab on her throat, the poor nurse could hardly take the pathetic wail Janae let out. With tears in her eyes, she walked to the door, looked over her shoulder and said, "Oh, that makes me cry too!"

The initial strep test came back negative but the doctor said he would culture it for a few days before he ruled out strep. He stood in the room, clutching Janae's chart and a blank prescription pad, looking all like a defeated warrior. He seemed to wish he could function in the "medicine" part of his practicing medicine occupation by the way he practiced carrying the prescription pad in. But, he was stumped. Her high fever left him concerned that we were dealing with more than just a mere virus but nothing seemed to show anything.

I confessed my bladder infection fears, touching on a few symptoms I thought I had noticed and his eyes perked up. He asked me if I thought she would pee in a cup. (!) Oh yeah, sure, we do that all the time at home.

Of course not.

I remembered two sterile pediatric urine bags I found in a medicine drawer when we were packing before our move and assured this doctor that I had just the solution. He was relieved that I had the bags because they didn't have anything like that in the office. As he tucked his prescription pad under his arm and handed me Janae's chart, he told me he would feel better if we could get a urinalysis.

I thought we came to the doctor's office so Janae would feel better, not the doctor. Well, at least somebody would feel better hopefully.

So, I paid the bill, marched home and fitted the bag on Janae and waited for the specimen. I felt so professional having something on hand that not even this doctor had access to. I didn't even have a degree in medical practice and here I was praciticing to be a doctor. (or is it pretending?)

Within no time, her bag had results. So I dumped it in a sterile cup and drove back to the doctor's office. There was only about a 1/4" of urine to test so I was advised to get another collection for a culture. But the little bit she did give then was enough for a dip test.

And that came back UTI positive.

Never before have I had to give either one of my kids antibiotics so this came at quite a shock. When they asked if Janae was allergic to any medication, I could only say, I don't know: she's never had any.

I took the freshly written prescription that the doctor must've enjoyed writing up and filled it at the local Walgreens. While waiting in the drive-thru, I noticed a box of dog treats sitting next to the drive-thru cashier's register. I didn't have to wonder if the child in my back seat would be offered a treat before we drove off -- unless he was a slobbery panting dog hanging out the window and drooling all over the car, of course. What happened to the days when drive-thru's filled each child's seat with a dum-dum or sticker? I guess if you're not a Pluto or Rover these days, you don't get a treat.

Sad. Especially considering this drive-thru was giving me toxic and immune suppressing substances for my 16 month old baby. Can't they make it a little easier on a person by softening the blow with a sucker or sticker?

I'm still not off my anti-antibiotic stance, in case you can't tell.

By 9:00pm, she had her first dose and now I'm waiting for the infection to go down. We'll be busy next week pumping her with immune boosters, acidophulus and I'll continue the cranberry capsules as well. I couldn't follow the "natural" cure anymore with how high her fevers were spiking; she had to get this infection killed before it turned into a kidney infection.

I just collected her final specimen for the urine culture. Toby helped me take it off and properly dispose of it into a sterile container. His only comment was that he thought we should get a bunch of those bags and quit buying diapers. Good idea.

My little man just picked up that quilt again. Only this time, he needs one of Jea's babies to wrap up. I need to go check on the little muffin girl again and then move myself towards bed.

"Thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."


BrittLeigh said...

So is Landon calling you Beemoo too while he's at it? Oh man, I miss him! And I miss the muffin girlie too. I wish she wasn't so sick. Her little world fell apart when I left, eh? :) Antibiotics and everything. I'll try to not to leave such drama next time...

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

I will be praying for Janae! It is no fun to be sick!