Thursday, April 28, 2011

Parenting a Sick Kid 101

Today, I got schooled.

I feel like I've been through some sort of rite of passage of parenthood.

Parenting a sick kid.  Like, the most miserable I've ever seen the poor girl.

Diagnosis?  Croup.  She'll be fine, it's nothing serious, and so I am counting my blessings.  It could be a lot worse.

We noticed a runny nose yesterday morning, and it progressed into a bad cough by evening.  By the time she went to bed last night, it was so bad that she couldn't sleep.  Each cough woke her up and she would cry the most sad, grumpy cry I've ever heard.  It was so sad.  It was obvious that the cough hurt her.  She would sleep for maybe 30-45 minutes at a time before waking up crying and coughing.  She really didn't even want to nurse, she was so upset.  She was up three times between 7:30 and 9:30, so at the 9:30 wake-up, I just went ahead and brought her into bed with us then - not that it helped her sleep better...I think hubby and I slept maybe 4 hours, and Eliza probably slept like 8, interrupted.

She woke up at 5:45am and walked around the house howling and clearly unhappy - not even her favorite toys or books could distract her or perk her up.  At around 7:00 she was sitting in my lap on the couch whimpering, and I asked her "Eliza, do you want to go back to sleep?" and she said, very clearly, "yesh".  Oh, my heart just broke!  It was both cute and sad at the same time.  My poor bubby.  We both went back to bed and slept until 8:45.

As soon as we woke up I called and made her an appointment and they had an opening at 9:30, so off we went.  Our fantastic PNP was so kind and gentle with Eliza.  She said it sounded like croup, so she sent us off with a prescription for steroids. (Oh, and btw Eliza weighed 29 lbs 2 ozs this morning, just thought I'd throw that in there!).

So we picked up the Rx - a red, sweet-smelling liquid (ick).  I gave Eliza the first dose.  She gagged and promptly thew it up all over herself and me.  So, I called the pharmacist (who, btw, has got to be like 22 years old) and he told me to mix it with chocolate pudding because "chocolate masks bad tastes best".  Uh-huh.  After Eliza's stellar 45-minute nap, we run back to the pharmacy to get the stupid pudding, and also to get a replacement for the medicine we lost.

Back home, I mixed the medicine into the pudding.  I gave one tiny spoonful to Eliza and again, she instantly gagged and thew up.  WHAT THE?  So I taste it.  Oh. My. Good. Lord.  It is quite possibly the worst thing I have EVER tasted.  I make mental note to save it in case someone needs to throw up something in the future - seriously, the reaction was immediate and physical, like your body is telling you GET IT OUT!  ABORT MISSION!  NOOOO!!!  The chocolate pudding did nothing to dull the gag-inducing flavor.  Poor thing - why didn't I taste it earlier, like BEFORE giving it to my child?  Rookie mistake.  New rule!

I call the man-child-pharmacist.  Sorry, no other options, he tells me.  Hmmm... I don't believe you, Doogie Howser, PharmD.  I call our PNP and she says that YES, in fact there is a pill version that she can prescribe that we can crush and add it to liquid or food and give it to her that way, though she can't promise that the pill will taste any better.  Sign us up, it's worth a shot.

Call hubby.  Ask him to please come home - sick baby, tired mama, rainy day, and I really don't want to drag baby back out to the pharmacy for the THIRD time today.  So he picks it up on the way home, along with some ice cream.  I chastise him for buying the full-fat ice cream (the horror!).  Then, five minutes later I thank him because it was the perfect vehicle to get the crushed-up pill into our dear girl. She gobbles it down.  I bet it felt soothing to her throat, too.  And, it was B&J's Cherry Garcia, so she got her first taste of her mama and daddy's favorite ice cream (we used to buy pints of Cherry Garcia in college - now the taste of that ice cream reminds me of those days!!).

Then, we all cuddled up on the couch and watched some Thomas the Tank on Net.flix instant.  She usually doesn't get to just sit on the couch and watch TV with mom and dad, so it was a special treat.  I felt guilty about it at first (and about the ice cream, too), but then I was reminded that when you're sick, it's nice to get special treats from mom and dad.  I will always remember getting special treatment when I was sick as a kid and it made the day a little brighter when I felt otherwise crappy.  So, I just reminded myself that now I get to do that for Eliza.  Now I'm the mom who says "it's going to be okay" and will bring ice cream and popsicles and ginger ale to my girl when she's not feeling well (er, in the future... she's not getting popsicles or ginger ale quite yet ;), and cuddles her on the couch while we watch movies together.  It's weird, especially when I can so vividly remembering being the sick kid on the couch, my mom and dad taking care of me...


That was our day.  Most of it.  The end part was the same as always, just an hour earlier for the tired girl - dinner, bath, bed.  She's woken up once since she fell asleep at 6:45, so already we're doing better than last night.

It was not an easy day, but we made it, and there will be many days like it in my future so I guess I better get used to it.  It comes with the territory.  But MAN, no one ever tells you about how awful it is when your baby is sick.  You feel so so bad for them (and for yourself a little bit, too, if I'm being honest).  All you can do is hold them, tell them it will be better tomorrow and... feed them ice cream.

But, I'm still new at this parenting thing, so don't quote me on that last one..


Jessie said...

You're such a good mom. But I guess that doesn't mean you'll always know it! Hope everyone is sleeping and feeling better!

Jen said...

Man, sounds rough. I will remember that for croup meds if the need ever arises. Glad she is on the mend!

Dawn said...

Awe I'm sorry your little nugget was so sick. You are an awesome mommy! Hope she feels 100% again soon.

Abby said...

Welcome to're official now! =) You know I'm a not-too-much-TV and not-too-many-treats mommy, but when they're sick, all bets are off. Best part of being sick (only good part, really) is staying in pjs all day, cuddles on the couch, watching Elmo, and popsicles. Hope Eliza feels better soon!!

Eliza's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 5 ozs
Going home: 7 lbs 10 ozs
5 days: 7 lbs 13 ozs
2 months: 12 lbs 6 ozs
4 months: 17 lbs
5 months: 18 lbs 12 ozs
6 months: 20 lbs 13 ozs
9 months: 24 lbs 3 ozs
12 months: 26 lbs 13 ozs
15 months: 28 lbs
18 months: 29 lbs 3 ozs
2 years: 32 lbs
3 years: 34 lbs

Alice's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 11 oz
2 Months: 13 lbs 10 oz
4 Months: 17 lbs 15 oz
6 Months: 20 lbs 4 oz