Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Fever Went Up

I woke Calliope at 10 pm to give her more Motrin, hoping to avoid an "exciting" night.

I didn't bother bringing the thermometer with me because I figured it didn't really matter what her temperature was, plus, taking her temperature would be guaranteed to wake her all the way up.

She whimpered a bit in her sleep when I went into the room, and I noticed she was sleeping with her arms tucked under her belly -- cold?

I lifted her up gently and she willingly sucked down the Motrin. It's possible I squirted it into her mouth a little too quickly.

A moment later, she vomited, soaking the front of my shirt as well as her sleep sack.

After removing our wet clothes, I ran to get the thermometer. Her temperature was up to 104.5.

Even though I know intellectually that high fevers aren't inherently dangerous, emotionally, I felt rattled.

I called my sister, who encouraged me to call the doctor, despite the fact that it was after 10 pm. Intellectually, I knew I didn't need to be worried, but emotionally, I wanted someone else to be in charge. But I also felt guilty bothering the doctor, especially so late (though grateful it wasn't the middle of the night).

I was immediately connected to the doctor on call -- hooray for small favors! -- and he was very reassuring and told me it was fine to go to the emergency room now if I felt it was warranted. This was reassuring to me because sometimes I need to be told that I am not a hypochondriac on behalf of my baby! (Do all parents worry about this?) Otherwise, I could give another dose of Motrin (either by mouth, if tolerated, or via rectal suppository) or Tylenol, and if she looked better, we could wait until morning and then go to their office first thing.

We got off the phone and I gave the second dose of Motrin very, very slowly. And I only let Calliope have a little sip of water, just to avoid vomiting again. She took it easily and then I lay her on my pillow to observe her while I called my sister back to reassure her.

While we were talking, Calliope suddenly grinned up at me and started clapping.


So after a few minutes, I laid her back into the crib, where she settled down to sleep, and set my alarm for 4 am, and readied a syringe of Motrin to leave on my bedside table. I didn't want to give the fever a chance to come back up during the night.

She slept well and took the Motrin at 4 am and went right back to sleep. At 7 am she nursed briefly and went back to sleep again until I woke her at 8:15 to go to the doctor's.

For once, we actually got to see our own pediatrician, Rita, for a sick visit! Hooray. She checked Calliope over very carefully, hunting hopefully for a sign of the roseola rash, but couldn't find anything. So she sent us back home with the advice to continue the Motrin as needed... but to try to let it wear off in between doses so I can check her temperature to see if it is getting better (it was 101.2 in the office, five hours after the last dose of Motrin, which should last six to eight hours). I gave her another dose of Motrin in the office before we left, which she promptly vomited, so I gave a second, more slowly, which she kept down.

If her fever hasn't improved by tomorrow morning and she hasn't developed a rash, I have to take her to the emergency room for a urinary catheter so they can get a sterile sample to check for a urinary tract infection. Luckily her urineanalysis from Monday came back normal, so the odds are low of a UTI, but given that she is thus far lacking an obvious source of infection despite a high fever, we have to be cautious.

When we got home, her temperature was up to 102.2, despite having received Motrin an hour before, and she was fussy, so I gave her some Tylenol, too, and put her weary, hot little body off to bed. I don't like to alternate Tylenol and Motrin, and in fact the AAP frowns on doing so as a standard practice, which many parents seem to do (it's okay to do only if the fever isn't responding to just one medicine). But in this case, since her fever hadn't come down at all, I gave it anyway. Still, I'm glad that I write everything down in her notebook, because it would be easy to lose track of when I gave which medicine. I'm paranoid about Tylenol (acetaminophen) overdosing!

Fingers crossed she gets a rash!

In more positive news, Rita said she's not worried about Calliope's weight (now at the very bottom of the growth chart), given that she's growing and developing normally and looks so good (and still has nice chunky  thighs). So I'm glad about that, because I have no idea how to make a baby eat more, and don't want to fill her up on chemical soup like Pediasure.

Also, Calliope is getting better and better with her three signs -- more, all done, and nurse! Time to introduce a few more. Finally. I was wondering if she would ever get it.


  1. Poor kiddo...when Elena had her highest bout of fever (topped at 101.9) with no other symptoms, it turned out she cut all 4 1st molars at once...could Calliope be teething? Hope she's doing better.

  2. Sorry that she is still sick, hope she is feeling better soon.