Chillin’ and illin’

I’ve hesitated to say so, for fear of jinxing it (even though I don’t truly believe in jinxing things), but we’ve been very fortunate this fall and winter when it comes to our family’s health. So many people I know have been struck by a variety of illnesses — norovirus, influenza, respiratory infections, etc. — and we’ve all somehow managed to avoid the crud. (I secretly like to think it’s because we were hit pretty hard for about the first three years of The Big Sis’ life. We paid our minor-illness dues, so to speak, and are reaping the rewards now. Crazy, right?)

Anyway, our streak unfortunately ended last Friday night when The Little Sis was fine one minute and then during dinner became lethargic, developed a cough, then finally had a fever soon after she went to bed. With flu being so prevalent this year, I wanted to get her swabbed, so I had The Husband take her to The Pediatrician on Saturday morning. (The Big Sis and I were visiting a friend out of town.) The flu swab came back negative (yay!) and The Pediatrician mentioned that there were a lot of cases of RSV going around, though at that point she didn’t have any respiratory symptoms going on. Unfortunately, she didn’t order an RSV test, and The Husband wasn’t aware that it could be tested for, so he didn’t know to request it, so they left there with “it’s probably just a virus, call us on Monday if she’s not improving.”

She definitely wasn’t improving by Monday; in fact, when she woke up, she was breathing fast (though not labored) and her lips had a purple-ish tinge to them — not good. We’ve had plenty of experience with RSV before (The Little Sis had it last year, and I lost count of how many times The Big Sis had it), so I got The Big Sis’ ProAir inhaler and we gave her some puffs of that, hoping to help her breathing. It did seem to have an effect, and her lips returned to normal color pretty quickly (whew!), but I still called The Pediatrician mid-morning and asked to be seen again, and we were in the office around noon. Poor thing was just so out of it — clingy, sad/tired eyes, lethargic — just not herself at ALL.

The Pediatrician (our usual one this time) agreed that it sounded like RSV and did a test, and I was not that surprised that it came back positive. Unfortunately there’s nothing to do to treat the virus; we just had to manage the symptoms. On Tuesday morning, The Little Sis woke up without a fever and was acting quite a bit more normal that morning but around 4 o’clock that afternoon, she was struck again and her fever returned, this time in the 103 range. Ugh. And here is where I mention that this was not the most convenient week for her to be sick. I suppose it’s not ever really convenient, but I had multiple deadlines this week for one of our busiest issues of the year, so on top of caring for her most of each day, I had to work some late nights and early mornings to get my work done. I’m ready for Friday! And it’s a long weekend, at that — it’s the first time I’ve ever had Presidents’ Day off!

Anyway, the last time she had medicine or a fever was on Tuesday night, and Wednesday was a more normal day for her. She was still fussy and clingy, but not feverish and lethargic as before. In an ideal world, I would have kept her home again today (Thursday) to let some of her chest congestion clear up, but as all working moms know, sometimes that’s just not possible and we have to send a less-than-healthy child to daycare. Sigh. (At least she shouldn’t be contagious with the fever gone 24+ hours.) She had a hard time with me leaving her at daycare this morning. Her teacher had to hold her and give her a hug and she just cried and cried as I walked out the door. Ouch. Before I shut the door, I told her teacher that she would probably be fine once I left, since she was acting mostly like herself this morning, but that she could give me a call if she just didn’t seem like herself. It’s almost pick-up time, so it looks like she made it through the entire day, and I’m eager to give my sweet girl a big hug on this Valentine’s Day.

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