Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Pitfalls of Planning

I had it all planned out last night. Hubby is out of town for work and I was going to put Lilly-Bean down for the night, then spend an hour or so online, catching up on reading your blogs and filling you in on my adventures in gardening from Monday, then spend a little while on a new jigsaw puzzle and then knit for a little while before going to bed at a decent hour. (Wow, reading that I realize that I have become a senior citizen a little earlier than I expected to!) Apparently, life doesn't like when you try and corral it into something so mundane or comforting as a plan so I got to do none of those things last night!

Bean had a bit of a fever all day yesterday. Not really a big deal, kids get fevers all the time. You just keep an eye on them, give them some Tylenol and keep them hydrated while waiting for other symptoms to show up to let you know what you're dealing with, right? So, that's how we proceeded with the day. We stayed home, which bugged Bean, since she had really been looking forward to going to the "Li-berry" for storytime and to play with her little friends. I don't know how many times she reminded me yesterday that the "Li-berry" was open. She was pretty cranky most of the day, but it was tempered by the fact that I let her watch a bunch of DVR'd episodes of Playhouse Disney shows. We also had really great cuddles all day, which is kinda my favorite side effect from her not feeling well.

Anyhow, around 5:00 last night, we were curled up on my bed and she was obviously not feeling very well. She asked if she could sleep in my bed that night and started rubbing her back around where her kidneys are located. She knows that the only time she's ever gotten to share my bed is when she was REALLY sick, so that worried me, but her rubbing her back is what really got me. I'm a little gun-shy when it comes to her kidneys, the urologist told us that if she has a breakthrough infection while she's still on prophylactic antibiotics we will likely have to proceed with a surgical correction to her urinary tract problems rather than waiting for the issue to resolve itself. So, I called her doctor's answering service to set up an appointment to get her checked out this morning. The answering service patched me through to the on-call nurse, who after listening to Bean's symptoms, forwarded me to the on-call pediatrician. He concurred with my assessment that it was likely another UTI and recommended that we go to the ER rather than wait until morning when she would likely be even more uncomfortable. So, after packing up a bag of snacks, toys and some yarn for me, off we went to the hospital. Fun stuff, no?

Once we were at the hospital, the waiting game began. It was around 8:00 when we got there and I knew it wouldn't be a quick process. The only time I really got annoyed was after we had seen the triage nurse, I noticed another little girl and her mother, who had come in after us, were already back in the examination area. I know, you're thinking that perhaps this little girl was in more serious condition than my child and perhaps she was, but where my little one was lying listless in her stroller, the other little one was bouncing all over the waiting room, playing and having a great time with no outward signs of anything being wrong with her. She was seen and released before we even got called back for an exam. Hmm, wonder who they knew at the hospital?

Once we got back to the exam area (around 9:45), things were a bit better. I hate being in the waiting room with everyone else who is suffering from god-knows-what-that-might-be-contagious. Fortunately, the nurse and the pediatric resident came into our room at the same time, so I only had to go through my observations of Lilly-Bean once. He did a brief examination and then we waited for the nurses to come back to do a urine collection (catheter). That went as well as could be expected. In other words, pretty darn miserable. Lilly cried and told them it hurt, which absolutely broke my heart. And, since she hadn't had much to drink in a couple of hours, they had a hard time getting enough of a sample. But they finally did and we went back to waiting. I got Lilly as comfortable as I could on the bed with her blankie and sat back with my yarn to wait for the results of the labwork. About the time she drifted off to sleep, the nurse poked her head back in the room to let us know that the attending physician was hoping we wouldn't mind going back out to the waiting room until the lab sent the results. After seeing the look on my face when dealing with the prospect of waking up my sleeping baby, she smiled and let me know that she would tell him we needed to stay right where we were. I like that nurse!

Finally close to midnight, we got the lab results. There were no signs of infection and the doctor had no real idea of why Bean was running a fever. That's not terribly uncommon with kids and often the cause is viral even if the obvious symptoms haven't arrived yet. So, I was a little put off by the fact that, without knowing the cause of her fever, the doctor prescribed a fairly potent, broad-spectrum antibiotic. I worry that sometimes doctors feel pressured by their patients to "do something" and prescribe medication that may not be necessary when common sense would suggest taking a wait-and-see course of action to find out if the medication is actually warranted.

So, this morning, Lilly-Bean seems to be feeling much better, the fever is much lower (although she won't let me near her with the thermometer) and she has more energy than she did yesterday. I spoke with her pediatrician who agreed that we should hold off on giving her the antibiotics that were prescribed in the ER until we get the results of the additional culture that the lab is running. I do love our pediatrician. She is much more conservative when it comes to doling out medicine and has no problem telling a parent that sometimes the body is better able to take care of itself rather than give a kid medicine that doesn't do anything other than calm a worried parent's nerves.

Needless to say, I am very tired today. We finally got home at close to 1:00am and although Bean slept well past her normal waking time, it still wasn't enough! Maybe later today I'll get the energy to post about my beautiful garden, but for now, I'm going to cuddle up on the couch with my little girl, watch Mickey Mouse and relax!


Lara said...

Oh, wow. I bet you ARE exhausted! I'm glad to hear Miss Lilly will be okay, though! Did you get some good knitting done?

Osric said...

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