Avery spiked a fever last Friday, and it lasted until Tuesday with very unclear symptoms, like one day of mild diahrea, one case of vomiting, a few coughs here and there, and one day of mildly runny nose. We couldn’t peg the fever as related to a regular old cold or flu. When her fever hit 103°F one morning (she was sleeping next to me and I woke up from the heat she was radiating) I took her to the doctor. She had been totally irritable and upset and emotional for 4 days and nights, and I knew something was wrong… I just didn’t know what.
I was nervous to find out what the root of the problem was, because she had maybe swallowed that shard of ceramic cat dish a while back and the ER doctor said that the only way I’d know if it was lodged somewhere and causing a problem was if she had a fever with undetermined source. That was my biggest fear.
We actually saw a nurse at our clinic, and she ordered a urine test (anyone ever collected urine from an infant? Luckily we ended up not needing to, because using the “collection bag” looked totally unrealistic) , and a follow-up appointment for the next day if her fever hadn’t broken. The follow up would include a blood requisition and another chest x ray. I was so worried, and running on so little sleep.
The days had been long, but the nights longer… Avery had been going into bedtimes literally kicking and screaming. I couldn’t hold her (she was like a wet eel in my arms – an eel that kicked and hit me) and I couldn’t put her down. She would just scream and scream for hours. It was a horrible 4 days. My wife worried that she was manipulating us to get into our bed. Why do so many people jump to this?? Why is our first guess that the child is being wicked, rather than that the child legitimately needs us? Anyway, this isn’t a rant on my wife or on the countless others who say this to me when I comfort my child. I know these people are just concerned with raising obedient children who don’t take advantage of their parents. I’m getting off topic.
So our trip to the doctor was inconclusive. But thankfully, the morning after we saw the doctor, her fever had broken. I was relieved, but also still concerned. She still wasn’t acting herself. Still lethargic, still cranky, still not eating.
By the night that her fever broke, the answer was revealed. She broke out in a blotchy rash all over her torso and head.
Roseola is a viral infection that strikes before the age of 2, and like chicken pox, is unlikely to re-occur after a child has had it once. But it sure makes them feel awful while they have it, and it can lead to dangerously high fevers. Thanks to a fellow mom blogger for sharing her experience with roseola – if it weren’t for you I’d have been even more panicked by the rash!
By the time the rash hit, she didn’t seem bothered; rather, as the rash spread she got happier and happier. Last night she slept in her crib all night (I still got up to tend to her cries every 1-2 hours, but that’s normal). She went to bed without kicking and screaming (it was actually quite peaceful). She woke up happy.
Roseola kicked our butts. She has never been so irritable with other kinds of sicknesses. I feel like a got a glimpse of the terrible two’s this week. Thank god it’s over, for all our sakes.