Friday, February 06, 2009

The best lessons

After consulting Spock and Sears and a nurse at 3B's pediatrician's office, we decided to take 3B to the doctor yesterday.

Mama's instinct was to take him the day before and my instinct was on the fence until I read what Sears wrote. It covers several pages about levels and healing properties of fever, types of bugs and remedies, but it boils down to this: they're most concerned about parents' reactions.

If a kid presents with a fever of 101, but the parent says he's lethargic or pale--I'm not sure how our little redhead could get more pale, but OK--they take that more seriously than a fever of 102 and no parental concern. We definitely had the lethargy. 3B would ask for his favorite dance songs, like Rockit, but then just lay on the bed and say, "I'm tired" while they played. At one point he commanded, "Eeyore dance" as if Eeyore could be his dance surrogate. All of this, combined with my instinct to always go with the lowest threshold of concern between Mama and myself led us to take 3B in.

Chalk up another one for maternal instincts.

Turns out 3B had one ear infection, but no strep. However, he had strep symptoms earlier this week--peeling fingers and toes. At first we thought, "Hm. That's odd." But then all of his skin on all of his fingers sloughed off at once in sheets--oh, sorry, were you eating? Mama was more concerned than I was, but neither of us got around to calling the doctor about it. His toes weren't as bad, but they were pretty flaky.

Our friend, Pediatrician's Wife, gave me a little talking to when I told her this over the phone. "Why didn't you call us? Pediatrician would have told you over the phone." All I could say is that 3B's parents are as flaky as his toes. Also, there's the minor issue that Pediatrician's Wife was delivering a baby and recovering from that effort while all of this was going on, so I don't think we wanted to bother them.

The good news is that as soon as 3B got home from the doctor's office, he was much more perky than he's been all week. It's some sort of placebo effect, I figure. The only thing they did was give him Motrin, since they wanted to get his 103.3 fever down stat. Or maybe they have super-duper doctor-only Motrin...but c'mon, it's just because the kid was wowed by the white lab coats.

The placebo effect did wear off, however. Six hours after getting the super-duper white-lab-coat Motrin, 3B was crying out in his crib, but some regular Mama-and-Papa Motrin took care of that. Today, when I talked to Mama, 3B was slamming his guitar on the floor in a fit of pique, so I'm guessing he's on the mend.

We've learned our lessons

  • 3B won't give any specific indication of ear infections
  • maternal instincts are the best diagnosis
  • peeling digits isn't the name of a band, it's a symptom of strep
  • good friends are good to have
  • glue is strong stuff, even wood glue on a luan guitar
These aren't new lessons, but the best lessons are worth learning several times.

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  1. ear infection?
    antibiotics??? I ask b/c if you haven't gotten the warning yet: some kids get bad diarrhea w/ abx, and then diaper rash, etc. It's...not fun.
    but, not all kids do that.
    and not all abx do that to kids.
    just thought I'd warn you.

    peeling digits? strep? I've never heard of that. I'm glad I read it here.... otherwise, I might never have known!

    Glad he's on the mend.

  2. Glad to hear Mama still knows best, and her boy is getting better. Good luck with all the advice about the cure for what ails him.

  3. Anonymous9:54 PM

    I'd never heard of a peeling skin connection with strep, either. My son's skin peels on his toes in the winter but that's just from dryness.

    Yeah, lethargy is always a bad sign no matter what the numbers are. A friend gave me the advice when both of us had toddlers: no matter what color the mucus is, or the temp number, look at their behavior. If they can play normally, they're probably not doing badly. If they lay around, then you need to take some action.

    I usually leave fevers alone unless the kid's uncomfortable, because the fever is trying to conquer the illness and I don't want to mess with that. I know it sounds funky, but I've had good success with lemon juice as a fever reducer! It's kind of an old school remedy.

    I can't stand that doctor's office placebo effect. Especially with a deductible....

  4. That once when #1 asked me to kiss his ear, I did and then watched him. Moments later he came back for another kiss... it was 4:45 on a Friday afternoon. I called the Doctor and they got me in because I could get there in 10 minutes. Their only question to me was, why didn't you call sooner? I tried explaining that he had only just asked me to kiss his ear.

    As far as that wood glue is concerned, if that doesn't work, Duct Tape!!

  5. I'm no doctor, but speak up if you need glue to reattach the digital skin too. Glue we got. Probably less expensive than the copay.