Monday, November 09, 2009

To call or not to call

Nora is sick.

She woke up last night at 2, wheezing with rhonchi and a fever. She was breathing really fast, 53 breaths per minute, but she wasn't blue, or grunting, or having retractions. I considered taking her in to the hospital for a breathing treatment, but I decided to give her some Tylenol and see if that helped. Once it kicked in, her fever went down and her breathing became less labored, so I let her sleep.

She woke up again at 4 and I brought her to bed with me but she mistook that gesture as an overture of play and giggled and climbed all over Tyler and me. Back into her crib went she and cried for an hour. I felt bad doing it because she was already having such a hard time breathing, but I was exhausted and couldn't sit up with her any longer.

She got up again at 6:30, and my wonderful husband got up with her and let me sleep until 7:45, which was magical. When I came downstairs, he asked if I was going to call the doctor.

I always find that question to be so sticky in my brain. If I call and ask whether or not I should come in, I think there's a 99% chance that they will say that I should. It cuts down on their liability and we were actually taught in nursing school to tell people this if they called wondering. So I can't rely on the nurse at the office to tell me whether or not to come. And then I think to myself, "I'm a nurse, what do I think?" I think, yes, she's sick... but she's not in distress, she's not barking so she doesn't have croup, her fever is under control, she's not pulling on her ears, and she's not especially lethargic or crabby. And, what's the doctor going to say?

He's going to say, "yep, she's sick. Make sure she gets lots of rest and fluids and call me if she gets any worse."

My normal MO is to just skip that first visit and then call when they get worse, which rarely happens; they usually get better. So, I think that's what we'll do today, but I'm conflicted because I've never had a wheezy child before. I don't know. I'll let you know what I decide.


Allison said...

You articulated my inner struggle everytime my kids are sick. If there wasn't the flu scare going around I'd probably let them wait it out everytime. Here's what I do know... Hudson has a nasty, pus-filled, ear infection and he never once pulled on his ear. (Maybe that gesture hurt.) Also, a breathing treatment might make Nora feel better. Ask Caitlin... she has way more experience with the breathing treatments.
I took Hudson on Friday and they said he has a virus... which caused the ear infection. Which he now is taking antibiotics to fight, but it won't help with the virus. So... lots of rest and fluids.
I hope I helped muddy the water.

heidi nielsen said...

Sick babies are the worst. My 8 month old had a 103.5 fever and was so lethargic and miserable last week. His breathing was pretty good and he was still nursing enough to have wet diapers so I decided not to take him in. It's so hard not knowing what the little guys are feeling or thinking. I'm mostly paranoid about the thermometer not being accurate and their fever being higher than I think. He's over the fever so hopefully the remaining congestion doesn't turn into something else. Good luck to Nora, and hopefully the rest of you can avoid it.

TeamRyan said...

Sorry to hear Nora is sick... I hope she feels better! But I just read a WHOLE bunch of your blog and LOVED IT!!! You are hilarious! Are you still running?!?!?! I am ALWAYS looking for a running partner...let me know!!!!:) ps THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for your help this weekend :)

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