I’m Not A Rookie Mom, But Fevers Still Worry Me

Give me a daughter facing the challenges of autism, and I rise to the challenge. Or give me a daughter with a speech delay, and I fearlessly jump in to start early intervention with complete confidence she’ll triumph.

But give me a kid with a hacking cough and a fever of 103.5 who looks this miserable:

…and I’m a puddle of worry.

I’m often impressed with how Cordy and Mira remain so healthy. Sure, they get colds about as often as any other kid, but they are most often minor colds and rarely slow them down. Fevers are always minor – just a little warm, no need for medication. And we’ve had plenty of stomach bugs, but other than the unpleasantness of cleaning up blow-out diapers, they weren’t too bad.

And then Mira’s cough began on Sunday. By yesterday it was a constant, fierce cough that forced her to catch her breath after a coughing fit, along with a fever. She spent last night coughing and crying in her sleep, and I was unable to do anything to make it easier for her.

This morning she slept in, something she rarely does. And then she refused breakfast, something she never does. She didn’t want to play or watch TV – she only wanted to rest her flushed little face against me. Her temp was 103.5.

So I took her to the pediatrician, where I was given few answers: It’s probably not strep. It’s most likely viral, either a throat infection or the flu. No antibiotics for now. Nothing to do at this point but give her ibuprofen round-the-clock on schedule, keep her hydrated, and wait it out.

Wait it out. Sounds so simple, and yet…

Today she didn’t fight her nap for once, and she didn’t pick fights with her sister. She spent a lot of time on me instead of playing with her trains. She’s not herself, and I don’t like that.

Many parents have kids that run fevers like this all the time, and are probably so used to it they would laugh at my hand-wringing and worry. I’ve advised several parents on how much ibuprofen to give and signs/symptoms to watch for, however it’s always different when it’s your kid. This is mostly new to me, and feeling the nape of my smallest child’s neck on fire, even with ibuprofen and Tylenol in her, leaves me feeling helpless.

I’m hoping she’ll wake up tomorrow a little less warm, a little more energetic, and a little closer to putting this behind us. If not, I’ll be right here to provide ibuprofen, refill juice cups, and provide a comfortable lap to cuddle on. I’m thankful to have a job with sick time so I can be home with her when she needs me the most. Because it’s not my nursing skills that are being used here -  it’s being her mommy that magically helps her feel better.


Also, I’m proud to announce I’m one of several talented writer for the new Ohio Moms Blog! (Part of the amazing SV Moms Group.) Stop by for a visit, and be sure to check out my first post there, where I am once again performing amazing feats of hand-wringing.

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  1. MN RN Mom says:

    You might want to try a spoonful of honey for the cough. It’s been shown it’s just as effective in little kids as cough medicine – without the side effects. I go overboard when my DD gets even warm because she had an “absence” febrile seizure this past March at 3 yrs old. Ibuprofin is my best friend this past year. She rarely gets sick other than colds, but when she does, she’s glued to me 24/7, which is rare for Ms. Independance these days. Hope she feels better soon!

  2. Amelia Sprout says:

    I’m one of those moms of a feverish kid. They are sort of old hat around here. However, coughs freak me out. Mostly because both A and I have asthma. Likely because of cigarette smoke exposure from grandparents when we were kids, but we still worry about her dealing with the same issues we do. Like how when the air quality is bad, I shouldn’t be exercising.
    Hope she feels better.

  3. oh poor baby! she looks miserable!

    hope she perks up again soon.

  4. Hope she feels better soon! My kids had that same thing a month or so ago and with both of them it was just a 24 hour thing. So I’m really hoping that Mira wakes tomorrow her normal little self!

  5. Oh, how I hate when my little ones are rosy-cheeked and puny. It always hurts my heart. Hope she’s on the mend soon! (Also, congrats on your Ohio Moms Blog gig!)

  6. My kids do the high fever thing on a regular basis and it never fails to freak me out. Hang in there, she’ll probably be right as rain tomorrow!

    Welcome to the SV Moms Group! We’re a wild bunch of bloggers!

  7. I know what you mean. I get the same way. One of my children even hallucinates when he has a fever! Freaks me right out! I hope your little one gets better soon! BTW, just found your blog and am enjoying reading it. I have added your feed so that I can catch up regularly.

  8. It’s always different when it’s your kid. Heck, my brother the former EMT calls and asks me for advice instead of realizing that a persistent fever of 102 calls for a trip to the doctor.
    *sends hugs and cool breezes for Mira*

  9. Poor baby! That photo make MY heart hurt. I’m the same way, can dish out medical advice to friends about their kids and tell them not to worry, but when it’s my daughter, I am a mess. Especially when she doesn’t act like herself. My daughter hasn’t been feeling well the past two days and told me last night at 7pm that she was ready for bed (bedtime is 9). My alert was on HIGH!

  10. I hate that helpless feeling while seeing your kid sick.

    A few years back one of my daughters needed a nebulizer for a nasty bout of respiratory problems, and now we use it at the beginning of most problems with coughs. Ten minutes with the nebulizer before bed helps them breathe so much better. (We always check in with the doctor before we use it–I don’t just pull the thing out willy nilly.)

    Hope your little girl is well soon.

  11. Sounds and looks like your little girl was going through the same thing my son is now going through. I wonder if this bug is traveling from child to child across Ohio. *smile* I hope she’s much better by now!

  12. I AM SO SORRY! I have an asthmatic six-year-old who’s had pneumonia three times and more respiratory infections than I have fingers and toes. The worry is fresh and immediate and pulse-racing every time she gets sick. Relentless nighttime coughing is the most evil symptom of all, because then nobody gets any sleep and everybody’s even more miserable the next day.

    THIS TOO SHALL PASS and similar cheery bromides … I wish you lived next door so that I could come over and give you a hand with your great big bucket o’ anxiety.

  13. Maureen @ Wisconsin Mommy says:

    Hugs to you all!

    I am currently taking a round of antibiotics after holding a friend’s baby who had a cold that turned out to be whooping cough. (After five days at Children’s Hospital, he is doing much better.)
    There are some nasty bugs going around this year!!

    Now don’t YOU go and get sick too…

  14. This is my life today. Owen has a fever of 103.1 and a cough/cold thing that is so awful I want to cry. I hate seeing him so miserable. Our pediatrician gave me all the instructions to break the fever but I still worry. Poor Mira looks so miserable in that picture.

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