Thirty-six hours after the first sign of a headache, the flu hit Lainie hard. It was one of those nights where I tried ignore the mommy part and think like a nurse. Some people claim to hate the hospital; I think of it as a place for reinforcements, where I'm not the one making the decisions, where I have a group of people helping me keep my daughter safe. Last night, we didn't have to go there, but I was close.
Lainie slept on the floor of my room, so I could hear her if she started to seize. She coughed a lot, moaned a lot, grinded her teeth. At 1 a.m., she woke up and told me she was having trouble breathing. I listened to her lungs and they were clear with good air movement. I listened to the rate, nice and even. She was just having trouble because her nose was full of schtuff. And so we stayed and she was able to get back to sleep.
At 4 a.m., she woke me up and said, I don't feel right, Mommy. One look and I knew her fever was bad. 102.8, to be exact, and for a girl who can febrile seize at 99.8, that's not good. That's the part where you ignore the mommy role and think clinically. Tepid bath, not too cool, don't drop the temp too fast. Motrin, max dose for weight, even though it was only 4 hours since the last dose. (It's the best fever reducer I had.) Cool drink, not popsicle, so to drop the fever slowly. Check for symptoms of pending seizure; she said everything looked funny, her head hurt, shaking hard. Tylenol, the other helper we had available. Wake Jay, because if she seizes in the bathtub, I'm not sure I can get her out. (He was sleeping downstairs because he doesn't feel good.) Do I know where her diastat is, just in case? Yes, in her bookbag. What's left? Pray.
Oh, wait, I'm supposed to be on bedrest. Well, call it a bedrest time out.
By 5:30, her fever was down to 101, the shaking was gone, and only a headache, cough, and runny nose continued. All that freak out and worry and prayers, and today she woke up skipping. Thank God. Another bad night behind us.
I know a lot of people cuss pharmaceutical customers, call them greedy. Last night and today, I am so grateful for the makers of Trileptal and Ibuprofen, Tylenol and Tamiflu, thankful for another seizure-free day and for a little girl who is skipping around the house.