For New Years Eve we were invited across the street to our friends, the Kravitzs’ house for dinner. Around 4:45 pm I headed upstairs to get everybody dressed to make the long walk across the street at about 5 pm. Jake had been in his room and when I went in there he was kind of shivering and didn’t look right. I felt his head and he was burning up so we took his temperature and is was 104 degrees.
I called Nicole (Mrs. Kravitz) and told her that Jake had a fever. I didn’t want to take him anywhere, even across the street, but their daughter had just gotten over a 48 hour bug that included a fever so they felt it was fine for them to come to our house if Jake was up for it. So, they brought dinner to us! We joked about them being “meals on wheels” although in hindsight since they walked we should have said “meals on feet” or something like that. All I know is that they are awesome for doing that and the food was great and we cannot thank them enough, especially after they took Jake with them to Navy Pier right before Christmas when Abby had strep throat. The Kravitzs’ rock!
So we had a nice dinner and a nice New Years Eve with our friends, we made it until about 8:30 or so and our little party broke up because the kids were getting tired and so were the adults. How pathetic is it that we didn’t even make it until 11 pm before we turned in?
On New Years Day, we did our traditional putting away of the Christmas decorations and putting the house back in order. Jake still had a low grade fever and spent much of the time resting but he seemed pretty energetic and was drinking juice although he wasn’t very hungry. Dinner rolled around and he didn’t want to eat. He actually fell asleep on the couch and we cleaned up from dinner and sat down in the living room and watched TV while Jake slept. At one point I went over to him and touched him and he was really warm so Ed grabbed the ear thermometer and took his temperature. He didn’t even say anything. He dropped it on the couch and ran to the bathroom and started filling the tub. I grabbed the thermometer and looked at it and it said 107.something…there was a number after the 107, I just never got to it…
I am always amazed by how well Ed handles things like this. He seems to instinctively know what to do and jumps into action.
So we quickly got him in the tub with lukewarm water and called the paramedics. He had started shaking and we knew a fever that high could result in a seizure. The paramedics checked him out and although the bath lower his temp to 101, it rose quickly only a few minutes later back to 103 and he was still getting warmer. They decided to take him to the hospital so Ed went with him and I stayed with Abby. This was around 8 pm.
I called the Kravitzs and yet again they came to our rescue. Mr. Kravitz sat at the house because I had already put Abby to bed and I zoomed off to the hospital. Abby would probably have FREAKED OUT had she woke up and needed to be tended to by Lee, but luckily she didn’t and taking her with me to the ER would have been an absolute nightmare. I grabbed “Ace” the stuffed leopard on my way out because he is Jake’s best buddy.
The ER docs tested his blood and his urine. They determined he was dehydrated and put him on an IV, which explains why it took them 4 tries to get the blood drawn, poor kid. They swabbed his throat and his nose and did a chest x-ray (which he got a kick out of) and found nothing. Still, they gave him Tylenol, Motrin and antibiotics. By 11 pm, they told us they were admitting him so we let Jake choose who would stay with him. I tried to talk him into letting Daddy stay, but he wanted me. Luckily I had a pair of slippers in the van.
Here is Jake in the ER looking nothing like himself:
At midnight they took us up to a room on the pediatric ward. Room 307. Not sure why it matters what room, but I have a feeling that is one of those useless facts that as a parent I will remember forever. They took his vitals, got him settled in and our ordeal really began.
I didn’t sleep that night, although I tried. Too much noise, discomfort trying to sleep in a chair, and worry over Jake. We were supposed to see the Dr. in the morning but she never showed. Ed relieved me around 10 am so I could go home and shower and maybe take a nap. I got a shower in. The Dr. still hadn’t showed up by 5 pm even though Jake’s temperature kept spiking up to 103 and 104 throughout the day. He was drinking and was still on the IV fluids but he hadn’t eaten all day and was pretty sleepy.
My mother-in-law and I showed up to visit and bring Ed some comfortable clothes for the night right around the time Jake’s dinner came. The nurses told us that he would likely be staying another night since his temp. kept spiking up over 101. Considering he hadn’t seen a Dr. yet, I was a little irritated that no one really knew anything and we waited as long as we could before Abby got too fussy so my MIL and I headed back to the house to wait for word from the Dr., after we made sure Jake ate some of his lasagna they gave him for dinner. He actually ate really well and was acting more like his normal self so we thought maybe he wouldn’t have to spend another night there, but he spiked a fever again not long after we left.
Here’s Jake eating his lasagna – well, Grandma feeding it to him and looking more like himself:
It was easily 7 pm before I got the call that a Dr. had finally seen Jake. I was livid that it took so long but Ed said that she apologized but that she had gotten slammed at her clinic. I’m sorry, but there are FOURTEEN pediatricians on the hospital website. Where were one of the other thirteen? Here we are thinking he has meningitis or something and no one to tell us otherwise. I think the worst part of the whole thing is that the nurses did not seem to know much either. They literally shrugged and said “they don’t tell us their schedule” when we asked if Jake was ever going to see a Dr. So who the hell is deciding how to treat him? Someone must have been directing the antibiotics, Tylenol and Motrin he had received, right? Oooh, also…the food the sent him was really stupid. I mean, we kind of got to pick but he had thrown up once, and they were supposed to be pushing fluids. So they give us a lunch menu with a hamburger or pasta salad and cheese cubes on it to pick from. What about soup and jello and bread and crackers? He ate one cheese cube yesterday and threw up again.
So anyhow, Ed said he actually liked the Dr. despite everything and that she suspects a virus called Roseola is the culprit. She said he would stay in the hospital so long as he keeps spiking fevers over 101. She said in the next day or 2 his fevers would stop and he’ll get a harmless rash and then we will know he is over it.
So Ed hunkered down for the night at the hospital with Jake. He had brought his laptop because he has wireless internet access, but he discovered he didn’t need it because the hospital had a wireless network with web access that patients could log into. Ok, so they did one thing right.
Jake had an ok night with just minor spikes in his temp. but he also had a panic attack or something and woke up crying and freaking out and it took them awhile to console him. Otherwise by morning he was doing better and ate his pancake breakfast like a dude who hasn’t eaten in a week. He did have one temperature spike but when the Dr. came in in the morning she took him off the IV fluids.
I went in to relieve Ed around 11 am and he came home to shower and rest. I brought my laptop and actually got some blogging done in between getting up every 10 minutes to make sure Jake was drinking his water and to help him pee. He was feeling better, took a nice nap, tried to eat his lunch (that was the one with the cheese cube) and his temp. went no higher than 101. The Dr. said she would be back around 3 but by 5 pm we hadn’t seen her and again no one seemed to have a clue. I was anxious to have them release him. I knew he was feeling better because since 5, he had started DRIVING ME NUTS. He was totally Jake, being goofy, no longer compliant when I asked him to do something, and rambling on and on about all kinds of weird things.
Finally around 6 pm the Dr. came in, checked him out a little and asked him if he wanted to go home. He said yes, and so she gave us instructions and said she would do the paperwork to release him. We came home and he pretty much went right to sleep on the couch. He woke up sweating but cool around 12:30 am and then slept in his own bed until 8:30 this morning. He seems little warm this morning but nothing to worry about. I’ve got him drinking Gatorade and hopefully can get him to eat something. We’re on the lookout for that rash and anxious to get back to normal.
I know that the nurses jobs are not easy, but especially in the pediatric section of the hospital I expected more. I expected more communication, more interaction with Jake (they were nice but not overly reassuring and communicative with Jake) and more communication with us as to what is going on with him. We were not obnoxious or demanding and we were worried. We felt helpless enough. All the myriad of horrible diseases that kept running through our minds and no one to at least provide some reassurance that it was nothing to worry about so long as we kept him hydrated. On top of that, when his fever spiked and I asked about giving him Tylenol, the nurse said that it is up to me. I was a little taken aback by that. I wanted to say “am I his Dr.?” She kept saying “well, we usually give it if…” I should have yelled, “where is the freakin’ Dr.?” but I just said, “give him the Tylenol.”
I can’t wait to get the satisfaction survey in the mail that hospitals usually send out. I probably won’t get one this time…I’ll be calling and asking for one if I don’t.