Monday, March 29, 2010


This past Sunday will henceforth be known as the Great Rest-Day Fail of 2010.

It was a weekend of needing to be in two places at once—in New Hampshire for my long shift at the hospital on Saturday, and in Connecticut for my mom's birthday party on Sunday. Alex had a slightly trying day with the B: running errands in the morning and a visit with me over lunch stretched into the early afternoon, late enough that she got a second wind and didn't have a nap. Naps are as sacrosanct for a parent as they are for a tired child, and their absence is sorely missed. When I got home from work on at 8pm Saturday night, we had an hour of flurried activity, packed up the creatures, and headed south, arriving at my parents' house around 1 AM.

Brynna seemed happy to go back to sleep in a crib rather than her carseat, and Alex and I fell gratefully into bed, anticipating a nice lie-in in the morning while M and Deen entertained the B.

But at 1:30, we heard "Dada! Dada!" from the room next door. Over the next couple of hours, we were up and down with Brynna four or five times. We rocked her, I nursed her, we brought her into bed with us (twice), I changed her diaper. None of this resulted in her falling asleep for longer than 15 minutes. She screamed, she chattered, she crawled up and down the length of the bed, she stood up and leaned over the headboard, she turned over and kicked us in the head...but she did not sleep.

Around 3:30, as Brynna howled "Deen! Deen! Eeeemmmmm!" I decided to let my folks in on the fun and brought Brynna up to their room. Despite the tender ministrations of her grandparents, Brynna continued to sleep fitfully. I eventually realized that she wasn't just off her game due to the change in locations or strange driving hours—she felt really hot. And she started holding her ears and saying "ow."

So, here we were at 5 AM on a Sunday morning, several states away from Brynna's doctor, suspecting an ear infection. My father woke up enough to shuffle off downstairs and look up ER/urgent care options, and to figure out where the closest 24-hour pharmacy was (yes, I admit it, I was thinking about calling in an antibiotic for my kid, or at least some anesthetic ear drops until we could get to a doctor). We didn't even have Tylenol—I hadn't packed any because she wasn't sick when we left New Hampshire, darn it!

At 6 AM, Dad went down the street to the convenience store and returned triumphantly with their only bottles of infant Tylenol and infant ibuprofen. We squirted some into Brynna ("die-nol!" she exclaimed, before falling into a deep sleep) and the next thing I remember after that is waking up with Alex and Brynna around 8:30, my poor mom and dad having been exiled from their own bed by their ill grandchild and her too-exhausted-to-move parents.

We then took B off to the urgent care center in the next town (a much more palatable option than the city ER 20 minutes away), where we waited for perhaps 15 minutes before being escorted to a room. Brynna happily took my hand and walked down the hallway until we arrived in the doorway of the exam room, where the categorization part of her brain clearly screamed, "Doctor Alert! Doctor Alert!" and she absolutely crumpled. She was crying so hard that the poor medical assistant couldn't even get vital signs on her.

As often happens at her regular doctor, B had recovered somewhat by the time the actual doctor came in. A father of 6, he was able to win her cooperation enough for a quick and mostly tear-free exam. I did get to practice my Parent Head Grip from the other end of the ear-light, which was useful. And, in fact, Brynna did have a double ear infection.

We were sent off with a sticker, a toy elephant, and a prescription for amoxicillin. Brynna was very excited when I showed her the syringe full of pink antibiotic, since it looked just like the "Die-nol" that she loves. However, that excitement wore off about 0.2 seconds after I started squirting it into her mouth. She clearly detests the bubble gum flavor, and it has soured her on all the pink stuff—since getting her first taste of amoxicillin, she has screamed when confronted with Tylenol and Motrin as well. We have had limited success disguising the stuff in yogurt, berries, and other concoctions, but it's hard to convince B to finish enough of the food to be sure that she's had the whole dose of medicine.

This led to the really delightful scene in our kitchen before bed this evening, with Alex holding Brynna's head still while I alternately squirted medication into her howling mouth and stoppered her up with her pacifier. Fun times.

So, I've recalculated her dosing to twice a day instead of three times a day (I used Epocrates just like I do for my patients—this is within the range of dosing options for amoxicillin, I'm not freelancing with my kid's health), and we're starting with that tomorrow.

And Alex and I would like a do-over on our weekend, please.


Chaosbeana said...

This is a VERY sad story for all involved.

Clara said...

Eeeee! I hope she's not allergic to amoxacillin!

And a weekend do-over sounds needed. :(

Kate said...

Bah - sounds like a lousy time. Hope your mom had a decent birthday at least! :)

(You might not want to publish the following:)
...I am allergic to PCN... I thought Alex was allergic to at least one of the 'cillins'.. I know you are watching closely but thought you would want to know that background info!

April said...

OMG, is this my future? I think I need a nap. Haha