January 31, 2011

Let the Sickness Begin

My daughters' health is the one area where I try not to take chances. You have to understand that these four girls spent between 63 and 87 days in the NICU. Any and every little gurgle was a cause for concern. Having had such "fragile" babies has likely turned me into one of "those" moms, the one who calls the pediatrician at the sign of any pending illness.
The other day I was convinced Sue Sue had a concussion. She woke up and said she had a headache. I told her to drink some water. A short time later she was on the couch and seemed a bit lethargic. I tried talking to her but she wouldn't say much, other than reminding me that she had a headache. Then I noticed she had a bruise on her head. For a few minutes I was convinced she had bonked her head without my knowledge and now needed to be rushed to the pediatrician. Fortunately, rather than calling the pediatrician, I first called Hubby. Not that he had any answers. He was at work and could only go by what I said. In the course of that short conversation, Sue Sue got off the couch and started playing with her sisters. Her lethargic ways had disappeared. So much for the concussion. (In my defense, she is sick. She has some type of virus, so I'm guessing that day was the beginning stages of her illness).
It's easy to laugh and write me off as a hypochondriac or a worry wart. The thing is, when I don't worry, things go from bad to worse. About two years ago, Sue Sue had a fever and a cough. A terrible, horrible cough. I brushed it off as a cold... until the evening rolled around and she was having trouble breathing. After a brief consultation with the on-call pediatrician, Sue Sue and I were on our way to the emergency room. Croup. We were there for hours doing chest x-rays and getting doses of steroids. That incident is always in the back of my mind. What if I blow off the next illness and it's even more serious?
Over the summer, both Cakes and Sue Sue had really goopy eyes one day. We had been outside all day and it was really windy. I chalked it up to allergies... until their eyes were matted shut the next morning. Pink eye. 
In all seriousness, I truly don't call the pediatrician that often. I know what questions the nurses are going to ask (temperature, rashes, etc), so if I can answer those questions and be comfortable with the answers I usually don't call. Sue Sue spent all day yesterday napping. Today she seems better, but not 100%.

7 comments:

MaryAnne said...

Poor Sue Sue. I hope she gets completely better soon - and that your other daughters stay healthy!

Emma got croup when she was three weeks old. SO scary.

Stephanie Barr said...

I had my battle with croup last year.

If I'd had four kids in NICU for as much as a week, I'd probably be frantically overprotective.

Do what you need to do. Four kids all the same age just adds another wrinkle.

Christina said...

I would be just like you too! Mine didn't have that time in the NICU, and I still freak out more then I should. Abby is pretty sick with a cold right now, and of course I keep thinking it's going to turn in to something like croup, or worse. It's hard to not worry about your kids.

Lauren said...

Confessions of a paramedic- I too page the doctor and wish i hadn't. It's a multiples thing. I was on my way to the ER one night convinced that one of my daughters had an inflamed appendix because she spiked a fever and her tummy hurt. It was only after i had to pull over to let her throw up, declare herself fine and smile did i come to my senses and go back home! Your not alone!

Holly Ann said...

I know that feeling! I'm definitely not one to call the pediatrician for every little thing - sorry, but I don't want to pay to hear that my kid has a cold and there's nothing they can do. But I know when it's time to call. I felt so bad the time I put off calling the doctor for a little too long and my son ended up having RSV. :(
I hope your girls are all feeling healthy soon!

reanbean said...

I am definitely a worrier when it comes to illnesses with the kids, although I think I've mellowed a bit more recently as they've been sick a lot this winter and I've gotten more used to how to interpret their symptoms. But I still sleep with the baby monitor on whenever they're sick, and rush to them at the first whimper to make sure they're okay. I'm just too worried that if I'm not concerned enough, I'll miss an important sign and something bad could happen. So, yeah, you're not alone.

I hope Sue Sue is feeling much better now. No fun to be sick.

Sarah said...

Colin was my NICU baby. To top it off, he was hospitalized 3 times last year for reactive airway disease. One cough from him, and I turn into "that mom". I hope Sue Sue is feeling better by now.

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