Mason had what we thought might be a case of the croup last week. He woke up a couple of mornings with a bad, croupy cough, after rattled breathing at night. Mason has never been immunized and his immune system is far superior to ours. He rarely ever gets sick, even when the rest of us are in bed, slingin’ snot…or worse. When he does get sick, he might run a fever for a few hours or have a runny nose for a day or two but then it’s all over.
On Halloween night, Max said, “My brain feels funny.” Honestly, I thought he’d just had too much candy. Later that night, he felt warm to me but I didn’t give it much thought, either, because our heater has been running quite a bit now that it’s cold out. Sunday morning, he woke up with a sore throat and a croupy cough. I naturally thought he caught Mason’s croup and that he’d be just fine in a few hours, just like Mason. We packed for a trip to Kennebunkport with my mom (we had special plans there for her at an inn on the ocean), and hit the road. Good thing I always pack a thermometer in our overnight bag because Max was definitely running a fever by the time we arrived.
That night (Sunday), his fever spiked at 102.2. I don’t give the kids Tylenol (or any meds) unless/until their fever hits 103. Sure, a fever makes you feel lousy but your body is doing its job. Why in the world slow down the recovery by slowing down the body’s natural defense mechanism? I believe you can get even more ill by doing that and our doctor agrees.
I was up almost all night that night, watching Max’s pink, feverish cheeks as he slept, and listening to the rumbling in his throat from the congestion that was getting heavier by the hour. I got out of bed at 5:00 a.m. to see if the sun was rising yet. Might as well get some great photos since I wasn’t sleeping anyway, right?
The sun didn’t actually hit the horizon until 6:20-something and, by that time, Max was up, wanting to see it, too. That was a good sign. His temperature had dropped to 101.4. I took a picture of him watching the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. I told him I could count on only one hand the number of times I’ve seen that in my lifetime. When the big, flaming ball finally appeared, he yelled, “There it is!” It was exquisite! I tried to make him go back to sleep but he was having a hard time doing that because his throat hurt so badly. We got him to eat some breakfast at around 8:00 a.m. and he threw it up at 9:00. That’s when I knew we weren’t dealing with just croup.
We had to check out by 11:00 and head to Portland because Mom’s flight was leaving the next day. We made Max a bed in the back seat of the van, complete with two pillows, two blankets, and the DVD player. He was able to lie down while still buckled and, while he kept saying he was going to throw up again, he didn’t. We got to the Portland hotel and checked in early. Max was ordered to bed and Mason soon went down for a nap, too. Richard took care of the boys so I could run some errands with my mom. I introduced her to needle felting so we went looking for some books on that as well as some more supplies. We stayed in the hotel room for dinner (pizza) because I was starting to think this might be a flu and I didn’t want Max spreading it around.
Monday night, Max’s fever went back up but no higher than 101.2. I was worried because, while he seemed a bit better, his fever wasn’t going away. Tuesday morning, it was a bit lower and even got as low at 99 at one point before going back up shortly thereafter. That was it. I called the doctor. We made an appointment for 4:00 p.m. and I told them to NOT mention the word “swine flu” in front of Max because he’s terrified of it after seeing so much on the news.
We dropped Mom at the airport and we headed back to Bangor. The doc swabbed him for strep first thing. Negative. She then poked and prodded, asked a bunch of questions, and sent Max out to the waiting room with Richard so she could tell me he “very likely” has swine flu and didn’t think doing a swab in his nasal cavity would tell us anything we didn’t already know, and would, in fact, make him very uncomfortable and upset. I agreed. I told her if one of the older kids starts showing symptoms, we’ll bring them in and she can torture them instead. Ha ha ha. All kidding aside, she says the fever may run a couple or few more days and to just keep pumping fluids and vitamins into him. Of course, he has to stay in bed and we need to look for signs of pneumonia but he doesn’t have any fluid in his lungs right now and likely won’t. The abating fever is a good sign and she’s certain he’ll be just fine since he’s been sick four days now and since the symptoms are getting better. She also said they are not giving the flu meds (like Tamiflu) to otherwise healthy individuals because they expect a shortage so they’re saving those for people with underlying medical conditions. That was fine with us.
Anyway, after this looooong-winded News From the Home Office, I need to tell you that today’s issue is abbreviated because I’m not getting much sleep because I’m waking up every half hour or so to check on him. So, I’m feeling like a dead-head this week.
UPDATE: Max must be feeling better. His pizza is talking to me and the pizza’s voice sounds suspiciously like Max’s. 😉
WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: I was wrong. Mason must have really had just the croup last week. He definitely has the flu now. Started late last night. 🙁
WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE: Max’s fever finally broke! However, he has a wicked case of diarrhea so his body is obviously now in cleansing mode. Hallelujah! I’ve had a hard time keeping him in bed today so I knew he was definitely on the mend. Mason’s fever is going up now with the night air but he’s napping peacefully.
THURSDAY UPDATE: Max coughed quite a bit last night and his fever came back, but very low-grade. He’s MUCH better today. Mason still has a low-grade fever and throat congestion but is very energetic and active. Keeping them both in bed today has been a struggle! Zach (age 23) is sick now. He has a doc appt. in the morning. He was with us on Halloween so he was exposed. 🙁
This week’s Maxism:
“Good germs don’t mess you up.”
Hugs to all!
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