Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tales of a Sick Toddler

Oliver doesn't get sick very often, but every time he shows signs of a fever, I think to myself, "I wonder if this will be the big one!" He's had a couple colds that have made him uncomfortable, and one day last month, he vomited a couple of times but was otherwise just fine. Well, let's just say we've officially gotten through our first really sick day.

It all started on Sunday. Oliver was unusually crabby, and we weren't sure why. We wondered if he was teething or if his ears were infected. Monday followed the same suit. Cue Monday night. Oliver would not sleep. All night, he kept fussing. Every time I woke up to use the bathroom, I could hear him flopping around in his crib, whining and groaning. I don't think he slept much at all.

Yesterday (Tuesday), I couldn't talk him into using the potty. He wasn't peeing his pants or anything, but he was holding it for close to four hours straight. I worried he was dehydrated, but he wouldn't drink or eat much. At one point, I started undressing him to motivate him to use the potty, and I realized his skin was quite warm. I got the thermometer. Oliver's ear temp measured 102.4! Now, I believe in letting people run mild or moderate fevers to fight off what ails them, but 102.4 was too high for my liking. I gave Oliver a dose of generic baby Tylenol, which helped drop his fever to ~100.5 for most of the day.

Andrew ran out to the store for us after dinner to stock up on food because we have a winter storm warning. Oliver only wanted to snuggle, so I took him upstairs on got him dressed for bed. We snuggled in bed, and then Oliver passed out next to me. It was so adorable. I waited for Andrew to get home to decide what to do. We ultimately chose to wake him to give him a half dose of Tylenol before bed to help keep his fever from spiking in the middle of the night.

Our plan didn't work. Oliver woke every hour, crying and yelling for us. His nose was stuffed, and he was drooling everywhere from breathing through his mouth. We kept going up and giving him sips of water. It would soothe him for a little while. Around 3am, I woke to Oliver making some weird noises. I shook Andrew to see if he'd be up for giving Oliver more water. He got up, and I heard him say things like, "Oh, Buddy, let's get you out of there." Ten minutes later, he came back in the room and told me Oliver had vomited everywhere. Andrew had changed him and stripped the sheets from the crib.

I took Oliver and laid down with him on his big boy bed, hoping my presence would help him sleep for longer stretches. He snuggled me a bit and wanted to lay on top of me to sleep. After a few minutes, he sat up. I pulled up to an almost, sit, and Oliver leaned in to my shirt and vomited. I re-positioned him to a kneel, and watched helplessly as he threw up water over and over and over again. I called to Andrew because I don't deal very well with vomit. Andrew helped Oliver hold his head over some blankets while I peeled my shirt off. There was vomit in my hair! I couldn't even consider a shower because our only working one at the moment is in Oliver's room. I tied my hair up out of my face.

Oliver wanted to drink water. He kept saying, "Wah. Ter. Wah. Ter. Wah. Ter." I remembered the advice I'd gotten from other moms the last time he'd thrown up, although I didn't need it back then. They told me only to give him small sips of water. I decided it was better for Oliver to keep down a small sip of water than for him to chug a bunch and throw it back up. So, I gave him a sip. He wanted more. It was awful. How do you tell a little one that he can't have more water? Urg.

I gave him one more sip, and then we put him back in his crib with a blanket used as a sheet. He fell asleep almost immediately but continued waking every hour or so saying, "Wah. Ter. Wah. Ter. More." We gave him tiny sips throughout the night.

This morning, Oliver was doing much better. He ate a frozen waffle and drank water and kept both down. He had his two-year-old "well visit" today (coincidentally), which Andrew took him to. The doctor said his ears and throat were fine. Even his temperature was fine! Andrew bought him a "potato cake" (McDonald's hashbrowns) after his appointment. Oliver ate it and kept it down as well.

We're into the late morning. Off and on, Oliver starts feeling warm to the touch again, but he's acting more like his normal self and hasn't thrown up since about 3:30am or so. Outside, the first snow of the season is piling up in the grass. We have a good seven inches outside, and it's going to keep snowing throughout the day. Oliver is fascinated with it and keeps asking to go outside. I've held my ground so far and denied him the opportunity, but I'm going to admit that there's a part of me that wants to cave. I keep thinking he's feeling better, and if I put him in his snow suit and only take him out for a few minutes onto the back patio, it shouldn't cause any problems. After all, he was able to go outside to get to his doctor's appointment, and he wasn't in a snow suit for that! On the other hand, there'll be more snow storms, and I don't want to cause Oliver to feel chilled. It's so difficult to do what's right!

We'll see if I cave in. Maybe I'll see how he feels after his nap. We can always follow up the outdoors with a warm cocoa and a warm bath. I bet the little guy would enjoy a bath today anyway.

Let's hope the rest of today goes well, and let's really hope Oliver sleeps better tonight. The poor guy can't continue with this trend of not sleeping at night.

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