What a week we have had!!! Our sweet baby came down with the chicken pox last Wednesday. He was doing very well. He started out with one spot above his left eyebrow and soon started popping up more. He didn't seem to notice to much, I think because of his eczema. That, to me, was a lifesaver. I didn't want him to have to go through any discomfort...then the weekend came.
I kept telling myself, all we had to do was get through the weekend and all would be fine. By the time Saturday rolled around, The Baby (now 7 months old) had MANY spots. He was starting to get very fussy, not sleeping at all, and starting to not eat very much. His temperature was up to 102. I was concerned but figured it just came with the chicken pox. I knew he was going to be uncomfortable and not eat as much. It took a LONG time to get him down for bed. He just wanted to be held all the time. Because that day was so rough for us, I figured that was it. Tomorrow we started the recovery. He wasn't showing any signs of scabbing yet. They were still just popping up. I was hopeful Sunday would be the start to our downhill slide of the chicken pox.
When we got up Sunday morning, his temperature was still 102. We were giving him Tylenol ever few hours and cool baths like there was no tomorrow. They weren't helping. He cried out in pain every time we set him down. My husband and I were tag teaming between him and The Boy, who was scared and confused at what was wrong with The Baby. By noon, we called one of our friends, who used to be a PEDS nurse, told her his temperature was 102 and had been for 24 hours, his breathing was very fast...60 breaths per minute (should be 30-40), he was just laying on us not responding, and his eyes were becoming dull looking. He also had only one wet diaper all day. She said check again in a few hours, temperature and diaper. We did only to find a dry diaper and his temperature was 103. We gave him more Tylenol and another cool bath. As my husband was bathing him, I called the on-call PEDS doctor. She advised us to head on in to the local Children's Hospital. We took his temperature again and it was still going up. Nothing was helping and he was becoming more lethargic. By this time, The Boy was terrified something was wrong and was very clingy. We told him he was going to play at a friends house which lifted his spirits. He knew The Baby was sick and we were taking him to the doctor to make him feel better.
Once we arrived at the ER, they took us back right away, only to sit and wait...and wait...and wait. Our poor baby's temperature continued to rise and he was responding less and less. When they finally came in his temperature was 103.5. They gave him Tylenol and came back later to check...actually, I had to find them after almost 2 hours to check his temperature. By this time, we had found towels in the room, soaked them in water, and draped them over our little boy. He was producing so much heat and his breathing had become very irregular. We were terrified by now. I was trying so hard to hold it together. When they finally came to get his temp., it was up again...104.1. Nothing was working for him. They finally gave him some Motrin, got his IV in (through his head :/), and were sending us off to get and x-ray of his chest. He was laying on my chest with his eyes practically shut. This was not good. He was starting to slip away from us. My husband reassured me that if I wasn't breastfeeding he would not have made it this far. By now, we were kicking ourselves for not getting in sooner. I was a mess, tears running down my face as we started to head for the xray. I wasn't sure what was going to happen.
The first time he lifted his head in 24 hours
Once we got to our room, he had been given fluids for almost an hour as well as the Motrin. We were talking with the nurses and the doctor about what was going to happen the next few days, what they were going to look for and all that. Then all of a sudden, The Baby lifted his head!!! My husband and I started to tear and looked at one another with such relief. He was going to be okay. We knew it. The doctor told us he had the chicken pox on his lungs, which was the cause of his labored breathing. They were going to closely monitor that as well as his hydration. He had hardly anything left in his system after not eating or drinking for 2-3 days. They took his temperature again and it had gone down to 103, but it was going down. I was happy about that. The doctor then told us that if there temp got to 105, then they start seeing brain damage. That about put a damper on my thrill for his temp going down. To me 104.1 and 105 are about the same. Does it really matter when it gets to be that high!?!? My husband, who is also a nurse, assured me he was going to be fine.
The Baby didn't start eating until Monday afternoon. Once he started that, he was showing great signs of improvement. His temp was still above 100, but no where close to 104, or 105! I was OK with that. I could handle 100 or 101. What I couldn't handle was when he pulled his IV out of his head. I looked down to see him holding the cord and the needle sliding out. I almost lost it. The Hubby rushed over and put it back and called our nurse. "What makes you think he pulled it out?" she asked. Ummm.....we saw it!!!! She secured it more and put his arm in a sling type thing to keep him from grabbing it again. He looked pitiful, but continuing to feel better! :)
After three days in the hospital, we were finally cleared to go home. His lungs had cleared and he was finally starting to scab. He probably ended up with a couple thousand spots. It was awful. He slept all night Monday and all day Tuesday at the hospital. His poor body was exhausted and needed to start healing itself. Thank God for my mother, who was able to fly out right away and be with us and help with The Boy. He was still very concerned for his little brother, but was so happy to see his Grammy! I am happy to report that we are now home, The Baby is losing some spots, and is only irritated by the itching. We are keeping a constant eye on him and not letting time get in between his doses of Motrin or Benadryl. He stills cries some when we put him down, but today was the first time, since Friday, that he played. It was the best thing I have ever seen. He was happy. Good news, I don't think he will need the shot because he had it so bad. The Boy was vaccinated and has shown no signs in picking up the chicken pox.