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When my baby fell sick


I was in the office on Thursday when Mum called me to ask how to use the digital thermometer – after his bath, she felt that my boy was quite warm and wanted to check.

She called back later to report that he registered a 38.5 deg. C temperature (normal body temp is 37 deg. C). Somehow, my motherly instincts didn’t kick in and I just told her to give him lots of water.

Then, I called hubby to tell him about this and his first question was,
“Are you going home?”
I said, “No.”
“Why?”
Stupid me, “That means I’ll have to take half-day leave and go home…”
“Take leavelah…what are you doing in the office? He’s got a fever you know.”

I don’t know what happened to me that day (probably due to lack of sleep or the distance from the scene) that even my Mum was surprised I didn’t immediately yell, “GIVE HIM A LOT OF WATER! DON’T GIVE HIM ANYTHING ELSE! DON’T DO ANYTHING FUNNY!I’M COMING HOME NOW!!!” which would be my usual reaction to anything.

Anyway, I’m glad hubby bonked me back into reality made me do that as I got home in time to take him to a nearby GP. He wasn’t his usual self as he was just lying quietly on the bed while my Mum prepared milk for him. Usually, he’d be rolling around wildly and screaming bloody murder 🙂

His body felt really warm and he immediately whimpered and cried tearfully when he saw me. I was glad I didn’t pump at the office and started nursing him – he didn’t fuss as usual and cooperated obediently.

Mum was very relieved that I came home or she would have taken him to a doctor herself. I decided to bring him to one but the problem was that I’d been away from my hometown for too long to know of any good ones. I called up my colleague who very helpfully gave me a list that was on our panel – thanks, Ms C!

Taking a shot in the dark, I decided to go for my schoolteacher’s husband, which wasn’t a very good idea.

  1. He didn’t have any patients (I don’t know – normally, we’d go for food stalls which have long lines of suckers customers so I figure that a good doc would go by the same indicator. On hindsight, we did discover some of the most horrible-tasting foods this way too).
  2. He spoke Hokkien although I asked him questions in English and also didn’t look at me when I spoke to him.
  3. He was very rough when depressing his tongue that he cried out. And when I asked him need he be so rough? He replied with a smile, “Rough meh? Nolah…” Even Mum agreed with me.
  4. He did some hard taps on his tummy and proclaimed that he had “wind” and so will prescribe something for him.

His body temperature was actually 38.9 deg. C measured through his ear. He was given paracetamol, a whitish liquid (for the wind) and antibiotics.

Since I was on such a dazed mode, my usual alarm bells didn’t go off even when I saw the antibiotics. I was operating on checklist mode i.e.

Give medical card – ok, put medicine in bag – ok, put wallet in bag – ok, did I put back my medical card? Yes – ok, put his water bottle in bag – ok, open car doors – ok, paracetamol – 3x a day…white stuff – 3x a day…antibiotics – same, must finish all…”

Luckily, I remembered to ask a syringe from the nurse. When we got home, I had to administer 3.5 ml of each medication to him, which was no mean feat. At the first try, he liked the sweetness (the paracetamol smelled like bubblegum) but I guess the bitter aftertaste kicked in after that.

Then, the white stuff (which turned out to be Mallox) didn’t go down at all since it didn’t taste sweet. He clamped his mouth shut and went, “Mmmm….maaaa!” which is probably Mai! (No in Hokkien) or Ma (Mummy, stop torturing your favorite little boy!!!) so I had to look for opportunity to squirt bits into his cheeks.

Finally, came the antibiotic (smelled orangey to me) that I tried saying, “Orange taste…nice” although the poor guy hasn’t tasted oranges yet since I’m afraid he’s allergic to them as I’d develop phlegm each time I ate some while pregnant. The stupid syringe wasn’t very good as a big lot went into although I pressed gently that he choked slightly and went into a coughing fit.

I offered water that he happily sucked that I had to stop him after a while. I’m guessing that he thinks if he stuffs the bottle into his mouth, he/I couldn’t get anymore horrible gunk in. Soon, he looked drowsy that I turned him onto his side and patted his little butt until he fell asleep.

I watched the clock and continued to feel his body for the fever. Not happy with just watching and waiting, I got a pail of tepid water and gently sponged his fiery body. About 1.5 hours later, the temperature went down. Is that how long it takes for the meds to work? I should find out about this.

Later at night, the fever was still there that I continued to nurse him (followed by supplemental thinned down formula), dosed him with water and sponged him. He couldn’t sleep peacefully either waking up after 1 hour or so to cry that by 8 am the next morning, both of us were drained.

Luckily, hubby was around and brought him to walk around the house. My baby boy was then slightly more like his old self although his body was slightly warm. I took the chance to nap a while!

When I woke up, hubby asked if we wanted to visit his paed since it’s only open half-day. This time, I said yes. My parents (as with most old-timers I think) wanted us to hold on till later but I assured my Mum that his paed is very conservative and not a needle-happy or prescription-crazy lady.

Again, we were lucky that there was hardly anyone at the clinic and she could see us at once. She was quite surprised to see him and went tsk-tsk-tsk when we told her he had a fever.

I love this lady as she’s very gentle and calm when approaching him. She didn’t immediately pounce on him but held out her stethoscope for him to take. I was quite surprised he didn’t grab it but instead turned around and looked at me! Wow!…it’s as if he was waiting for my approval. I said it’s ok but he still didn’t take it so she moved on to check his temperature, breathing, heartbeat and tongue. The last she did very gently but still my wimpy little boy cried (ok, poor thing, maybe he still remembers horrible Dr. Quack from yesterday) and turned around to cling to Mummy.

She pointed out that he has a viral fever which will probably be followed on by flu since his nose was a bit runny. He must have gotten it from my Dad who was wandering around the house despite my strict instructions to stay away from him!

Ok, let’s cut him some slack that he did stay as far away as possible from the baby. When I showed her the medication I had given him, she was dismayed to see the antibiotic and Mallox.

She wished that the doc hadn’t given him THAT antibiotic as it caused gastritis, which was why he prescribed Maallox together! Actually, he only needs paracetamol for the fever.

This means that I have to continue with the antibiotic until it’s finished = 3 more torture sessions! Grrr…my anger towards that doctor grew, especially since he had crapped me about wind in the stomach. Anyway, the good doctor said that I could cut down the dose to 2.5 ml and gave me another one for the flu…only 1.5 ml.

Sigh! She was pleased to note though that most of his old eczema was gone except for the persistent one on his calf. She gave me hydrocortisone by Daktarin since it’s also a fungal infection but I’m not that keen to use it after what I read about skin thinning problems.

My baby boy now weighs 8.15 kg! He’s trying really hard to crawl nowadays and have managed to scoot forwards and even went on all fours a couple of times. Mummy and Papa are too busy nowadays to bring him to get some new toys so he’s been given the same old toys which he’d chew and finger for a while before tossing them away.

Diaper changing times are a tussle as he just W-O-N-T keep still while I swab him, spread the Drapolene, lay the nappy and finally, the tapes! He’ll want to turn around to look for his toys, turn quickly towards the window to hear the @#$% back lane cats meowing or grab at the tub of wet wipes.

Sometimes, out of desperation, I’d give him the tube of Drapolene which he’d happily chew on. That’s another bad idea as I found that he’s gnawed some of the pink color off of it so no more Drapolene for him!

We all fear the time when he can finally crawl around although his Papa and Grandpa are egging him on. He’s been getting stuck horizontally in the cot quite a lot of times and also hit his head against the spine. Initially, I’d exclaim, “Aiyo!” and he’d cry in response. Later, I decided to just keep cool when it happened again and he didn’t cry. Guess he loves babying up to Mummy!

Lately, he’s been eyeing his dear Pooh suspended up there above him with a different eye – no longer is he looking at that bear lovingly. This time around, I think he’s thinking, “Hmm…how do I get up there? I’ve been bugged by your shadows and your silly circling clouds it’s time I had a piece of you guys!” Uh-oh, I’ll have to put Pooh out of harm’s way when this little doggy is on the move…

In conclusion, I’m glad to see my baby back to his bubbly, bouncy self and also regaining his appetite. I’ve been too caught up with work lately to capture any photos – hope to get some this weekend.

P/S Due to his fever, he had to miss out on his baptism and now, we are in a running panic since his Godfather will not be around in Oct, which means it’s Nov or never. Dec would be Christmas and ack, Jan would mean a 1 year old!

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Lilian September 26, 2006, 3:06 pm

    Dun mean to sound like yr grandma but next time if any temp above 38 deg, sponge immediately. Anything over 38.5, the doctor normally use a suppository to bring it down. Paracetamol normally dun work when the fever goes up to 38. Babies sometimes start vomitting due to the fever so he can’t keep the medicine down. kehkehkeh…ignore me hor.

  • KittyCat September 26, 2006, 3:17 pm

    Lilian: Thanks for this advice – will remember this always! Appreciate it a lot. I was quite surprised why Dr. Quack didn’t insert a suppository but dunnolah what happen to my Mummy mode that day. Thank God he’s alright.

  • WMD: Wife, Mother, Daughter September 26, 2006, 4:59 pm

    Yeah Lilian is right.

    Whenever the boys have fever, I get very worried. I am told that paracetamol takes 30mins to take effect.

    I laughed when I read about you having to put up with a squirmy baby when changing diapers. Welcome!! I distract him with things (drapolene has been used too) and at times, if it fails, I will smack his bum lightly and he would stare at me wondering what is wrong.

  • Min September 27, 2006, 3:11 am

    What a satoooopid Dr Quack. How can he simply prescribe antibiotics? For a baby some more. Aiyoo! I hope the young man gets well soon. So kesian hor, to see him not being his active self.

  • KittyCat September 27, 2006, 9:36 am

    WMD: 30 mins? Wow…that means 1.5 hrs was too long for him that day. Thank God I sponged him down.

    I’m relieved to hear I’m not the only Drapolene-flashing Mum out there! Whack his bum? Nolah, I can’t do that…yet he he.

    Mama Min: Hello! Nice to see you here. Yeah, he’s back to to his usual noisy antics & terrorising the old folks at home =)

  • Peter & Gladys Liew September 27, 2006, 11:08 pm

    it is good to hear that your baby is doing fine now

  • Angeleyes September 28, 2006, 2:51 am

    My good friend in SG who son is just 1 month younger than Darrius was hit by the fever bug too and was admitted to hospital for 5 days! The doc who dignosed him said he has some kind of bacteria infection in his blood which caused him to have fever on and off. That little baby still sick today according to his mommy… 🙁

  • KittyCat September 28, 2006, 6:00 pm

    Peter&Gladys We’re glad too! Quite worried when he got sick coz he was so quiet.

    AngeleyesSorry to hear about your friend’s son. I hope that he will feel better soon. Will keep him in my prayers.

  • Zara's Mama September 29, 2006, 12:41 pm

    I’m alway very worried when Zara catch a fever.. you know.. fever.. brain.. they are connected.

    Hmm.. good that Lilian left this piece of advice.. I’ll have to remember this too.

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