Our Weekend in the Hospital

We had big plans for the weekend, ZeQara, Hades, and I. We were going to wake up Saturday morning and do a few chores then head to Gma and Papa’s house in JC. We’d spend the afternoon and evening with them, then wake up Sunday morning and Zozo and I would head to Nebraska for my Great Gma Rita’s 94th Birthday party and we’d get to see Papa Eddy and the rest of the family there.

I had the luggage packed and was ready to load it all into the car, when I checked on Zozo laying in my bed, watching TV. She looked really tired and I asked if she was okay. She responded saying she was really, really tired. She didn’t leave the bed as I loaded some things and cleaned the cat boxes. Then I got lunch ready and when I went back in my room, she was complaining that, “her head was breaking.” She didn’t look very happy. I asked if she wanted a big hug and to tell me where it hurt. She said her whole head hurt, especially her forehead. I got her some tylenol and then gave her a big hug and noticed she was blazing hot to the touch. When I checked her temperature immediately following, she was 100.3.

We decided to let the tylenol do its thing. She didn’t have any other symptoms outside of the headache. I pushed her to sip water for a couple hours and we rested. Finally, around 2 hours later, her temperature read 98.8 and she was chasing Hades around. She said her head still hurt, but it was better. She was acting mostly like herself again. So, we decided to head off to Gma’s house, thinking maybe it was a fluke or something to do with her recently diagnosed over reactive lymph nodes. I felt those too by the way, something I find myself doing daily now, and they hadn’t changed in size or quantity of the larger ones swollen, so I figured it wasn’t anything to worry over. I watched as she helped me load up paintings she’d done for the family and she made sure we brought Hades plenty of treats.

We got to our half way mark to fill up with gas and things took a worrisome turn. She had fallen asleep about ten minutes into our drive, after telling me how much she missed Gma, Papa, and Papa Eddie; how she couldn’t wait to give “uncle” Rita her birthday painting. (hehe) But when we stopped for gas, she stirred a little every few seconds and was talking in her sleep. She then woke up as I finished pumping, and asked, “why is that bandit there, mommy?” I looked around, thinking someone was walking by that maybe had a scarf or hood or something on that would make her ask that, but nothing. She started crying real tears, the fearful ones. You know, I still find it unsettling sometimes and so cool how a mother can tell what kind of tears her child has – tired, forced ones, or truly scared or sad tears. ZeQara was very afraid and a little sad about it as she cried and said, “they are coming to get us. That bandit, mommy, why is he here, nooooo.” I got goosebumps. I told her we were leaving and I’d keep her safe, not to worry. We left the fueling station and headed on our way again. She quickly fell back asleep, talking nonsense and slurry weird things in her sleep as we went. I debated turning around so we didn’t get my parents sick if she was catching something. But I was very worried about her sudden headache and strange behavior. I decided we had made it that far and maybe there was a reason. I figured if anything, we’d have their help if we needed something. ZeQara woke a few more times briefly to say her body hurt. I thought maybe it was from sitting in the buckle seat in the same position sleeping. She wasn’t sweating and she looked, in general, okay.

We pulled up to Gma and Papa’s house and she started crying about her head hurting again. She held her forehead and when I picked her up, she was hot like a branding iron. We went inside and she was crying telling Gma and Papa she was sick. I took her temperature and it was 103.8. Immediately gave her some more medicine to help the fever and hoped her headache pain too. Checked her temperature every 15-30 minutes to see if it was going down and it was climbing. It reached 105.2. I read that tylenol and ibuprofen can take 2 hours to bring temperatures down 1-2 degrees, so we made a plan that if it didn’t go down by 1930 or her pain was not better, we’d go to the ER on base. She was drinking water and even a little milk, just fine. Still no additional symptoms – no coughing, no sneezing, no upset stomach, etc.

She rested on the couch for a while and started to look a little more lively. Her temp was still 104.8 on average though. Then she started crying and holding her head again. That mama knows the cry type moment, and I knew her head was really hurting her. So, we loaded up and headed to IACH. On the way, I got a google giggle. ZeQara kept saying, “when we see the doctor, tell them I need an eye test. When I close both my eyes, mommy, I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING AT ALL!” haha. She was very serious and told me 3 or 4 times.

We got to the ER and she was still blazing hot in my arms. When we checked in, the nurse took her temp in her mouth but she was so busy talking and questioning if I had tried to bring her fever down before coming in and not believing me when I told her it was 105.2 about an hour before coming in. She told ZeQara the thermometer was going to go into her cheek, but she barely stuck it in the center of her mouth for like 2 seconds before she pulled it out and Zozo’s lips weren’t really closed on it. I made a comment, “ope, didn’t get a good reading sweetie, gonna try again, make sure to close your lips on it and hold still.” The nurse said, 98.8, no fever, good job mom. I was like, “there’s no way. Feel her skin. Her cheeks are flushed red and she feels like she was dipped in fire bath.” The nurse started telling her thank you for being sweet and how all the kids coming in tonight had been mean and beating her up. Then she said our room was ready. I asked her to take her temperature again and she said we would in the room. Her temperature was still 104.

The PA and nurse were good. They forgot about our labs at one point though. The PA was calling the Pediatrician upstairs, who I could tell was being very thorough and didn’t want to just send us away. They took blood and hooked up an IV for fluids. ZeQara didn’t like it at first but once the IV was in, she said it wasn’t that bad. The pediatrician came to visit and we told her all over again what was going on. It was already about 2am. She wanted to start some antibiotics and monitor Zozo. Wait for some cultures to come back because it wasn’t clear what was going on. We were admitted and sent upstairs.

ZeQara had some amazing nurses. The pediatrician even told them her favorite color was purple and had purple hospital pajamas waiting for her. One nurse even drew her favorite dinosaur and a unicorn for her. She didn’t know what a stegosaurus looked like so she had to look one up. It was sweet she took the time and extra effort to do that for her. She loved it.

Her fever was going down then back up to 102.8 when they settled us in. It finally broke after a couple rounds of meds. Every test they did came back negative but they said they could tell she had something viral.

Once she was feeling better she did the only thing suitable for a Taurus to do – beg for food. Haha she got an appetite back and ate a cheese pizza.

Gma and papa watched Hades and brought me some coffee. Then we found out we’d be staying another night to wait for some more cultures and make sure she got another round of antibiotics through her IV before switching to oral. Fever stayed away.

We got released from isolation and we were set free to explore the hospital. We had the whole place to ourselves on Sunday basically. We climbed stairs, explored hallways, and roamed the elevators. Then the nurse gave us a soccer ball and we played hallways soccer for hours.

She also tried calling birds from the room window, using her fancy hospital cup.

She woke up this morning and vomited. Then couldn’t stay awake for several hours. She recovered and was back to playing soccer with the nurses in no time though.

Finally, we were prepped to go home. Waiting on a final test that was sent off site and will take a couple days. She’s been fever free and on antibiotics over 24 hrs so she’s so she’s free to enter the world again. Hehe.

Made it back to gmas. Headed home here in a bit. Will follow up in a week with our primary doctor. Get a phone call about those outstanding tests in a couple days.

Not quite the adventure we set out to have this weekend. Here’s to hoping we don’t have anymore of these adventures.

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