I’m sick of sick. Seriously, I’m done. I want my kid back. And, I want to know where that M&M came from.
We did not have a good weekend. When Michael got home from my mom’s on Friday, he was still running a fever, but did not appear to have any other symptoms. He was in a decent mood, so I decided that we would just take it easy, and see how things were going on Saturday morning.
Saturday started at 5:30 am when Michael woke up crying for medicine. Andy and I rushed to him, got him settled down, and got some Motrin in him. Andy stayed up with him, while I tried to go back to bed and get some sleep. I tossed and turned for a bit trying to decide if I should take him to the doctor, or just head right into the ER.
I hate this kind of situation. I’m a fairly decisive person. I look at the facts, consider my emotions, and then quickly come to a conclusion. But the decision to go to the doctor or ER is tough when there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong but a fever. I worry that I’m over reacting to a situation that doesn’t really warrant medical care. Then I worry that I’m not concerned enough. I hem and haw, and end up feeling like I’m really bad at this whole parenting thing, and worry that no matter what I do, it will be the wrong thing.
I finally gave up on sleep and decided to take Michael in. I jumped in the shower quickly, and then went down to check on Michael. He and Andy were goofing around, laughing, and eating. I took Michael’s temperature, and he was fine. I knew that part of it could be from the Motrin, but Michael was doing great, so I decided to give him a little more time before taking him in.
We went out and did some shopping. Michael had a blast running around the store. He seemed to be doing great. On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up food for dinner. I had plans to try some great new recipes as potential Thanksgiving Day menu items. In the 15 minutes from the store to the grocery market, Michael started to go downhill. By the time we got him home, he was feverish and complaining about his mouth. I gave the Pediatrician’s office a call, and had just missed them for the day. I regretted not taking him in earlier.
I gave him some more Motrin, and took him up to my bed to nap. He had a rough time of it. He didn’t want to swallow, so he was drooling and clearing his throat. He didn’t get much sleep, and neither did I. We finally abandoned the nap, and came down to get dinner started.
Part way through preparing dinner, Michael got upset that I wouldn’t come into the living room with him. He tossed up what little food he had eaten all over me, the kitchen, and Shirt. At that point, I decided that we would finish up dinner and head to the ER.
We decided to make the drive to one of the bigger and better ERs than our local hospital. It was the one right decision that I made all weekend. They brought us right in and took excellent care of Michael. Michael was a real trooper too. I wasn’t sure how he was going to handle it, but he did great. Well, except for the toddler hospital gown. He would not wear it. Period. After pulling at it for about 10 minutes, I finally decided that he didn’t really need it, and took it off. We cuddled on the ER bed so I could keep him warm.
The rapid strep test came back negative, but based on Michael’s symptoms; the doctor felt that it was strep. He gave us a script for another round of penicillin and sent us home. Once home, I tried to transition Michael into bed, but he awoke and made it clear that he wasn’t going down without a fight. I snuggled with him for about half an hour before finally getting him settled in bed. A good 45 minutes after the pharmacy had closed.
Sunday morning I heard him babbling in his crib around 4:30, but he didn’t seem to be upset, so I let him go. Then, at 5:30 I heard the gagging noises and rushed in to get him. He was crying, covered in goo, and clearly quiet sick. I got him up while Andy stripped the crib. Michael desperately wanted milk, and to add to my bad decisions of the weekend, I gave it to him while I sent Andy back to bed. Half an hour later, I learned why you are supposed to avoid milk in a child with an upset stomach. My sofa will never be the same, and Shirt got washed for the second time in 24 hours.
That’s when the “I don’t want what I want” tantrums started. Michael wanted to go up and sleep with Daddy. When we got up there, Michael wanted to be downstairs. When I picked him up, he wanted to sleep with Daddy. When I put him down, he wanted to go down stairs. I don’t even remember how we resolved it. All I know is that we eventually got him downstairs without too many tears. I decided to hit the 24 hour pharmacy at that point, which I should have done the night before.
Michael has decided that he’s done with antibiotics or anything even remotely resembling medicine. I can’t sell him on “magic pink candy juice” any more. I can’t trick him into taking it by pretending to take it myself. He won’t even be bribed with M&M. M&M’s was my last line of defense. I finally managed to get the first dose in him, and started to plan the second dose. I’d do Motrin at 12:00 and hopefully by 12:30, he would be feeling good enough to agree to take the penicillin. He wouldn’t do the liquid stuff, so I gave him three M&M’s and a chewable Motrin. By some miracle, he actually ate the Motrin. He just palmed the three M&M’s. But hey, this was good.
I left Michael and Andy in the living room for a few minutes, and Michael started to drift off. Here is where I made the next bad decision. I tried to take him up to bed. He snapped awake, and pitched a fit. A big fit, that involved Michael screaming and crying while demanding to go to bed and go down stairs at the same time. Not this again. There is no appeasing this irrational plea. If I could, I would. Anything to make him happy. Anything to stop the crying.
I finally got him back downstairs and decided that I needed to give him his second dose of antibiotics. I went into the kitchen, filled up the dropper, and then preceded to DROP THE OPEN BOTTLE ON THE FLOOR!!! I stood there watching that pink sticky liquid ooze out onto the floor and almost cried. I grabbed it up off the floor and then used a dropper to try and pick up what I had spilled. I must have looked like a desperate crack addict hovering over the little pink puddle desperately scooping up every drop I could get. I’m sure I lost a few doses worth, but decided that I had enough for the day; I’d worry about getting more later.
So back into Michael. I tried to bribe him again, but that’s when I noticed two of the three M&M’s abandoned. Not only was he not taking medicine, he wasn’t even eating M&M’s. This is bad. So, I popped the two M&M’s in my mouth (oh, like you wouldn’t have) rolled up my sleeves, asked Andy to hold Michael, and demonstrated that a two and a half year old can successfully fight off two grown adults. I managed to squirt half of it onto his cheek, and I lost it.
When I say I lost it, I mean I really lost it. I ran out of the room, threw the half filled dropper in the sink, and went to another part of the house and just screamed and shook. It only lasted probably ten seconds, but it felt like forever. All I could think was how much it disgusted me to physically restrain Michael. I. HATE. IT. It makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. But, even worse was the fact that it didn’t even work. If I’m going to man handle my child, at least let it be worth it.
I collect myself as much as possible, and went over to my neighbor’s for help. She’s a nurse, and a mommy, and at the moment was my last hope. Her husband came to the door and saw me crying, and got her as quickly as possible. Angel that she is, she came over and helped me get most of the dose into him. “So, how many doses has he gotten so far?”
“This is only the second one of 30.”
Michael and I saw her out, tears pouring out both our eyes. We then lay back on the sofa while I tried to calm him down. He hugged me and cried. I soothed him as best as possible. And then, he reached over and popped the third M&M in my mouth.
Now, I had just spent the last 45 minutes fighting with him. He had managed to grab both me and Andy with both hands. There was no M&M in his hands during the struggle. It wasn’t sitting on the sofa. It wasn’t stuck to me. Michael had refused to put on pants all day, so there were no pockets for it. So, where the hell did he get it from? And yuck! I just ate it!
The rest of the day went a little bit better. Michael took a good nap, and didn’t get sick any more. He even ate a little food in the evening. The evening dose and this morning’s dose of antibiotics didn’t go well, but he doesn’t seem to hate me for doing it. He also didn’t seem to ingest much of it either. Well see how he does for my mom at lunch time, and if it’s still bad, I’ll call the pediatrician and let them know that I don’t think I can get a full round into him.
At this point, I feel like I made a string of bad decisions. If only I had taken him into the doctor on Friday evening, maybe he wouldn’t have felt so sick and might have been happier about taking the antibiotics. If only I had called on Saturday morning, we could have saved a trip to the ER. If only we had gone to the ER earlier, I could have started the antibiotics earlier and helped him feel better sooner.
I also feel bad for fighting Michael so hard to take the antibiotics. Fighting him physically is so against everything I believe in. And, it’s not even working. But, I don’t know what else to do. At this point he rolls over on his face and braces himself as soon as he sees it. We still have 26 doses to give him, and several of those spilled all over my kitchen floor!
Sometimes, being a mommy is the hardest job in the world.