Well, the events following Madeline’s four-month birthday, on the 29th, have guaranteed that we’ll never forget it. Chris and I have decided to vaccinate Madeline (and this post is not meant to be a debate on the pros and cons of vaccinating), and I had booked her 4-month shots for that morning. Around five in the evening, I noticed that Madeline was a little irritable (which she was after her 2-month round of immunizations, and she’s frequently like that anyway, with the teething), but I was really surprised to find her sniffly and congested. She wasn’t eating as well as she normally would – choking and sputtering – though she still was really drooly and thus not dehydrated. I’d never heard of nasal congestion being one of the side effects of the immunizations, so I began to wonder if I failed to notice that she had developed a cold and taken her for the immunizations, anyway. I know it’s a no-no to vaccinate an ill child, so I began to panick a little. Around 1:30 the next morning, Madeline was really feverish and really congested, and the nasal aspirator wasn’t doing much for her. Chris and I decided to take her to the hospital to have her checked out and hopefully get a solution for her congestion.
Oh my gosh. The doctor on duty in the ER ordered a whole plate of tests for Madeline. First, a rectal temperature. Her next indignity was having a pee-bag attached to collect a sample, so she spent more than an hour with this baggie hanging out of her diaper. Then, she was sent for chest x-rays. That one was really hard on us – I went in with Madeline and had to hold her arms up over her head as she was placed to this contraption that held her upright for the x-rays – there was a board with two slots for her legs to dangle out, and then two plastic braces were fit to her sides. Oh how she howled, and I nearly cried myself. Especially after we found out that we had to re-take one of the x-rays!
Next came the blood tests, and it was difficult to find someone in the ER who was comfortable enough and skilled enough to take blood from such a tiny baby. Three nurses made four attempts before another nurse, who had worked at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, was able to get a needle in her arm properly to collect samples. It was really hard for Chris and I to watch her struggle against the restraints the nurses put her in to contain her limbs for the blood tests, and incredibly frustrating to watch so many needles be poked into your child only to fail in their intended purpose! I swear I was really to scoop her up and take her home if the last attempt hadn’t worked. Argh! In the end, maybe Madeline just has a cold, or maybe it is a reaction to the immunizations – we left the hospital after six without any firm diagnosis, just assurances that Madeline’s chest was clear and her pee samples were normal. Give her Tylenol for her fever and use saline drops for her congestion.
She’s better today. I’m relieved that my little girl seems to be on the mend, and doesn’t seem to remember yesterday’s events.