I have to stick the thermometer where???
Her nose is a faucet, appetite’s gone, eyes are red and itchy, cough sounds worse than a smoker’s hack, and she has less energy than you (for once). Your mom says to feed her whatever she wants, MIL says stick to the BRAT diet, and spouse is convinced her mucous requires a trip to the Emergency Room. Welcome to sick-ville.
Our family’s been hit hard with spring allergies. It happens almost every year, so we’ve got the routine down. Immediately upon waking (only works if it’s pre-symptom) it’s a shot of Aerius or Children’s Aerius depending on the patient, night-time calls for a Benadryl fix if there’s a lot of sneezing going on (careful with this one: Benadryl knocks some kids out but makes others WIRED), lotions for the dry-skin/heat-rashes, and Refresh OTC eye-drops for those aged three-plus. We’ve even mastered the trick to getting eye-drops into a preschooler: have him lie down with his head in one of our laps and eyes closed, put the drop in the corner of his eye (beside his nose), have him open slowly, and then blink like a butterfly flapping her wings. It only took about ten dry-runs and maybe twenty wet ones before success. Take that Malcom Gladwell and your ten-thousand hours!
While allergies are annoying, they’re nothing compared to fevers, body aches, and upset stomachs. Especially when it’s baby’s first illness… not exactly something you’ll rush to record in her baby book. If your little patient’s considerate enough to start showing symptoms during office hours, call your Doc before anyone else. Most receptionists will fit you into someone’s busy day if they hear desperation, so share those symptoms and the more detail the better! It also helps if you’re on a first-name basis with the receptionist – something to keep in mind the next time you go in for a check-up.
If, however, your munchkin’s a little more typical, her symptoms likely appear around dinner time… on a Friday night… of a long weekend. Time for plan B: the walk-in clinic. You need to make a handy list of nearby walk-ins BEFORE her first sniffle. Include office hours so you don’t waste time going to a clinic that’s closed Saturday afternoons or doesn’t admit new patients an hour before closing time. If you’re lucky enough to be in their travelling zones, keep MedVisit on speed dial. Doctors who do house calls and it’s covered by OHIP. Yup, you heard us. LIFESAVER.
Once you’ve ruled out symptoms that require an immediate trip to the ER, there’s not much you can do except wait it out. And don’t kill each other. Try to remember you’re on the same team, the one where you’re both exhausted and the baby’s still sick. Tag-team it and break up the shifts so you can still function even during survival mode. If you can’t agree about whether your baby’s fever needs a blanket or a cool bath, you need arbitration. TeleHealth’s good for that. After a VERY thorough list of questions (be warned: it’ll take a while!), they’ll tell you if you need to see a Doc asap or can wait until tomorrow, and they’ll give you suggestions to help your baby feel better. They also have the most up-to-date info in a field that’s often changing, so their advice is a little more trustworthy than Grandma’s. But she still makes the best chicken noodle soup.
You finessed your survival plan when your babe was born so putting it back into action should be as easy as riding a bike. Which is good because this definitely won’t be the last time you need it, especially if she’s headed to daycare. Forget about the laundry and enjoy the extra cuddles for the short time it takes her to kick those germs to the curb. Soon enough she’ll be running circles around you again… and you’ll be the one needing the extra nap.
Email us if you want specific med suggestions or to learn our son’s fave Pedialyte popsicle flavour!