The Flu Which Must Not Be Named

This weekend we had a sick baby. She had a low-grade temp (that never went over 100.4, by the way), was not her usual self on Saturday, had a drippy nose, the works. Then on Sunday she got fussy. Like inconsolably fussy. She took a poor 25 minute nap and woke up screaming. No matter what I did, she couldn't be comforted. She wailed louder at my attempts to give her a paci, her favorite blanket, sing her a song, dance around the room … it was heartbreaking. She finally calmed down to the tune of some Veggie Tales while she cuddled in my lap, only to have a totally non-provoked meltdown about ten minutes later. 

And that? Is when Mama Radar started flipping out.

I know in my mind that kids get sick. That it happens sometimes, that it's even GOOD for kids to get sick because it helps them build immunity. The doctor told me on the phone that a low grade fever is good. But you know something? SCREW ALL THAT. MY BABY IS SICK.

Sunday night Syd was very restless when John put her down for the night. As I babysat the monitor I read through some blogs – you know, to try and distract myself – and came across this one by Arwen. And then? The beeping Mama Radar went on full-out five-alarm Freak Out.

Just last week, we flew on airplanes. John and I both are in regular contact with large groups of Especially Germy people (he is a college instructor on two campuses and I coach a high school cross-country team. It's like we're freaking wearing targets that say "Please infect me!"). Sydney had a flu shot at her last doctor's visit, so that should protect her from contracting the flu, right? So since she has flu-like symptoms, it must mean that it's not Regular Flu. It must mean that she's got the Other Flu Which Must Not Be Named.

It really didn't help that Israel started complaining of a stomachache Sunday night. And John started complaining of body aches and sinus congestion. Thanks guys, why don't you just pour some lemon juice in the paper cut and then poop in the brownies while you're at it.

And so off to Google I run for comfort. Can I just tell you that even though it's tempting, I don't recommend Googling Swine Flu symptoms if you can avoid it. Here are some of the "symptoms to look for in infants and toddlers" (and thank you, Google, for pointing out that little ones who cannot communicate verbally how their bodies feel have to be watched so very, very carefully. DUH DUH DUH), all of which MY BABY had this weekend:

-Fever
-Fussy
-Decreased appetite
-Sleepy/lethargic

(Also included on the list are vomiting and diarrhea, and Sydney hasn't had either. And Israel claimed LATER that his stomach hurt because of the huge greasy sandwich he'd eaten for lunch Sunday.)

And so this is what inspires a mother to tiptoe into her baby's room at midnight and stick a cold thermometer into the baby's armpit, much to the baby's irritation. Only then (when there is clearly NO FEVER) can that mother even consider going to bed. And then? Only Benadryl can put her to sleep.

Yesterday morning Sydney is back to her old self. No fever. Ate a huge breakfast. Screaming with joy at the top of her lungs as her daddy chases her around the living room. What a relief. Good riddance First Fever. I hated you SO MUCH. 

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5 thoughts on “The Flu Which Must Not Be Named

  1. ANNIE says:

    There’s really nothing worse than a sick baby. And they present such a sad sight, don’t they? The inconsolable-ness is the worst because as much as you want to take care of them, snuggle them, and just MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER, the sheer volume of the situation grates on your nerves. Nerve grating plus mommy worry equals double whammy of stressfulness. I’m glad she’s feeling better and things are back to normal for you guys.

  2. Barbetti says:

    you both are so cute and hilarious. I choked on my own laugh at “poop in the brownies.”

    I hope your whole household gets better soon. Nothing worse than a sick baby. 😦

  3. She Likes Purple says:

    Oh, I completely feel ya. The Mama Radar, it’s a blessing and a curse. A curse because damn if I never get a wink of sleep when it’s beeping.

    So glad she’s feeling better.

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