It finally happened. At exactly 20 months old Jia got her first bout of illness. Last Friday morning started off with a low grade fever of 100.4 F (and it has never been higher than this in the past), but with a normal demeanor, still smiling and playful. Props to Daddy for noticing she felt extra warm when he got her up in the morning to change her diaper and dress her and for taking her temperature.
I dropped her off at daycare and let her teachers know about the morning’s temperature, and sure enough, 1.5 hours later, I got a phone call that her temp was 101 (the rule for going home). I quickly packed up my things at Einstein’s Bros (was working on last Saturday’s blog post that ultimately didn’t get posted) and picked her up right away. A little part of me was eager to comfort a sick and fatigued little baby, perhaps getting the chance to hold her close (rare these days unless she’s in the baby carrier), but she actually was happy enough to walk to the car. She still stopped by her usual flower bushes that line the daycare’s sidewalks to comment on how the “pink flowers (were) all gone” (they weren’t) and showed me all the leaves on the ground. She even was excited to point out to me that my car’s tires are circles.
I gave her lions to her after she was strapped in her seat and of course she was sucking away at her paci. Once we got home, I opened her lunch box that I’d prepared for her day at daycare and she dove right in! (Thank you Jia for dispelling the myth that sick kids never have an appetite! And little does she know, her wonderful appetite helped me chill out a great deal.) She even ate more food that I brought to her from the kitchen, letting her watch some Mickey Mouse while she ate (comfort ‘toons).
After her meal and a quick diaper change, I checked her temp: 102 F. Yikes. Gave her a dose of infant Motrin and put her down for a nap. She slept for a good 2 hours and 40 minutes (one of her longest naps at that point! What in the world was happening? This was the greatest mom-day ever!) and her temp upon waking was 98.6 F or something along those lines. Her temp stayed within normal limits (WNL, for us “healthcare folks”) for the rest of the day. She even ate an impressively huge dinner! (Jia, you’re such a great kid) I kept the apartment cooled and dressed her in sleep shorts and tee (with her lightweight breathable sleep sack) for bedtime. No fever before bed.
The next morning on Saturday (Day #2 of sickness), her temp was back up to 100.2 F, but I didn’t treat it (I wasn’t going to treat it unless it was 101 F). Instead, we kept her in her diaper around the house, gave her cold fluids, and had a ceiling fan going (only using environmental changes to improve her body temp). We even took her to the pool after breakfast to cool down. After lunch it was 100.9, so I gave her Motrin. Close enough to 101. That was our last Motrin dose and that was the last of her fevers and she was able to go back to daycare Monday (thankfully, because the Surgery Center wanted me to come in for my first day of work Monday!). No more sick Jia. She even had a glorious 3 hour nap on Sunday! What?! Unheard of for Jia!
So as far as a sick toddler goes, I feel like we won the jackpot! She wasn’t extremely fussy (just occasionally), she was eating and drinking probably even more than normal, and she was still smiling and having fun. She was so pleasantly happy that we even went to the playground so she and daddy could play with some sidewalk chalk, and we even took a bike ride down to Redondo Beach for a gorgeous dinner on the water with a view of dozens of sailboats at sunset.
Jia was the happiest sick baby we could’ve ever imagined her to be!
- kleenex & tissues
- boogies (for boogers)
- nose itchy
What About Mom:
A quick recap: I started the new per diem job Monday. Again, this is at a surgical center right here in Torrance. My position is for a preoperative and recovery RN, but for now I’m training in preop. Basically there are about 20-30 surgical cases on a busy day, and what the nurses do is screen the patient, have them sign consents for surgery/anesthesia, place an IV, start antibiotics or administer the necessary eye drops prior to the procedure. The anesthesiologist and surgeon come visit them prior to the procedure, and we make sure all the necessary paperwork is accounted for. The surgery center I work for does a TON of various types of surgeries. From orthopedic to gynecological and cataract surgeries, there is a lot to prep for these surgeries in the preop area. It’s almost no-stress for the nurses there. You deal with 1 patient at a time, and it essentially takes 20 minutes per patient to get them ready (that is, unless you’re having trouble placing an IV *cough cough*). The nurses I work with have been in the ER, on telemetry, and ICU’s in their prior nursing lives and really love the low-stress environment in outpatient surgery. The one thing: I don’t need a stethoscope. I actually didn’t need any of the stuff I brought my first day.
I am not sure when I’ll start training in recovery, but I’m not in a rush. Preop starts anywhere between 6 AM and 7 AM, and ends around 2:30 PM unless there are late cases. The lead nurse usually schedules a 2nd nurse to come in at 6:15, then another at 6:30, since cases usually start at 7 AM, 7:30 AM, and so forth, with very few multiple 7 AM cases. (There are 4 operating rooms, so there could technically be 4- 7 AM cases) It’s a Monday through Friday job, with no surgeries scheduled for holidays and or weekends. The center is open from 6 AM til 5 PM, with the first case always being at 7 AM earliest. Sometimes nurses can be in recovery until 8 PM if the case runs late, but this is unusual (Jia’s daycare closes at 6 PM). As a per diem employee, they’ll never want me to be the one to stay late and getting overtime pay, which is a good thing for daycare pickup!
OK I’m realizing this was not a quick recap. The rest of the post is pics!