Mother's instincts to the rescue
I recently wrote about a day through Vieve's eyes. Here's what a morning in the last week or so might look like through Finn's eyes.
1am: I hurt. Why doesn't Mummy understand?
3am: I still hurt. And my nappy is dirty. Mummy is tired and I think she's grumpy at me.
6am: Still hurting...
7am: No, Mummy, I don't want food. I hurt! And I'm dirty again! Fix me!
8am: THE WORLD IS HORRIBLE. WAHHHHHHHHHH.
My poor little man has had diarrhoea for 14 days now, and had fevers for 11. I took him to the doctors after he'd been ill for a week. She took his temperature, felt his stomach, told me it was probably a virus and he looked a bit dehydrated. I should get fluids ino him, and come back if he still had diarrhoea in a week.
I fretted on the way home; a week is a long time for a wee boy to be sick like that, and he just wasn't himself. My instincts said something else was wrong, but I squelched the niggles with the thought that the doctor said it was just a virus. I decided I was probably worrying too much.
Over the next few days his fevers got a little more frequent and worse; not alarmingly high, but it was noticeable that he was washed out and miserable. He was exceedingly clingy and burst into tears if I even went to the bathroom. His appetite was gone, and it was hard to get fluids into him, even via his favourite transferral mechanism. I could see in his face that he was losing weight, and the birthmark under his nose was visible, something that only happens when he is pale. Two days later I decided my mummy intuition was not happy with waiting a week, and booked him in to see a different doctor.
It turns out that ear infections can cause diarrhoea. If I'd known that, I would have insisted that the first doctor check his ears. In fact, I think I will make it a standard request in future.
Poor Finn had a severely infected ear, with a blister on the eardrum, quite possibly a holdover from the horrible holiday's cold. Ow. I'm not one to automatically use antibiotics, but this one is obviously contributing to or causing his misery. So amoxicillin it is.
I also had to obtain a stool sample. Of the many glamorous things I have done as a mother, scraping poop into a pottle rates quite high on the I-never-expected-to-do-that-ometer. Thankfully, it seems that the nether region issue was just a side-effect of the ear infection (and now the antibiotics, though it has improved). I sure do it hope it resolves quickly once his prescription is finished; a packet of nappies per day * 14 days = a lot of my grocery budget. I'd use our cloth nappies but I'm terribly behind on laundry as it is.
It's a good lesson not to second-guess myself, and to trust my parental instincts. Have those instincts ever kicked in for you?
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