Madeline suddenly started feeling poorly one Sunday evening after being her usual cheerful self the entire day. All of a sudden she started screaming, reminiscent of her colic days. I felt her head and noticed she was much warmer than usual. I took her temperature and it was 100, not a true fever but higher than her normal.
We took her home from our visit and I tried laying down with her as that usually comforts her. As soon as we both lay down, she vomited all over me. That was always one of my biggest mommy fears, having to clean up vomit and here I was covered in it. At the time I didn't even think about it, I jumped into action, stripping us both and climbing immediately into the shower. She calmed down a bit during the shower and was a little more comfortable. I'm not sure how, but I knew the vomiting was only caused by her crying so hard for so long and not part of her sickness. At that point I was convinced she just had an elevated temperature and was crying due to teething pain. (coming up on 11 months now and still no teeth, though I can see them through her gums.)
The next morning she was still not feeling well, limp, and this time she had a fever though not high enough to be very concerned. I knew then that it wasn't teething, though she was still eating normally and had no other symptoms of sickness. That afternoon I decided to call the nurse for advice on whether we should bring her in or not. We arranged an appointment for the next morning and she spent the day only wanting to be held by mommy; daddy just wouldn't do.
Tuesday she hadn't improved and continued running a fever. She was examined, much to her anger, had a catheter placed for a urine sample, (really angry about that) and had to have her blood drawn. Her urine analysis came back negative but her white blood cell count was over double what it should be. So they gave her a heavy duty shot of antibiotics and asked us to return the next day. Tuesday passed much like Monday and I was only able to put her down once she was more deeply asleep.
Wednesday morning just as I buckled her into her car seat to go to the doctor, she vomited pretty much everything from her bottle. A quick change and clean up and we left. Upon just seeing Madeline, her doctor was concerned that she hadn't improved at all, she was still limp and clingy and still running a fever. The antibiotics should have made her start to feel better, but she wasn't. She suggested the possibilities of pneumonia and meningitis and asked if Madeline had been coughing. I said that she had coughed a few times but I couldn't tell if it was "fake" coughing, (sometimes she imitates us coughing.) Her doctor didn't want to take any chances so she ordered a chest x-ray. Her blood and urine cultures were both negative which was good. While waiting for another antibiotic shot, Madeline vomited again. Doctor told us to stop solid foods for now and just focus on giving her small amounts of pedialyte for the next few hours and try formula again in the afternoon.
Later in the afternoon, the doctor called to tell me surprisingly, Madeline had walking pneumonia!! I was told to once again bring her back in the next morning to see how she was doing. By that evening she still wasn't improving. Her fever would only come down for about 6 hours with ibuprofen but even with medicine had not gone away. She was still vomiting if I gave her anymore than 2 ounces at a time and I started to fear that she was getting dehydrated.
The next morning she was even vomiting with just an ounce and I was starting to get really worried. The moment her doctor walked in and saw her she asked me to take her to the emergency room at the children's hospital. She looked worried as well, wondering if it might be meningitis.
I called Brandon, tried calling my mom, called my grandmother asking her to pray and to get a hold of my mom, while I drove down the street to the hospital.
Fortunately we didn't have to wait at all for Madeline to be seen. I brought with me all the paper work for tests and results the pediatrician had performed so Madeline didn't have to endure much sticking. The ER doctor didn't think she had meningitis, just that she had become dehydrated. So they decided to give her IV fluids and watched her for several hours.
After many hours we tried giving her a popsicle which she enjoyed so we asked to start giving her fluids by mouth. We were brought some pedialyte which she eagerly drank. Still she seemed upset, we didn't see much change in her attitude, and were still a bit concerned when the doctor said we could go home.
When we got home we saw a dramatic difference in her. She was playing, smiling and growling at us again. Especially with the growling we knew she was feeling more like her usual self. We were able to start giving formula again that evening and she kept it down. Praise God!! She continued to improve the next day and then the fever was gone!
It was so hard to see that dramatic a difference in a little girl who is usually so cheerful. And especially hard when she couldn't really tell us what was wrong. It's still a mystery where she caught whatever caused the pneumonia, none of us had been sick and she hadn't been around anyone who was sick. Who knows? I'm just glad we are past it and our sunshine is shining once again.