Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy birthday, baby girl. Now stop being sick!

Today is my daughter's 9th birthday and I'm a-swirl of emotions.

9 - it's so on the cusp of puberty and yet so innocent and sweet an age.

It's also President's Day, but I'm not really feeling it.  Back to my daughter.

Friday night, I noticed that she looked peaked (do people still say that or have I been watching too much Downton Abbey.  The dickens you say!  There is no such thing as too much Downton Abbey!  And no, I haven't watched the season finale so please stop telling me what that bitch O'Brien did.  Tomorrow is fair game.).  Shake my head and clear it a bit.  Yes, she looked peaked.  I felt her forehead and she was pretty hot so I found the digital thermometer and stuck it under her arm expecting to discover I was over-reacting.  It read 101.6.  Friday night plans usually involve pizza and a Star Wars movie, but I felt 101.6 needed attention.  Surely we'd be the only ones at the Little Clinic and would be back in time to eat the dinner my husband was preparing.

We were fifth and last in line at the Little Clinic with a 50 minute wait.  Guess who had Doritos for dinner.  Not my daughter.

The nurse worked up my girl with the standard blood pressure and temperature check.  I still wasn't convinced it was worth the 50 minute wait, but the nurse said it could be an ear infection so we waited.  She popped in the ear thermometer and her eyes widened.  103.something.  "At that temperature, we usually send kids to the hospital."  Really?  My daughter was acting sluggish but not frighteningly so.  "I can check the other ear to see if it's a misreading."  Yes, please.  "103 in that ear, too."

I tamped down my fear and we wandered the aisles of Kroger for a suitable snack for the girl while we waited.  Please tell me it's an ear infection or tonsilitis or something that a.) isn't contagious and b.) can be treated with antibiotics.

When we finally saw the nurse practitioner at 8:00 pm (so much for a movie and pizza), she looked at my daughter's throat and said the tonsils were swollen, but not too bad.  Ears looked good.  Let's swab for the flu.

Damnit.  The flu.  I forgot to get everyone shots this year.  In fairness, the news reports have indicated that so many people are getting it regardless of the vaccines, I haven't known whether it was worth the effort.  I also just forgot.

The NP swabbed my girl's nose and caused significant discomfort, so she nestled in my lap while we waited for the results.  8 long minutes later we discovered that she had the flu.  Strain B. 

"Here's the thing," I told the NP, "she has her birthday party tomorrow."

"She's not having that.  She needs to be in bed in a room alone and quarantined for 5-7 days."

I'm not sure my girl was taking any of this in.  I tend to be a bit of an alarmist, but this seemed pretty 19th century.  You're telling me I have to ruin my daughter's birthday party AND keep her isolated on her actual birthday and beyond?  Seriously?!  Then the guilt flooded in.  I started panicking.  All of this was my fault for not getting her the shot.  The NP told me that if she started wheezing and having difficulty breathing or her temperature spiked again to rush her to the hospital (where, I was convinced she'd contract pneumonia and be strapped to a ventilator.  Perhaps, I have watched too much Downton Abbey after all.  Thoughts of poor annoyingly sweet Lavinia filled my head.).  We left the clinic and crossed the store to the pharmacy where I was told that they didn't have the Tamiflu in stock and I'd have to drive to another store to pick it up in the next 20 minutes before the pharmacy closed.  And while I struggled to hold it together, my daughter collapsed into sobs against my hip.  Nothing like ruining your very sweet and painfully good daughter's birthday.

Oh, Mama, if only you had gotten me the flu shot.  Why are you such a selfish, horrid mother?

Later that night I woke with a panicked start worrying about my daughter.  I crept to her bed and checked her breathing, felt her cheeks, even crawled into bed with her for 10 minutes until I realized how bad an idea that was.  Then, I fell deeper into panic and realized the best thing I could do was take a Benedryl and get some rest.  So I did.  Judge me.

Here's the good news:
  • My daughter is 100% symptom-free on her actual birthday and back in school, where she wants to be because she is perfect.
  • We can reschedule the party, hopefully as soon as this weekend.
  • No one else in the household (knock wood) contracted the flu.
  • Strain B is not as bad as the other strains.
  • We caught the symptoms early and the Tamiflu worked.
  • Now I can focus on that awkward birds-and-the-bees conversation I had planned to have with my daughter.
As one of my Facebook friends reminded me, it's the last of the single-digit birthdays.

And now for a little Downton levity:
Is it me, or does Joanne Froggatt always look a little TOO giddy?

Photo credit for Lavinia: (although I'm not sure it's the original source:


  1. Happy Birthday to your lovely, perfect daughter! I'm so glad she's feeling better and that no one else in the house got sick! I got the flu shot but have been fighting a cold for nearly 2 months now anyways. Give a week of horrible flu any day over 2 months of a cold. Blech.

    I love your Downton reasoning, but am getting really frustrated with Facebook because I'm still in season 1 and thus have no idea what's going on but am reading these spoilers that will, I'm sure, ruin my watching when I get to the current season. Oh well. Serves me right for not keeping current, right?

    Excited about this weekend! Let's talk logistics, can we?

    1. Thanks and oops. I thought season 2 was fair game. How are you soooooooo far behind? I'm willing to have a marathon with you.

      Yes, let's talk logistics. You have all of my vital contact info. Contact me!

      PS I gave out my first business card today!!!

    2. Happy Birthday to sweet Fiona and WFS, two extremely sweet and kind people...maybe there's something incredibly accurate about astrology

    3. Happy Birthday, Judge S!! How did I forget that they share a birthday? You are so right about what sweet people we have in our lives. Miss you, Miss Sarah.

  2. I know much has been published about the myth of a flu shot guarantees the flu, but I have only gotten the shot twice and I have had the flu exactly twice, yes the two years I got the shot.

    Your wonderful little girl is upright and well on her birthday. Flu shot roulette or not, pat yourself on the back for some good nursing. Insert witty Downton Abbey reference here.

    1. Thanks, Jeff. You always know how to appease parental guilt.

  3. So very glad she's feeling better. I truly hate when my kids are not feeling well. I'd rather be sick! I made everyone else get the flu shot but didn't get one for me. Go figure. You sound like an amazing mom. :)

    1. I know. I'd take a bullet for my kids. You not getting the shot is so familiar. The kids are more important. Oh, wait, if I'm sick I can't take care of the important kids. I do that sort of thing all of the time.

      Thanks for the mom endorsement.

  4. i'm glad your baby girl is feeling better and really there's nothing like a late, guilt-ridden birthday party - more gifts and snacks, louder music and jocular tomfoolery.

    i have finished all 3 seasons of downton and the christmas special. bless my region free dvd player and the speed at which the bbc puts things on disk.

    ps breathe through your eyelids xx
    pss come over to my blog and see my crafts (please)

    1. Damnit, Bev, I keep forgetting about the eyelids. Thanks for always reminding me.

      I just squealed a little knowing you have crafts up on your blog. I gotta get the kiddos from school, so I'll have to wait on this, but know that I am truly excited to see what you have in store.

      PS After tonight's viewing of DA, we can gossip.
      PPS I may start a page on this blog where I post silly crafts. May.

  5. First of all. Do nothing elsee untitl you finish Downton because some jerk is going to ruinn it for you and that would be tragic.

    Second of all- we also skipped flu shots the last 2 years. When we did get them, Max got swine flu. We learned that all the creators of the shot can do is try to predict which strain will be in action that season. It's not foolproof. I now people disagree with me and that's fine. I'm not saying well never get them again, but for now, things have been fine.

    Third, I'm glad she's fine. I guess that should have been first, but the Downton thing was pretty urgent. Anyway, I think your daughter is lovely and wish her good health and a happy birthday!!!

    1. I appreciate your priorities, Christina Bella. Also appreciated, your similar views on flu vaccines. Seriously, what's the deal, medicine?

  6. So glad Fiona is better! I forgot to get my kids flu shots this year too. Oops. So far so good, but I'm not militant about that kind of stuff anyway. Gotta build up antibodies and immunities somehow--that's why I don't clean my house either. Kids can build up a nice resistance to germs and such. (Plus cleaning makes me feel peaked.)

    1. I'm with you on the house cleaning vs. building up our kids' immunity. We have to have our priorities. Please never grow peaked from cleaning. (That made me laugh.)

  7. So glad Fiona is better! I forgot to get my kids flu shots this year too. Oops. So far so good, but I'm not militant about that kind of stuff anyway. Gotta build up antibodies and immunities somehow--that's why I don't clean my house either. Kids can build up a nice resistance to germs and such. (Plus cleaning makes me feel peaked.)

  8. I have adult ADD. I was diagnosed several years after my then 9 year old daughter was.

    It's and interesting life huh? lol. I've talked about it in my blog quite a bit.

    1. We have much to discuss! What is your blog address?


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