Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Surviving the Baby Cold

What do these things have in common?

Yes, they are very helpful in easing your baby through a cold.

They are also instruments of torture - at least if you go by the opinion of Reagan.  She has the dreaded baby cold.

And I thought Man Cold was bad.

It's not an awareness ribbon, but it'll do.

Reagan has had a cold for about six years now (an impressive feat for an 11 month old).

Reagan does not do sick well.

I understand.  She's got a nasty sounding cough, she's congested, her cheeks are chapped.  This is not a fun cold.  We've been to the pediatrician twice, and paid a rather large co-pay twice, to hear "it's a virus" twice.  I called again today, and was told this is just a virus that lingers.  They'd see her again if I really wanted them to, but unless her cough started interfering with her breathing, we just need to wait it out.

I know I should be happy it isn't anything worse, but I hate hearing "It's a virus".  It's pediatrician code for "suck it up, it's going to be a rough ride".

Luckily, because our pediatrician's office is AWESOME, they don't think I'm crazy for calling and checking.  They know Madison's history, and how things went from "kids get ear infections" to "there's something really wrong here".  Even so, I don't feel the need to pay their January rent in co-pays.  And yes, I know FIRST HAND that there are many, many worse things than a virus.  I'm happy she's not seriously sick, I really am.  But this is still pretty awful.

 Madison was sick often, and things were definitely not fun, but she handled it really well.  She took her medicine like a champ, she got sleepy and rested, she handled the doctors really well (until her ears got out of control).

Reagan is heartbreakingly pathetic when she's sick.  She's adorable but looks so darn sad.  She wants to be held...but she doesn't want to be held.  She's exhausted...but she doesn't want to lie down.  She's hungry...but she doesn't want to eat.  She cries a sad cry and holds up her little arms as if she's pleading to the heavens.  She tries to lie down IN the bathtub.  She superglues herself to me so that our bodies are always connected, even if she doesn't want to be held.  Adorable, but makes getting anything done exceedingly difficult.

And all those helpful things in the picture?

Torture.  (I didn't even include the snot sucker...that bulb syringe (yes, I have the washable one) battle was lost DAYS ago).

Medicine?  Might help her feel more comfortable.  Right.  She's a fine medicine taker when it's her daily vitamin, or when I give her some Advil for her teeth.  But when she really needs the Advil to ease her fever, she arches and chokes and gags and acts like I am forcing poison down her throat.  I was excited to find a homeopathic infant cough remedy...I'd be interested to see if it works.  Unfortunately, I can't tell, because I've yet to get her to ingest a drop of it.

Nose wipes?  Oh my.  Her poor nose is running like a faucet and dripping down her face (I know you really needed that image).  I understand that it's sensitive and that tissues, and even soft clothes can hurt.  I've had colds like that.  However, I've got to keep her face at least somewhat clear, so I don't make that irritation worse.  Hence the warm wet baby washcloths and Boogie Wipes.  Madison is obsessed with Boogie Wipes.  Reagan starts crying when she see the package come out.

The thermometer?  I might as well go back to the other kind.  She's awful with the ear thermometer, at least with this cold.  I had her doctor double and triple check her ears because I thought she must have an infection.  Why else would she be so bothered by her ears?  Ears make me nervous.  I know they can spiral out of control.  Yet her doctor assured me that, although there was some congestion, there was absolutely no sign of infection.  They also assured me that Madison's issue is rare and the chances of Reagan having the same issue are incredibly low.  But hey, I'm allowed to worry.  Reagan will have her first blood test at her one year appointment and I'll be waiting for those results on pins and needles.

But surely her crib and a humidifier can't be torturous?  She has a humidifier in her room every night.  She sleeps (or doesn't sleep) in her crib every night.  Nope.  For some reason, the occasional bubbles that the humidifier makes is an unacceptable sound, and her crib might as well be filled with spikes.  I've tried propping her up, covering her, uncovering her, having her sleep on a blanket so the sheet isn't cold, everything.  She is fighting that crib with every ounce of her being.  She loses that fight, and we do manage to get her sleeping a bit, but she's not getting that good restorative sleep she needs.  She wakes up coughing and then fights falling asleep again.  Thankfully, she's not requiring parental intervention every hour, but when she does...oh, it's not pretty.

I'll keep trying of course, because doing something feels better than doing nothing, even if we do just need to let this run its course, however long that may take.  She does always look a little better once I'm done torturing her with a face wipe or a nap or a forced syringe of Advil.

And let's hope this ends soon, before I go crazy watching her favorite show (which only has three episodes to rotate) and poking all kinds of holes in the plot.

Don't worry... that's a story for another day!


Doug Greenwald said...

Answer top your first question: things Madison has hidden and them forgotten about.

Meredith said...

Well done. Extra credit.

BJB said...

Not sure if any one already suggested this ~ Nosefrida The Snotsucker really works. May be worth a try.
Hope she feels better soon!

Meredith said...


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