A Sunbeam to Warm you, A Moonbeam to Charm You, A Sheltering Angel, That Nothing May Harm You

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Urinary Track Infection and a Febrile Seizure

We have had a horrible night.

Lily baby has been sick for the past week. She threw up on Monday and then developed a fever that night. With the stomach flu going around we assumed it was that and gave her Tylenol and fluids. We took her to her pediatrician on Wednesday when the fever wasn't going away. The Dr ruled out her ears, nose, chest and all of that. We discussed that her urine had smelled strong and the possibility of her having a UTI. But Shawn and I where very hesitant about having her catheterized to get the sterile urine sample that was needed. Her blood work was no help since her white blood count was borderline high, so we decided to wait another day and see if she could kick it herself. She had a difficult Tuesday night, but her fever was staying around 100 on Wednesday and she started to eat more, so we became confident that she was getting better and decided not to put her through being catheterized. Yesterday she really seemed to be coming back to her old self, smiling and playing and sleeping.

At 3:30 pm her temp was 100, so I gave her some Tylenol and put her to bed. At 4:30 pm we took her temp again and she was normal, but at 5 pm everything changed. I was holding her and she started to shake, shiver as if she was cold, but she wasn't cold at all. Her pupils got big and her breathing got rapid. Without thinking too much I wrapped her up and was off to the ER leaving Shawn and Johnny at home. At 5:30 the nurse took her temp and she was up to 104! They gave her some Motrin. It did not take long for the doctor to see us. He was very kind and spoke of his own daughter, he assured me that what had happened was a febrile seizure, a slight seizure "common" in sick small children. Not a lot is known why these happen, the best theory is that growing brains don't know how to deal with rapid raise in temperature. About 30 % of all children have these seizures and only 5 % of those are bad enough to cause damage or death. The other 95% are harmless, just scary. She will have NO lasting effects from the seizure and it does not mean she will have a seizure disorder or anything else like that. She is at high risk of having another one at some point in her childhood, but she should grow out of it by the time she is three. The Doctor was very calming, and informative.

After the seizure was put behind us the dr said the main thing he was concerned with was the cause of the fever and why it was lasting so long. He again ruled out the ear, nose, chest etc. Then the Urinary track infection theory came back, she had all of the symptoms and there was no other cause that we could see. We needed to rule it out or finally have a cause we could fix. So I agreed to having her cathed and doing the test. This was the hardest part for me, I know that sounds strange, but until then I was running off of adrenaline and then it all came crashing back. I had put this test off for two days because I didn't want her to be invaded. I felt horrible. I called my parents and Shawn and started to try and get Shawn to the hospital with me, but the snow was starting to come down at 3 inches an hour...it was a blizzard!

Two sweet female nurses came in and took the urine sample, the simple and fast procedure was not nearly as bad as I had imagined it would be. Lily was wonderful through the entire thing, cried only a little at the beginning and was then fine. By this time her fever had dropped back down to 100.4 and she was playing with her feet and talking to everyone who came to see her. They said the test would take about 30 minutes. I started to get really anxious as Shawn worked with our friends on post (thanks again Clark Family) to get a ride. He was on his way when the doctor came back in and said they had confirmed that Lily had a UTI. She would be put on an 10 day antibiotic, but she should start to feel much better in 2-3 days. He couldn't tell me how a baby gets a UTI, just that girls get them. "They sit in their poop" he said. No matter how fast you clean them, their urethra is just so close to the other end, bacteria is bound to get where it shouldn't. Again since she is so young having her first, she is will be at a higher risk to have more in the future. We will be taking some special precautions, like putting her under running water after a poopy and give her more water to wash out her urinary track more.

Once we knew we would be on our way home shortly I called Shawn and had them turn around. The roads they where traveling had yet to be cleaned and it was slow going. I knew that we would be waiting for them to get here after we had already been released. I was so scared something would happen to him too. I should have calmed down, but I felt like I needed to wrap up everyone I loved in a big blanket and carry them around. Shawn wasn't happy about it but I told him I didn't have time to wait for him to get there, I needed to be on the road before they started to freeze. It took me 45 minutes to do a 15 minute drive. Lily talked and cooed for the first 10 mins and then fell asleep. At every red light I put my hand on her until she pushed me away. We made it home, to get stuck in the drive way. Shawn came out and shoveled and got the car into the car port while I held Lily and let her sleep in my arms.

To add to this GREAT night the power went out at 8:30 and housing didn't know when the storm would even let them start to work on getting the power back on. So we got all the blankets together that we could and Shawn held Johnny and I held Lily and we went to sleep, trying to keep the kids as warm as we could. Thankfully the power came back on at 10! Lily still had a rough night, she threw up curdled formula and was restless, but her fever has been 98 and she played with Johnny for a while this morning. I can't shake the panic or fear still, she seemed like she was getting better yesterday, playing and eating and smiling and then her fever spiked. So I won't be comfortable until she is done with the antibiotics and see her pediatrician again. I still have more questions, like checking her kidneys for damage or WHY this happened at just 7 months, is there something more serious going on?

I am also settling into my guilt, for not breastfeeding longer (there are studies that say it could have helped protect her from UTIs), or for not switching her to Motrin sooner, or taking her temp rectally, or for not okaying the catheteriztion test sooner, for not taking Shawn with me to the ER.... but there is no way to erase that guilt, and I don't want to. The kids deserve the best, not just the best we can do, but the best...period. And that is what we will always strive for, for this NEVER happening again.

1 comment:

Karrie said...

Little girls get UTIs and yeast infections...it's just the way the body is built. You now know to keep an eye out for symptoms and it sure doesn't help that they can't tell us that it burns when they go or that they don't feel good. One thing I learned was not to use baby powder because that can make a big difference. It's always hard when you have a boy first because, well, everything is just out there. With little girls, there are folds and hiding places for bacteria. You did what you thought was best for Lily and not wanting to cause trauma is a good reason to wait on some tests. Having said that, at her age, a catheter isn't really as scary for her as some other tests she may have had to endure.
You are a wonderful mommy from what I've read in your blog and you shouldn't beat yourself up over anything. I breast fed Liz until she was over a year old and she still got utis and a yeast infection....worst of all, she got chicken pox at 9 months from Patrick who got it on his first day of preschool! Little "hot house flowers" as my dear mother-in-law used to call them.
Chin up....pat yourself on the back for getting through a rough night and give both the kids lots of hugs!