Sickness

Well it’s been a fabulous week here at Chez Lawyer. I mentioned before that the baby had a fever and was a tad cranky. She still had the fever and we had a rough night in Friday. A really rough night. But that’s all. No runny nose. No cough. No wheezing. No ear pulling. No vomiting. No nasty poos. No nothing. Just the fever which was getting progressively worse.

I took her in on Saturday and the poor thing endured a battery of tests, most of which were painful or annoying.

Diagnosis? Pneumonia.

WTF?

I’m pretty low key about illnesses – I typically let them get over it on their own before resorting to the pediatrician who is not unlikely to prescribe antibiotics. I know that many doctors continue to prescribe antibiotics for things like bronchitis, which is no longer indicated. My mother’s doctor gives out antibiotics like candy. He’s a human pez dispenser. Nevermind that most of her problems stem from allergies; apparently antibiotics are the key to wellness. Wrong.

Taking antibiotics for colds and other viral illnesses not only won’t work, but also has a dangerous side effect: over time, this practice helps create bacteria that have become more of a challenge to kill. Frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics selects for strains of bacteria that can resist treatment. This is called bacterial resistance. These resistant bacteria require higher doses of medicine or stronger antibiotics to treat. Doctors have even found bacteria that are resistant to some of the most powerful antibiotics available today.

Antibiotic resistance is a widespread problem, and one that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.” Bacteria that were once highly responsive to antibiotics have become increasingly resistant.

Well that’s scary, eh? So I’m hesitant to run to the pediatrician. Not only that, but it seems that every time I take healthy children there, they become sick within a few days. Coincidence? I think not. That place is a festering germ pool as far as I’m concerned and the less time we spend there, the better. And I like our pediatrician, truly I do. I have no complaints at all – it’s not their fault that sick germy kids flock to their place of business, is it? Well, it is kind of, but it’s to be expected when your business is sick germy kids.

So the baby had pneumonia. She had run a low grade fever for a few days and then Friday night it spiked up to just under 104 and stayed there all night and through the next night. After a desperately sleepless night, we thought it best to have her checked out.

The pediatrician we saw said her lungs seemed “clear” and that he’d take an Xray, just to be sure. Her ears were fine, so everyone thought it might be a bladder infection, there being no other visible or obvious symptoms. And they tested for that too. And she had a good wee all over the nurse as punishment for the catheter, proving that she wasn’t even close to being dehydrated. And we all were quite shocked when the Xray image of her lungs came back cloudy and most certainly not clear.

Saturday night was rough too and I thought we might need to make a trip to the ER when her temperature climbed over 104, but after a cool bath during which she was bribed to sit still with all sorts of things she’s not normally permitted, we were able to keep it under control.

And she’s fine today, if a bit tired. She only woke once last night which was fabulous. Beyond fabulous, actually. And I’m beyond grateful – we both needed our sleep. A few more nights like that and we’ll be back in fighting condition.

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