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Cabin Fever Can Be Worse Then Body Fever

After 5 days of running a fever, two doctor's appointments, two prescriptions and more doses of motrin than I care to count, my daughter's fever finally broke in the wee hours of Monday night. I have never felt such relief at feeling my girl crawl into bed with us before. She didn't come into our bed until 3:30 (the fever nights, she came in much earlier), and when she did settle in between Londo and me, I felt her neck and back and knew the fever was gone. We confirmed it in the morning with an ear thermometer.

The doctor last week said that she had an ear infection in her left ear. In fact, she said it as soon as she looked in that ear, and then noted that there wasn't an infection in the other ear as she looked in that. She put her on amoxicillian because the Pumpkin hadn't had an ear infection since December. She said if she still had a fever after 3 or 4 days, bring her back. We went back in on Monday, when another doctor determined that the left ear was now clear, but she had developed an ear infection in her right ear. While on the antibiotics. And her lungs didn't sound good.

RED FLAG! I (and I'm assuming all parents) get extremely concerned when I hear "her lungs don't sound good." Likely an infection, but not yet progressed to anything more. She prescribed a heavy duty antibiotic in another family, which we were to give the Pumpkin while continuing the amoxicillian. It's a good think the Pumpkin loves to take medicine.

So we were very relieved that the Pumpkin's fever finally broke and that she was seeming more herself. Problem was that we still needed to keep her out of school on Tuesday to make sure she really was better and that whole keep-out-for-24-hours-after-fever-breaks rule.

Did I mention that the Pumpkin was seeming more herself? Which means that her energy levels were back to normal. Scratch that. They were higher than normal because she had no activity for 5 days. This was the 6th day of her being housebound, and she was Trouble (note the capital T).

As Londo later said, any doctor would have diagnosed her with ADHD if they'd seen her that day. She could not, for one minute, stay still or focus or listen or behave or... well, you get the picture. She'd watched way too much TV when sick, and she had no interest in any shows or movies. She did not want to really play any games, unless it involved being very physical and exerting a lot of energy. Energy which neither Londo nor I had, since we are both now sick and had to juggle trying to work and are exhausted from caring for sick kids.

The worst part of yesterday for me was the Pumpkin hitting. She was frustrated and full of pent up energy. And quite frankly, she was full of mischief. She kept having tantrums, and then she kept hitting me. We progressed from her "taking a break" to "time outs" to (and I quote myself here) "I need a break from you!" It was not good.

I started the conversation with her about impulses: what they are and that she needs to control them and how she needs to think before she does things. Etc, etc, etc. I'm hoping it will start to sink in. Sometimes it seems to, sometimes it doesn't. She really isn't responding to time outs. In fact, she got out of the time out chair just to hit me. I'm worry that she can't focus on anything but what she's NOT supposed to be doing while she's sitting in time out.

Last night was more of the same. All. Night. Long. We really didn't sleep much at all. She just had all this energy and mischief and discomfort. It was an awful night. I was so happy to drop her off at school this morning, because she is out of the house, playing with friends and going to get time on the playground to get that energy out.

One thing this experience made me realize is that this girl will need to be in sports all year round. She cannot handle sitting still and in the same place day after day without a way to get her energy out.

She is amazing and can do so much with that energy level, curiosity, persistence and intelligence. It's my job to help her figure out how to channel these qualities for good. Not mischief.


paola said…
Totally agree. But for me and not for them! I'm hoping this is the last of the colds and intestinal virus for the season. I've been down with something for 3 weeks now and wasn't able to run the BIG race on Sunday due to a stomach bug. Boo hoo!
Cloud said…
Oh, I hope you all get better soon. Trying to parent when you're sick just sucks.

Have you thought about karate or something like that for the Pumpkin? It is something she could do year round.
Natural cures said…
I would skip the drugs altogether for your ear infection and cure it the natural way. Using antibiotics to cure an ear infection can actually lead to it becoming worse. And treating a viral infection with antibiotics is a complete waste of time to begin with.
mom2boy said…
They do have so much energy and it's really hard when all yours is gone and you are just trying to get by and can't really match them. I know Tate is much more aggressive when he hasn't had enough outside time. I'm so happy the weather is getting better and we can be outside more. Swimming is really good exercise, too. Somehow Tate is going to start liking the water and learn to swim so we can be outside and not sweltering at the same time.
Geeks in Rome said…
ugh your poor family (and poor mommy). It's so hard to instill ways to channel energy and emotions when they are freaking out from illness, fatigue and pain or what have you (cabin fever ah!!!!)

I read an article in I think the NYT about somethign that made me think my son's hayfever may be a cause for bad moods and less than desireable behavior at times. I should experiment with that, too. So far he's been really good this week :)
hush said…
Yucky! Keep your head up, @caramama. Hands are not for hitting & cabins are not for fevering.
Karen said…
I'm glad she's feeling better. It reminds me of the Vicks commercial where they apologize for the kids feeling so well on the meds.

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