Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Banana Fana Fo Fella, Rubella

Slo-J has fallen ill for the first time, unless you count the whole reflux and not eating thing (and I've been doing my best to put that behind me. Onwards.). Saturday she woke up with a constantly runny nose and a temperature, and not much of an appetite. The temperature kept climbing until it was almost 104 on Sunday, when I noticed she had a small rash on her face. She's also teething - I can feel the top one just beneath her gum - so I decided to keep an eye on it. All the baby books talk about fevers and rashes and teething, so I was able to remain relatively calm and NOT PANIC. She was decidedly unhappy and sick, but seemed more or less okay. I managed to avoid a Freak Out Moment; Mom, you should be proud.

I put a call into the pediatrician on Monday when she was still feverish, had no appetite, and had a few more bumps on her faces. I took her in to see the doc who was filling in for our regular ped, and he said it was a virus, not to worry, and gave us a prescription for nasal saline drops and more acetaminophen. I asked about the rash, and he said, "Well, some viruses do cause a rash -- measles, for example." He was calm about it so I didn't Freak Out, and went home to try to keep her happy and snot free. Oh, and I also avoided Googling "baby rash fever measles" and the like, just because I've learned the hard way from experience. Try looking up "vaccine reactions" and you'll see what I mean. On second thought, don't do that...just take my word for it.

Today her fever was down but the rash spread to her trunk, so I Did Not Panic but very calmly and rationally called my pediatrician since I was sure at this point it was not a cold, as the replacement had intimated. After a short Q&A session, she felt confident it's Rubella (also known as German Measles) but the worst is apparently over with. She told me to just write it down in her official health file -- every infant receives a booklet called the Carnet de Sante that's filled with medical advice as well as her vaccination and examination records, which isn't a bad idea if you ask me -- and to make sure she doesn't get too cold now that her fever's down. All righty then. So she does have a light form of measles but seems to be more or less okay, except still a little grouchy and not really eating or sleeping well and that could be because of that damned top tooth that won't hurry up.

The thing that does bother me a little is that I don't know where she could have picked this up, since she wasn't around a lot of people during the week. I do have a couple of kids' classes but it seems as if they would all be vaccinated by now, so I guess I'll just make sure to disinfect myself when I come home. The first doc basically told me that the real work of motherhood starts now, that she'll catch plenty of other things at school. I guess I'm in the club now.


Chris said...

*Golf Clap* Now you're a Mom ;)

The first time your kid is sick is pretty stressful. I don't know if it gets better. Maybe you just perfect worrying. I've also learned to avoid Google.

Yesterday Norah threw up all over herself and her grapefruit. Needless to say she missed school.

KathyUSA said...

With #1 Monster I we went to the doc. all the time. I was so worried about everything. Sometimes I wasn't even sure if he was sick from the cold or from the medicine. And was he catching stuff at the doc. office? Oh- the rashes, snaughty noses, the temp., the wheezing, ear aches, and night time it gets worse. Several nights I almost went to the ER for help. But didn't.

Now with Monster #3, I can relax knowing that these sicknesses are an important (and nasty) part of the baby's system to build up their immune system. If she starts getting a cold or a rash I "put up" with it for two weeks before taking her to the doc. (Unless it's "green" or temp is too high for 24 hr). We have allot of colds here as Monster #2 brings them home from school. Even though he washes his hands and tries to be carful, it still happens.

Don't get too wrapped up in the "where you got it" or "what is it". As a parent we try to be careful but it's just bound to happen and if the system seams to be managing it that is the important thing. We can't quarantine our little people till they're 20. Ya just gotta take it as it comes and try not to get sick yourself.

PS: Infant's Motrin Cold and Desitin for Diaper rash are life savers at this age. Do you have that in France?? I'll send it if not.

The Late Bloomer said...

Oh I do hope she's feeling much better now! And it sounds to me like you handled that situation BEAUTIFULLY -- I have a feeling I would have freaked out... Knowing me and my anxieties!

Funny that you mention the rubella though... I'm not quite sure how this happened, but believe it or not apparently I'm not vaccinated against rubella, and it can be really risky in pregnancy... I'm 14 weeks along now and I'm trying to be careful, wash my hands regularly, and not come in contact with small children very often, like my doctor recommended (luckily right now I haven't been teaching really small children, although I hope this doesn't count the 6-year-old and 9-year-old I see for English lessons on Friday evenings...).

The crazy thing is that my mom checked all my vaccination records from when I was a baby, and her paperwork says I DID receive a rubella vaccine when I was about a year old! So I don't know if it's simply that the vaccine just never "took" or if I needed to get it again when I was a teen or whatnot to make it more effective and lasting. And the other crazy thing is that I should have tried to get a vaccine done before I got pregnant, but it simply slipped through the cracks.

I try not to think about it now, but your mentioning it here kinda just made me nervous again! You never know where you can pick up these things...

Pardon My French said...

Chris, thank you very much. I am a terrible worrywart but am working on it. Hope Norah is feeling better by now!

Kathy, thank you, I needed that. I do have some kind of butt cream that seems to work pretty well; am not sure how different the Motrin is from the stuff I've got. Thank you for the offer, though!

Ace, no need to panic, apparently (although I clearly remember what being pregnant is like...oh, the anxiety). The rash ended up slowly spreading to her limbs so we don't know what it really was. The ped said that babies can react differently to cold viruses and her dad had just gotten sick so that's probably where it came from.

Last winter I was a hand-washing freak and apparently it helped, so it sounds like you're doing what you need to do. The ped also said true rubella is quite rare so it's probably unlikely you'll come across it.