I write letters to Ellen DeGeneres. No particular reason. Just because I can.
On Saturday afternoon, I took the baby to the doctor’s office.
“Well,” the doctor said. “The strep culture came back negative which means your baby most likely has herpangina.”
Bed time was its normal state of total chaos at our house.
Lucky for us, there was an Easter egg hunt the next day and my husband and I didn’t hesitate to use that to blackmail our kids into cooperating.
“Time for bed.”
“No! It’s not time for bed!”
“So you’re not going egg hunting tomorrow?”
“We want to go!”
“Then what do you have to do?”
“Go to bed.”
When I put the baby to bed, she was just fine.
The baby woke up very fussy and refused to eat or drink anything. That’s how fast this virus hit her. I sent my husband with the older two kids to the egg hunt and stayed home with the baby. Fortunately, her pediatrician’s office has hours on the weekend but it’s a first come, first served basis.
They opened at 1 pm.
And now we’re back to the diagnosis.
“…your baby most likely has herpangina.”
“Herpes? What about her vagina?” If the doctor was suggesting my almost two-year-old had an STD, the stuffed animals she sleeps with at night were going to be in some serious shit later.
“Herpangina,” the doctor repeated again. “It’s from the same viral family as hand-foot-and-mouth disease, but without a rash.”
“When I examined your daughter, I saw an open, bleeding sore inside the back of her throat. That’s why she won’t eat or drink anything. Oh and there’s one more thing.”
Someone or something in the universe wanted to make sure this child suffered every time she swallowed.
“We can treat the ear infection with an antibiotic,” the doctor said. “But for the herpangina, there’s nothing we can do because it’s a virus. You’ll have to give her pain relievers around the clock and keep her hydrated.”
Basically that meant I had to force an almost two-year-old to swallow frequently throughout the day.
I anticipated a challenge with getting her to drink given that it hurt every time she swallowed. When I went to the pharmacy to pick up her prescription, I asked the pharmacist for an extra medicine syringe.
Sure enough, the baby slapped her sippy bottle away every time I offered it to her.
Because the doctor made it clear I had to manage her pain and keep her hydrated, I basically had to force her to drink all day long. Every ten minutes, I squirted 10 ml of water down her throat. She cried every time.
As if that wasn’t enough, Ellen, I set my alarm to wake me in the middle of the night so I could give her more pain medicine and more water.
On the one hand, I felt like I was kicking this poor kid when she was down. On the other hand, it worked.
By the next morning she was able to swallow and happy to drink from her sippy bottle.
And now as I write this, my happy baby is carrying her older sister’s baby doll around by its foot, using its head to hammer imaginary nails into the walls and furniture.
It’s been a rough week, Ellen, but at least she’s feeling better.
Thanks for shopping Snark, Sass, & Sarcasm! I’ll see you next time.