Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ava's First Trip to...the ER.

Well this was a "first" I was hardly looking forward to.

I've always been a heat sensitive individual. Which, when you think about it, is ironic, because I ultimately prefer warmer climates. Still, when the temps start reaching towards 100, I start feeling the effects, with my body unable to regulate it's temp well. Seriously, I could run two miles in the heat and barely break a sweat. And it's not because I'm in amazing shape (I'm not). It's because I just hold on to my heat for whatever reason, and it seems little A has inherited this horrible trait.

Yesterday was a normal day, between a few hours at work and some mommy/Ava playtime. I got off work slightly early, and so since I was able to take the main highway home since traffic was still minimal, we stopped off at a park to celebrate the great weather and early release from work. Apparently, this was our downfall.

We played at the park 20 minutes, 25 max. We played on the swings, went down the slide four times after climbing up the playscape repeatedly, and then we went home. Sounds simple and harmless enough, right? WRONG. Bad mommy.

When we got home, it was getting close to dinner time, so we played for a bit, and then I gave her some of her favorite things for dinner - black beans, strawberries, etc. She wouldn't eat a thing. In fact, she seemed a bit irritable, but I passed it off as being her temper lately, and muttered some nonsense about the terrible twos arriving early to our house. Yes, I feel like an asshole now.

Then, to make matter worse, we went to play in the backyard like we do every night after dinner. She got into her car, and D was running her around, pushing her like usual. But instead of squealing with delight, she looked totally wrong to me, and I instantly knew something was seriously wrong. I scooped her up, took her inside, and felt her scorching hot little body against me. Her temp? 103.3.

Knowing that she'd exhibited no signs of illness all day and that it came on so quickly, I immediately thought it was heat-related. Her skin was dry to the point of feeling like sandpaper, and we popped her into a cool bath to try to bring her temp down. No luck. She was starting to fall asleep on and off, despite it being 6:30, and alarm bells were sounding all over the place in this mama's head.

Scared as hell of a heat stroke, we loaded her up and took her to the ER.

Several hours and a multitude of tests later ruling out flu, strep, a UTI, etc, we are now certain she had an episode of severe heat exhaustion. When we got there, her fever was topping out at a horrifying 104 degrees. Two hours and two doses of motrin and Tylenol later, it was 98.2. Just as quickly as it came on, it went away when she was finally able to cool herself.

The one victory I can claim, especially given how guilty I feel over taking her to play outside on a hot day, is that the nursing staff wanted to cath my baby (!!!!!) to get a urine sample. Now I'm not expert but I know that a.) that hurts like hell, and b.) there has to be a better way. So I bargained with the nurses, noting our early potty training efforts, and they brought in a bedside commode - and Ava peed in it!!!!! She gave a urine sample, and we avoided the cath since I had put my foot down. It was a shining moment of parenting for D and I - I'll give myself that. Unfortunately it's not enough to offset the extreme remorse I feel about having caused this :(

We're home now, and A seems fine, if a bit tired. But how on God's green Earth do I manage to prevent this, when it is only April, and it's going to climb to significantly higher temps? I didn't feel like we were outside an excessive amount, but now I'm afraid to go out at all. Help!


  1. Oh, that is so scary!!! My son, at 11 months, had multiple febrile seizures with a "low" temp of 102. High fevers like that make my chest tight. I am glad she was ok!! And wooo hoooo on the potty!

  2. Wow... I am so glad to hear that A is doing alright. That would scare the CRAP out of me. Good job on the cath choice Momma!!!!! Props :)

  3. Oh no! Poor Ava and Mama. This doesn't sound like it's your fault AT ALL. Who would have thought that a warm day could cause such a reaction?? Did the doctors have any suggestions on how to prevent this in the future?

    You're a great Mom - I'm glad Ava is doing ok now!

  4. Wow, that's scary! It's a good thing you were watching her closely and recognized when she wasn't acting "herself"... don't beat yourself up so much! The only thing I can recommend to you is to pump extra fluids in her as much as you can if it's warm... it's going to be hard to avoid the heat this summer!

    On a side note: I'm similar to that but can tell when I'm overheating just because my cheeks turn red and feel like they are on fire if I'm too warm. Liara seems to do the same thing, so I guess I lucked out. Does Ava do anything similar to you when you get too hot?

  5. oh man! i would have been so scared!!! glad she is ok!


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