Monday, January 3, 2011

Overcoming a traumatic experience

Cameron was traumatized this weekend. No, it wasn’t breaking a femur or anything crazy like that. She just got sick and it touched off a traumatic experience that I need help from my readers to overcome.

On Friday Cameron woke up fussy and with a fever. I obeyed my mommy instincts and took her to the sick clinic when it opened, promptly at 8:30 AM. I love that her pediatric office does sick clinics! A 5 minute wait and we were lucky enough to be called back to meet with our regular pediatrician who was on duty. I explained that we had been around family who suffered from things like strep throat and bronchitis. Given we were going into a holiday weekend I wanted to get Cameron’s ears checked and have a test done for strep. Our doctor expressed skepticism that a not-even 2 year old could have strep but agreed to my request. The test wasn’t pleasant and DH was gagging in sympathy with Cameron. 10 minutes later we had our diagnosis: strep. The doctor was amazed and DH and I were thankful that we caught it early. We thought that after 3 days on antibiotics and pain meds Cameron would be well enough for daycare today. Sounds like a great plan, right? Oh, how wrong we were.

It started out OK. Aside from a phase in the 6-9 month stage Cameron has always taken her meds easily. I mean, they taste like candy so it shouldn’t be a problem! But for some reason the antibiotics didn’t kick in right away so I can only assume Cameron’s throat started hurting more and more. She took her meds no problem on Friday. Saturday I had to resort to bribing:
  • Yes, you can have your paci downstairs but only if you take your medicine first.
  • Yes, you can have your blankie downstairs but only if you take your medicine first.
You get the idea. Saturday night, however she refused everything. And, as you know, you can’t miss a dose of antibiotics. So DH and I rolled up our sleeves and forced Cameron to take the medicine, much as we did when she was younger: on her back, arms under our legs, head immobile, and squirt the medicine under the tongue to get her to swallow. It worked perfectly when she was a baby. Now she got so upset and cried so hard that she ended up aspirating and throwing up the medicine all over the floor, her blankie and lovie. (Side note: this is where “extras” come in handy for things like blankies and lovies. There was no time to do laundry before bed but Cameron never noticed a difference.)

Sunday morning found me in tears. Not just because of Cameron but also because I (as it turned out after 3 hours in the Minute Clinic waiting room) was suffering from a sinus infection. How the hell does DH avoid illnesses in our house?!? He must have a pact with the devil. We packed Cameron up and headed to the Sunday sick clinic hours at her pediatrician. This time we weren’t so lucky and it took us 90 minutes to get called back. After being gently lectured by an older male doctor about how to get Cameron to take her medicine (GRRRR…don’t you think we tried everything?) he acquiesced to a penicillin shot.

We were forced to give Cameron ibuprofen last night because she was still running a fever and couldn’t sleep. Same traumatic experience although she managed to keep most of the medicine down. Today we realize that she also has an open sore on her lip which is interfering with her ability to eat. What would make it better? Yup, medicine. We've been somewhat successful sneaking in Baby Orajel but other medicines are still a no-go. So, internet friends, help a parent out. How the heck to I overcome this over the next few days/weeks? How can I get Cameron back to taking medicine easily? Or have we scarred her for life?

PS - I do plan on bringing her to daycare tomorrow assuming we can push her some drugs first. It would do her good to get back into a routine after 4 days away and she isn't running a fever or contagious. It is DH's first day back after a 2 week vacation so I can't ask him to take another day off so I'll be working from home just in case we get the dreaded daycare keeps your fingers crossed for us!


LauraC said...

I will keep it honest. Some 1 year olds just don't like taking medicine. It doesn't taste good.

So we held the kids down and gave it to them. Have I told you the method we use? Sit on floor, lay kid in between your legs facing up. Pin down arms with your thighs, use a syringe to squirt into their mouth. If they don't swallow, pinch the nose and they will be forced to swallow.

As soon as they swallow, pick them up and cuddle them.

Bribing didn't work with my kids until they were 2.5 or so (much like time out). Now when asked "hard way or easy way" they always pick the easy way.

Stacey said...

Actually we use the same method...I think you suggested it before on a post from 1+ years ago. Glad to hear that that method didn't leave lasting scars on Nate and Alex!

Donna said...

I went through this with both of my boys. It was traumatic for me - but I think it is easily forgotten by them. One thing a nurse told me to do, if a child will not take an oral medicine mix it with chocolate syrup - yep, that is right straight chocolate. This sometimes worked for us. Another thing we did with DS2 when he was running a fever and happened to gag on the motrin and then would not take anymore - I went to the doctor and they suggested a suppository. Yuck right? Well I went to the pharmacy and there wasn't any for his age, but I talked to the pharmacists and for a child of 2 years old and pretty small for his age as far as weight was concerned - they told me to give half a children's suppository of tylenol. I did. And it worked. Now both boys take medicine fairly easily. Good luck! This age through until 4 years old is NOT easy.