This column almost didn’t happen. I didn’t think I’d have time to write it.
After Reese’s first birthday party last weekend — which went wonderfully, by the way — illness struck our little family. I caught a stomach bug and was down and out Monday and Tuesday, but that was nothing compared to the bacterial infection my poor little girl began battling the day I started to feel better.
On Tuesday afternoon, as I strapped Reese into her highchair for an early dinner, I noticed she felt hot. She ate pretty well, but I still took her temperature afterward. It was 102 — well past the point where she’d be allowed into day care.
I stayed home with her Wednesday, and by midafternoon, her fever had spiked to 104.5. I called our pediatrician’s office and was told to bring Reese in right away.
Her blood work showed a high white blood-cell count, which indicated a bacterial infection. Happily, her strep test was negative. The doctor prescribed a “cover-all” antibiotic that knocks out a variety of bacterial infections. Reese also was given an antibiotic “super shot” at the doctor’s office, which covers about 24 hours. She started the oral antibiotic prescription the following afternoon.
In addition to the fever, Reese has been pretty congested and stuffy. She seems to be having trouble breathing through her nose, which makes it tough for her to eat and sleep.
Until this point, the worse thing we’d had to deal with was a mild cold. Caring for an infant who is seriously under the weather has given me newfound respect for parents everywhere — especially those who happen to be single.
Between my husband and I, we’ve barely been able to handle this tumultuous time. Because Reese hasn’t been able to go to day care, we’ve both had to miss work and rearrange our schedules to watch her and shuttle her to and from doctor’s appointments and the pharmacy for her prescription and over-the-counter medications.
I honestly don’t know how all the hardworking single mothers and fathers out there manage to care for a sick little one, make it to work, set up and go to doctor’s appointments, pick up medicine from the drug store and handle all the daily routine tasks, such as getting dinner on the table, packing lunches and make sure everyone has clean clothes.
This experience has made me realize that when times are tough and I think life has handed me more than I can handle, there’s always someone else who is juggling more than I am. And if you’re that person, my hat sure is off to you.