Last week, we all had colds (except Mat). Lincoln’s cold took a turn for the worse on Thursday. He stopped eating like usual, and daycare called us and said he was fussier than usual and didn’t want to be put down. We picked him up early and got him in to see a pediatrician that afternoon. This pediatrician diagnosed him with a left ear infection and prescribed amoxicillin, and a cough medicine.
We gave him doses of both at 6:30 that night. By 8:30, his temperature had skyrocketed and he was a whimpering limp doll in my arms. We decided to take him to the ER.
This wasn’t the first time I’d been back to the hospital since Mom died, but it was the first time it was something serious. A chant started in the back of my mind on the drive there: Mom checked in and never left. Mom checked in and never left. Mom checked in and never left.
Lincoln had a fever of 104 when we were checked into the ER. When I was 2-1/2, I had a 104 degree fever when Mom took me to the hospital. The fever burned through the nerves in my ears and is what caused my hearing loss. I clung to Lincoln in that ER room and prayed his ears would stay whole.
They X-rayed his lungs (clear), drew blood (he tested positive for RSV, gave him a humongous dose of Tylenol for the fever, gave him an aerosol breathing treatment, sucked his nose out, and then decided to put an IV in so they could give him fluids since he wasn’t eating. He did not have an ear infection. Go figure. Doctors are nuts sometimes.
The IV was a nightmare. Lincoln kept trying to pull the tubes out. In my minds eye, I could see Mom doing the same in her half-coma state. At the base of things, an IV is so uncomfortable that babies and comatose patients will do anything to get it out of them.
The Tylenol helped Lincoln’s fever fairly quickly, but the pediatrician at the hospital suggested we stay the night for observation in case Lincoln needed immediate attention. As my heart constricted with fear, we agreed.
I sat on a hospital bed and held him as an orderly wheeled us through the hospital. We passed signs for Radiology where Mom received her last Rituxiban treatment. We passed ICU where she spent her last days. We passed the birthing center waiting room where she once spent four hours of her day waiting for me to wake up from a nap after Lincoln had been born. I clung to my child and promised him I would take him home, whole and well.
We passed the night rather uneventfully in our room. Lincoln seemed to recover quickly and slept well. Mat and I took turns holding him throughout the night. In the morning, the same pediatrician on call checked him out and signed off on his release. And we took him home.
As we drove away from the hospital, I told Mom once again that I loved her and missed her. And that I was so, so sorry we couldn’t do the same for her.