The Ear Infection*
What a difference a day can make.
My little bean has been sick with a cold for the last two weeks. She was okay at first, then a bad cough took hold and slowed her down for three or four days. The Hubster and I each took a turn taking a day off of work to be with her (and recoup from the cold that we had each caught ourselves) and I ended up in a walk in clinic with her a week ago. I just wanted to have her checked out after a couple of particularly rough nights, but the doctor assured me it was just the mother of all colds.
By early last week she seemed to be on the mend. My cold also seemed to be letting up a little, which gave me the strength I needed to plow though the marking and report cards that were due by Friday. I slowly ticked off each day as we neared the weekend, as I knew that by the end my marking and reports would be done and I would officially be on holidays for a week.
(My school is on a modified school year, which means we get a break in both November and March. WIN.)
Well, Friday finally arrived, as did the lovely relief that comes when you finally hit “submit” and know your reports are finished. I left school in a hurry, as we had plans to drive to my parents that night. Spart was moving into her new house on Saturday, and we had planned to be there to help.
As we flew around the house packing, something seemed a little off with Ruby. She started to fuss while we were getting ready, and we assumed it was because she a) was hungry, and b) wasn’t getting 100% of our attention. I slowed down to spend some time with her and make her dinner, but she wouldn’t eat and her fussing continued.
By 5:30pm we had our bags packed at the front door. The Hubster had started loading the car when Ruby’s fussing turned into wailing, which was quite unlike her. I held her and tried to calm her down, to no avail. After a few minutes I began to worry that something was wrong, and I noticed that her forehead felt a little warm. We decided to take her temperature, and I felt awful when I saw the screen hit 100.3º. After we stripped her down to cool her off and gave her some Tylenol, we knew our trip wasn’t going to happen.
My bean and I had a long, long night. She was feverish and uncomfortable and wouldn’t rest without me. She and I snuggled in the spare bed and watched Wiggles videos on my phone through the night when she woke and couldn’t settle. Saturday dawned cold and rainy, and when her fever cooled in the morning we assumed it was just the end of her cold, or her never ending battle with molars.
Then Saturday night happened.
She had a late nap Saturday afternoon, so we pushed her bedtime back a little. She was her usual wild and crazy self that evening, so we thought all was right with the world again.
Forty-five minutes after she fell asleep, she woke up… and repeated that pattern all through the night. Sunday morning dawned and I knew something was definitely wrong. Her temperature rose to nearly 102º and Tylenol just wasn’t cutting it. We found a walk-in clinic that was (miraculously) open on Sundays and piled into the car. It was a long wait, but the doctor confirmed what I had suspected: my poor little bean had an ear infection.
We then trekked over to Walmart to get her some antibiotics, where we faced an even longer wait to have her prescription filled. Apparently the whole world goes to the Walmart pharmacy on Sundays.
We finally made it home and started her on the medication. I had my fingers crossed that it would be one of those miracle drugs that works the second you take it, but when my sweet girl was too uncomfortable to even nap (at all), I knew we’d just have to wait.
Last night was a little better, and she seemed much more herself today. After a long, long weekend, this morning dawned bright and sunny and the antibiotics seem to be kicking in. I’m hoping that she’ll finally get the rest her little body needs tonight.
I’m also hoping that I get some rest tonight. The Hubster tries his hardest, but when our little bean is beyond upset in the middle of the night, she just clings and cries for me. He has been so good to be super Dad during the day so I can rest a bit in preparation for the “night shift”.
I’ve been running on empty these past few days and I desperately need a good night’s sleep. As I consoled Ruby late one night, I couldn’t help but think that even labor was easier to manage than this ear infection has been.
(Mind you, I may change that tune again come February… ha)
Even though it’s been an impossibly difficult few days, I find myself feeling grateful. If this had started even one day earlier, I don’t know how I would have managed to meet the deadline for my report cards. And even though it consumed our entire weekend, I was able to have the Hubster home with me and we plowed through the worst of it together.
Then, in the middle of the night, when she had woken up sobbing for the umpteenth time and I felt like I had nothing left in me to give, she would stop. It was as if she knew I needed a break, even if it was just for five minutes. She would snuggle in next to me and just let me hold her, healing my exhausted heart and giving me the strength I needed to stay awake until she was ready to sleep again.
I always try so hard to be in tune with her needs, but sometimes I think she is more in tune with me, and with what I need. Even if it’s just for five minutes.
It’s those small things that push you through the hardest moments of parenthood. I’m still not sure how we made it through the last three nights, but somehow we’re still standing and the worst is (hopefully) behind us.