About a year ago I got an ear infection.I hadn't had one since childhood, and I hadn't remembered just how uncomfortable they are. For two nights I had to (try to) sleep propped up on the couch due to the pressure.
My kids aren't particularly prone to ear infections, but yesterday after Zoodle had a fever that shot up to 103.7 (rectal), I got him into the doctor where he was diagnosed with a double ear infection. Poor kiddo! We got generic Zithromax for him but of course it takes awhile to act. His fever has continued to go pretty high every time Tylenol or ibuprofen has worn off.
Now I'm actually kind of glad I got that ear infection last year. Because when Zoodle was far grumpier and clingier than usual yesterday, and then woke up repeatedly throughout the night, I understood. I like my sleep. So if I hadn't genuinely empathized with him, I'm not sure I would have had much patience with the kid! I really feel so bad for him. This has been very hard (and probably confusing) for his little body and mind.
At the doctor's office, I disclosed our Monday call to poison control, just in case it could have anything to do with Zoodle's illness. The doctor was concerned about the vitamins Zoodle had taken until I assured her they didn't contain iron. "Oh, good," she told me. "That's when it can be dangerous, when they contain iron."
I got home, and thought, You know, I should just check to be sure. My heart sank when I saw that I was wrong--the chewable vitamins did contain iron. But I reassured myself that after the calls to Poison Control (when I'd told them the brand of vitamin), and the plausible explanation of Zoodle's fever, he should be fine.
It's one thing to believe that at 5:00 p.m. It's another thing at midnight when your child has just woken you up and you've gotten his feverish self back to sleep. My mind goes into paranoia mode, and I couldn't sleep without worrying about those vitamins.
So I got out of bed and went on a mission. I checked out the diaper pail where we put poopy diapers. The Engineer cleans it out on Tuesday night. Nope, I thought, looks like he hasn't pooped since at least Tuesday.
I dug through a couple of dozen receipts until I found one from 1/22/10, showing the vitamins.
I counted the remaining vitamins.
I took pen to paper and calculated just how many vitamins Zoodle might have taken--two scenarios based on me having remembered to give the kids their vitamins either 1/3 or 1/2 of the time since 1/22/10. (I'm obviously not very consistent!)
I figured out the range of iron amounts my little guy might have ingested.
And I searched on Google for iron poisoning. What I read assured me he hadn't eaten anywhere near enough for a fatal dose, but on the high end he might have eaten almost enough for "serious effects." I picked up the phone to call Poison Control. Again.
The Poison Control operator was wonderful, explaining that the form of iron in children's vitamins is very hard to overdose on, because of how the body processes it. If Zoodle was going to show symptoms, they would have appeared very quickly. When I brought up the poop, she told me that was totally normal--any form of iron causes constipation. So while Zoodle might have to endure a glycerin suppository this weekend in addition to his ear infection recovery, he does not have iron poisoning.
Zoodle continued to wake throughout the night, but then he blessed me (and answered a specific prayer I'd prayed!) by sleeping until 7:45. I'm going to be tired today, but Zoodle's drama has reminded me just how much I love these kids of mine. Enough to make every midnight phone call or 2:00 a.m. waking 100% worth it.