It is 12:20 a.m. I am sitting on the couch, head rolling back and eyelids barely able to stay open from sheer exhaustion. Am I drooling? I may be. Ice is face down on a quilt on the carpet having since konked out moments ago. Daniel Tiger, an adorable animated television program based on the works of Fred Rogers, is on the TV. (We have no less than 6 episodes taped for Little Bee). My party girl is tentatively making her way around the coffee table with her tiny steps, slowly, one at a time. Did I mention she is also shaking maracas? Oh yes, cue the Mariachi band…
How did we get here?
Less than 36 hours before I had three paramedics and a police officer in my living room. I am so grateful I have never had to call 911 in my life – until this week.
My “micro-napper” Bee took a three and a half hour nap on Monday and I just knew when she woke up something was not right. She was so out of it and VERY warm. She is usually ready with a smile and a bounce in her step. But she took a long time to wake up. After awhile I called the doctor and wondered “Is this fever from teething?” She had been cutting a tooth for the last week and it had seemed to be mildly uncomfortable for her. After talking with a nurse and getting some advice I hung up the phone.
But wait…she seemed to be getting warmer by the minute. Her lids were droopy and she was getting kind of listless. What is going on??? my brain was screaming to me.
I took her temperature a second time…and a third…it seemed like it was climbing. I called the doctor back and spoke to the receptionist. I waited and I waited for a nurse to answer my call.
With Bee in one arm, I balanced the cordless phone on one shoulder and picked up my cell phone to call Ice. “Something is not right” I said in a panic. He calmly told me to call 911.
Ice would rather rip out his fingernails than have to make a trip to the Doctor. “Rub some dirt on it!” I have heard him say tougue-in-cheek when a minor injury occurs. So the mere fact that he advised me to make that call kind of freaked me out. I hung up with him and dialed that dreaded number.
Techno and Twinkle Toes were downstairs playing. I needed to inform them of the call I just made. This brought great panic to their eyes and caused me to have to verbally re-enact the scene from the movie Moonstruck when Cher slaps Nicolas Cage and says “Snap out of it!”
I remembered thinking how odd it was that I heard the siren, knowing it was coming for my daughter. Just that morning I had looked out my kitchen window and seen an ambulance speeding down the road, siren blaring and wondered “Where is that going today? Who needs it?” Having NO idea just hours later I would be relying on it myself.
To their credit, my two older children were on the phone with my husband at this time keeping him informed while he raced home. I was so proud of them.
The ambulance arrived very quickly. The doorbell rang and I answered it with Bee in my arms. After taking vitals, noting how she seemed to be more alert than what I had witnessed before they came (I had given her some Ibuprofen at the advice of the nurse the first time) and seeing her demeanor change just a hair…the paramedic was able to offer me some relief that maybe this sudden spike in temperature was something other than life-threatening and it would be manageable.
I declined to have her ride in the ambulance. I promised to follow-up with our pediatrician and I kept repeating over and over how utterly stupid I felt for calling.
The police officer who had a 15-month old kept making references to similar situations with her little one and offering her best advice to calm me and relate to me as a mother. It was extremely helpful and welcomed at a time like this. None of them made me feel bad for calling, assured me that it was okay and eventually departed – sure to offer phenomenal assistance in some other desperate situation.
As it turned out from what we can tell, Bee fought off a virus of some sort for a few days. She had no other symptoms but a sudden onset of a fever.
I was surely tested this week. But was offered the best care and concern for Bee from the first responders, support from my family and friends and the best part is that she is doing well. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.