Before you dive into this post, both our girls are perfectly healthy at the time of this post. Thanks for reading.
Last Saturday, we experienced our first medical emergency with one of our daughters. Around 6:00 pm I decided to take advantage of the overcast weather left behind from an afternoon thunderstorm. When I got back Terri had mentioned Winter was running a fever. Winter had run a fever a few weeks back that we attributed to teething. Her and I hung out watching soccer all day and she was fine. Perhaps a little more snuggly than normal but I was fine with that. I asked Terri if she gave her Motrin and we she said yes, I assumed the fever issue was solved.
I had promised Terri we would get Chick-Fil-A after my run. By the time I got out of the shower she already had the girls in their jammies and in their car seats. We made our way to Chick-Fil-A and were through the drive-thru fairly quickly. When we took the girls out of the car they were both asleep in their car seats, so we left them in their car seats and sat them by the kitchen table where we would eat. As we finished up Terri noticed Winter was awake, so she went to take her out of her car seat. While unstrapping her Terri said "Oh my god babe she is burning up." Now at this point I am still not concerned, because I feel like Terri says that every other day. Terri takes Winter's temperature and it was 104.8.
At this point Terri is panicking. She's demanding we taker her to the ER. Trying to calm her down, I take Winter into the play room to take her clothes off to help her cool down. As I am removing her clothes I notice she is staring into space and her body starts clinching. Not shivering, clinching. Almost like she was contracting her muscles. At this point I am also in a panic. I grab her and run upstairs to put her in a cool (luke warm) bath. Once she hits the water the clinching continues. Terri says again "We are going to the ER!". I agree and we frantically start packing prepared for a night at the hospital.
All this time Parker is now awake and losing her mind screaming at the top of her lungs. I start to mentally prepare that there is no way they are allowing both Terri and I in the ER. And to be honest, I didn't want all four of us in the ER with the rise of COVID cases in our area.
We called the girls doctor and he confirmed we needed to go to the ER. At this point we were already in the car. I thought we were headed to Winter Haven Hospital which is 5 minutes from our house. I was wrong. The doctor told us we needed to drive to Lakeland Regional because they have a Pediatric ER. This was a 33 minute drive according to our GPS. When we pulled up my heart dropped a bit when I saw how packed the waiting room was. At 10:00 PM it was wall to wall full of sick and injured kids and their parents. Terri headed in with Winter and I stayed in the car with Parker. After about 10 minutes of waiting in line, I can see the front desk address Terri and fairly quickly I could tell they were concerned. Within minutes a nurse was out and they were taking Winters clothes' off in order to get an anal temp. Their urgency gave me concern. Her temp at arrival was 102.5. The Motrin had kicked in and started to do it's job. Thankfully. Terri turns to me staring from the drop off loop at the ER and motions they were headed to a room.
In the room they took all her vitals which all things considered were ok. They still wanted her to see a doctor but they had no available rooms so they sent them to the waiting room. Now Parker is awake, and once again losing her mind. She is not happy to be in her car seat, so I pull her out to make her more comfortable. Of course, her diaper is full and it smells terrible. I change her in the front seat of Terri's car and walk with her across the parking lot to get rid of the rank that was in that diaper. Parker puts up a fight but I finally get her to sleep around 11:00 PM.
11:49 PM - Terri and Winter finally get a room.
11:49 PM - Winter's temp is down to 98.4. The nurse explains they are concerned about her congestion and cough. They order 20 labs, and a chest X-Ray.
The request for a chest X-Ray caught me off guard. Did we have this way wrong and did she have pneumonia?
1:00 AM - Winter gets her chest X-Ray and to no ones surprise, she did great.
1:09 AM - Terri text saying she's acting normal and flirting with the X-Ray technician.
By now, she is acting normal, and her temperature is normal. I'm ready to go home
2:46 AM - A nurse comes to swab Winter to test for COVID, RSV and other viruses. She does not like being tested for COVID and gets upset.
3:30 AM - Doctor confirms her X-Ray was normal and tells us to monitor her temperature and cycle Motrin and Tylenol. They also tell us we can give her Pedialyte. We are finally discharged from the ER.
The following morning Winter does run a low grade fever but we are able to control it with meds. We received a call from the ER that morning and they confirmed she was negative for COVID and RSV, but did test positive for what equates to the common cold (Rhinovirus). My theory is she just runs hot. She always has. Her feet and hands are often sweaty even when we have the AC set on 72 upstairs. While she did run a fever off and on for the next day or so by Tuesday afternoon she no longer had a fever and was back to her normal self.
Did we over react? Did we need to go to the ER? I think so. When I saw my child on the verge of a seizure, it terrified me. My little girl was sick and I could not immediately solve her problem. This broke my heart. Thankfully she is fine now but we will need to keep an eye on her fevers and get them under control faster. Lesson learned.