Tuesday, April 05, 2011


When I hear the word pneumonia I always think of someone who is absolutely miserably sick. They would lie in bed too miserable to get up with no desire to move. They would cough and sound like they were near death. That's how I imagined pneumonia and I was fearful of any of my children ever coming down with such a terrible condition.

On Sunday, the 27th of March, Anna came down with a cough and a fever. She was pretty sick and I was frustrated because she had already spent a ton of time in January being miserable. I thought it was time for her to be healthy again. Plus, I had my foot surgery scheduled for Tuesday and I couldn't ask one of my friends to babysit her and expose her kids to it. We managed to work it out with a ward-member with older kids who very kindly took her in spite of the cough and snot and fever. Anna missed school from Monday through Thursday. Friday her fever was gone although the cough was still bad, so we sent her to school. The weekend was fine. I had my foot up and we all watched conference and took things easy. On Monday after school she was pretty down again. But she begged to go to dance class and seemed just fine while there. I sent her to school again today but she came home pasty white and lethargic again. Her fever was back. I've heard that if the fever goes and comes back that can be a sign of secondary infection, so I called her doctor's office and spoke with the advice nurse. They said to bring her on it.

I hadn't planned on going anywhere today. I just got permission to walk on my foot yesterday and it was a little sore after walking the house doing chores that have been covered by Kip for a week. I was still in jammies. I ran upstairs (I mean, hobbled slowly) got decent clothes on, found shoes for the girls, and loaded us into the car. I hadn't had lunch yet, but grabbed a granola bar for the drive.

We got to the appointment with plenty of time for a potty run with both girls. We hardly had to wait after checking in to go back to the exam room with the nurse. As usual she asked all sorts of questions about Anna's symptoms. I could list when she had started coughing (the 27th) and that she hadn't ever really stopped and when she had the fever and it went away and when it came back. But I really couldn't describe her cough. I hear it every night and off and on every day, but I couldn't really think how to describe it. Was it productive? Dry? I don't know--it's just a cough!!!

So the doctor came in. I gave him a similar update and prepared myself to hear him say that she was fine, just got hit with a new bug after the old one. But he didn't say that. He listened and listened to her breathing in and out. Then he said it sounded like pneumonia. What? I thought. Pneumonia is awful. Was my baby on her death-bed? Apparently one of her lungs is infected according to what the doctor could hear. He faxed a prescription to the pharmacy, described how to use it and said she should be feeling much better within 48-72 hours.

We headed from the doctor's office to Costco to get the prescription. While we were there, of course I thought I'd pick up just a few things. But at Costco, the few things you need are spread over like half a mile of walking. And I had surgery a week ago on what my podiatrist described as the largest neuroma he's ever seen (after 30+ years of surgeries). My foot felt awful by the time we got the prescription in our hand. We had just gotten in line to check out with just enough time to get to the car and rush to William's school to get him when Becca announced she had to pee right then. Why do we want our kids potty trained? It just means they have to go at all the worst possible times! We parked our cart and hobbled to the potty and back.

We made it to the school just as William came out the side gate (thank goodness he's finally learned to walk out there if I'm not waiting at the entrance!). We dropped off the foods that needed chilling at home and got to piano lessons on time.

By the time we got home, my foot felt like it was going to explode. Of course, it didn't help that I had hefted Anna out of the Costco cart at the end of the trip and landed her on the top of the surgeried foot. Yeah, the pain level was pretty high, but the meds are starting to help and I'm going to stay home all day tomorrow.

Anna meanwhile has seemingly made a full recovery. As soon as her ibuprophen kicked in during the doctor appointment she became cheerful and silly. During the piano lesson I forced her to down her first dose of antibiotic. All evening she's been acting just fine. So what was I so scared about pneumonia for? Maybe she's just got a really mild case. I guess I'm lucky. Or maybe it's never as scary as I though it would be.

1 comment:

Mary Parker said...

You had pneumonia when you were 2 1/2. That was truly the only night that I was basically "up all night" with you. You were miserable. But you got better fast, too. Just make sure you have Anna take all the antibiotic. Kristin, you should have gotten in one of the electric carts at Costco and made the kids walk beside you.