Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Double Ear Infection and the Impact on One Morning's Routine

Do you like the title?  It was supposed to sound like an article in a medical journal.  Somehow it just sounds like a really boring blog post.

Not that I will let that stop me from writing it!

So, yeah.  Zuzu has been sick.  Double ear infection.

It started out with a fever Saturday night that we attributed to teething/virus/who the hell knows but  she was so sweet and snuggly, it made me realize just what a mover and a shaker she is these days, and how rare it is that I get to cuddle her unless she's nursing.  Squishy little sleepy snuggly newborn she is most certainly not.

Sunday morning there wasn't an improvement.  She wasn't fussy, but she spent a lot of the day sleeping and anytime the Tylenol wore off, her fever was back.

By Monday morning, her snot had turned from clear to greenish yellow and we were scheduling a doctor's appointment.

I got extremely annoyed at the pediatrician's office because they scheduled me right away for a sick child visit, but once I got there, I sat in the waiting room for half an hour.  At that point, Zuzu was getting fussy (and so was I, honestly), so I started pacing in front of the receptionist desk.  I didn't want to be obnoxious, but I wanted to make it clear that we were STILL WAITING. 

Fifteen minutes later, a family who'd arrived thirty minutes after we had got called back for their well-child visit and I was outraged.  So I very politely inquired as to whether I'd had the correct appointment time.  The receptionist was clueless, and my pacing obviously had done nothing (except settle Zuzu, which was important) since the receptionist had to ask our names and why we were there again.  I know she sees a lot of patients, but seriously.

She called back and the nurse came out right away.  She took us back to the room and apologized.  Evidently she hadn't updated her schedule, so when they added us for a sick-visit, she didn't know we were here.

I'm pretty sure that keeping your schedule updated is kind of an important part of the job when you're a nurse at a pediatrician's office, so I wasn't about to tell her it was okay when I'd been sitting in the waiting room for forty-five minutes with a sick baby.

I kind of said, "Mm-hmm" and then she apologized and explained AGAIN that she hadn't updated her schedule and didn't know we were out there, like maybe I hadn't heard her the first time?  Or I'd feel better knowing that her negligence was not a deliberate slight against me?  So then I said, "Uh-huh.  Okay.  I just want to get her checked out."  I'm pretty sure she could still tell that I was pissed off.

The doctor came in right away, and announced that the poor pitiful baby had an ear infection.  He also said that she was still cute even when she's sick.  Which, obviously:

Double ear infection, still adorable.
We sat in traffic on the way home from the doctor's office and Zuzu fell asleep, so I went through the drive-through pharmacy window to drop off her prescription and then just waited in the parking lot with the windows down, reading my book for twenty minutes until I could pull back through the drive through and pick up the prescription.

The rest of Monday was spent cuddling and napping (and definitely not grading final exams or organizing the basement).  So yesterday (Tuesday) ended up being the most difficult day because the medicine had kicked in enough that Zuzu's energy level was back up, but she was still cranky and clingy.  So she had lots of ideas about what she wanted to be doing, but the smallest set back could send her into immediate hysterics of the tearful variety. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to sort through the disaster that is our basement.  So Zuzu did a lot of "helping" me by finding random things on the floor to put in her mouth that then had to be taken away from her (Confession:  I may have let her suck on a tampon for far longer than appropriate.  It was fresh from the box and it was keeping her happy, you guys.)

We also went on a long walk to the park because we all needed some fresh air and Cooper needs to lose some weight.  (The above photo was taken after returning from our walk.  Punkin was still not feeling great, obviously.)

By the time David got home from work, I was far more exhausted than I am on the days spent teaching.  And Zuzu was still crabby.  She only wanted her mama and she didn't want to go to bed.  She stayed up until almost 9pm, and then David put her in her crib and I fell asleep on the sofa only to wake up to her crying fifteen minutes later.  I nursed her and she went back to sleep, but woke up fussy not much later.  I'd also just gotten some devastating news about a friend of a friend who lost her baby suddenly to what may be SIDS, so when Zuzu woke up crying again, I immediately brought her into bed with us.  She settled down quickly and we snuggled and I listened to her breathe for a lot of the night, which was probably even more comforting for me than it was for her.

This morning she was 24 hours fever free without Tylenol, so she could go back to daycare.  Which was good, because I had to give a final exam, so I had to be on campus a little earlier than usual (to say such a thing just invites disaster).

But this morning is where I ran into trouble.  The thing is, I can't leave her sleeping in our bed while I shower because I don't trust her not to crawl off the edge of it if she wakes up while I'm in the bathroom.  So I tried to transfer her back to her crib, but of course she woke up and immediately started shrieking when she saw me walking away.

I decided to bring her into the bathroom with me (what choice did I have?  David was already gone for the day and I just can't leave a sick baby crying in her crib for twenty minutes).  She actually loves to play in the shower, and since I didn't need to wash my hair this morning (ponytail day), I took off her diaper, plopped her down on the bathmat outside the tub, and started running the water for the shower.

Cooper also insists on joining us in the bathroom in the mornings, and while it's a perfectly adequate bathroom, it's not exactly spacious.  It was cozy with the three of us all hanging out between the sink and the tub.

And just as I was turning on the showerhead, Zuzu pooped and peed on the bath mat.

With a naked baby, a curious dog, and half the bath mat turned haz-mat, there was not a lot of room to move around.  I managed to hit my hip bone on the corner of the vanity trying to get the baby up and out of her poop, and get the mat folded over so Cooper wouldn't step in it.  I plunked her (gently) down in the tub, where she finished her business (ew), which I later had to rub with my toe in order to get it off the tub and down the train (double ew).

Once I finished showering, I had to dry, lotion, and dress myself and the baby, treat her diaper rash which returned once she started antibiotics, put a little bit of make up on me, give the baby her medicine, eat something for breakfast, pack her food and bottles for daycare, and get the both of us and all our stuff out the door.

Keep in mind that baby is super cranky and goes into full-out meltdown mode if I'm out of her sight.  Also we STILL don't have a baby gate at the top of the stairs because David has been so tired this week that I haven't wanted to nag him about it (don't worry; I nagged him about plenty of other things).

So wherever I went, baby (and dog) went too.  I managed to get myself clothed and to the kitchen.  She screamed in the high chair while I shoveled in a few spoonfuls of yogurt (for myself--she wouldn't eat anything at all) even though I was RIGHT NEXT to her.

Then I had to give her the medicine.  It did not go well.  Previous attempts had also not gone well, but this was the worst.  Her energy levels are obviously back up and she gave me everything she had.

She thrashed and kicked and clamped her gums together and I felt like I was wrestling a toothless alligator.  I would push the syringe in her mouth and she would spit and drool and twist away from me, while crying and sometimes gagging, which made me feel terrible.  So I was nearly in tears myself and I really have no idea how much of the medicine she actually swallowed.

Then I realized it was time to go, but I needed to put the poopy bathmat in the wash, and Zuzu's diapers were still upstairs, and I didn't have a bib ready to go to daycare.  Simple tasks are made much more difficult with a squirmy baby in one arm, particularly one who reaches out and grabs things within reach as we pass by, which had already resulted in nearly spilling a container of yogurt, knocking over the vacuum cleaner onto the dog, and pulling several shirts off hangers in my closet.

Therefore, to expedite my trip upstairs, I put Zuzu in her Jumperoo.

The once delightful toy has become an object of rage and fury as it limits her mobility AND allows me to step out of the room without worrying about her tumbling downstairs or bathing in the dog's water bowl.  HOW DARE WE CONFINE HER SO?  Zuzu had a complete and total meltdown of screaming, snot, and tears, while I jogged upstairs and downstairs and downstairs and upstairs, wondering if the charming house in the perfect neighborhood in the ideal location was really worth the trade off of main floor laundry.  (Jury's still out on that one.)

When I picked her up out of the Jumperoo, she was a hot mess, and she immediately snuggled her head into me, which melted my heart and made me feel sad about taking her to daycare, and also made me sigh loudly because there was now boogery snot and tears smeared all over the shoulder of my shirt and I didn't want to change because I was wearing a really cute outfit--a navy blue Tory Burch pencil skirt with gold buttons down the front (gifted from a friend) and a bright grellow shirt (bought last year at Target).  I grabbed a Boogie wipe and attempted to wipe down the face of the child who once again began thrashing in my arms in a valiant and somewhat successful attempt to avoid having her nose wiped.  Then I then took a wet wash cloth to the shoulder of my shirt.

By this point, I should have been out the door ten minutes ago.

I slipped on flip flops (I've learned the hard way that life is much easier if I wait to put my heels on until I'm in the parking lot of my university), grabbed my heels (nude patent pumps, inspired by Princess Kate), my purse, the bag of bathroom trash I was taking out, Zuzu's daycare bag, the bag with my pump parts and bottles in it, my planner, my car keys, and the baby (I really have no idea how I carried all those things at once; I can only tell you that I did).  And we went to the car.

I felt like I'd been through the ringer and it wasn't even 8am.

Double ear infections are wicked business.


  1. Damn, I'm tired after reading that. I realized I was holding my breath at one point. I'm glad Zuzu is feeling better (also, not so ew about poop moved via toe and totally not judging tampon suckage. Hey, she's safe, she's quiet? Mama's gonna have to let this one slide. Tell her not to tell anyone.) My favorite part though? The part where you have no idea how you carried it all, just that you did. It's motherhood downright succintly: sometimes we have no clue how we do the things we do, but we do them.

    (Also, Zaid saw Zuzu's picture on Instagram. "Aw, Mommy, why the baby sad?"

  2. W.O.W. I'm exhausted just reading that. Feel better Zuzu! You're completely gorgeous even when all boogery!

  3. Oh man. I have days like this and don't have stairs. Not sure how I would do it with them.

    Davey has been doing a lot of this lately, but no double ear infections! Ugh! Poor baby and poor mommy.

    I also wish the jumperoo was still a viable option.

  4. That is an adorable pouty face!

    That is an EPIC morning. Totally been there, but it's a lot funnier when you're the one reading about it and not the one living through it. Hope you get a big glass of wine or a margarita soon.

  5. o my gawd. Dude.

    That was story and a half. I can assure you that I stay home with the monster and my husband is less tired than I am at the end of the day.

    I know this sick and sassy baby so well. I've been there, but def not in a Tory Burch pencil skirt. ;)

    I demand a photo of said pencil skirt. I bet you look hawt in that number!

    Pouty Zuzu is adorbs and the poo foot, definitely made me LOL. And I rarely use the acronym because it drives me a little crazy. But yeah.

    You're hilarious and sick babies are no joke.

  6. Ugh. Ear infections suck. George had them for what seemed like a year straight and then they just stopped (the colds did not - he brings them home constantly and infects Henry on a regular basis). Hope Zuzu feels better soon - she's still super cute even when pouting!

  7. Is it wrong that I'm laughing a little bit? I only laugh because I've had many, MANY days like this, and I know from experience that it's better to be laughing than crying. Feel better soon Zuzu... and mommy- it's brutal seeing your kids sick!

  8. glad to know i'm not the only one that has to wrestle a baby to give them medicine.