Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I've alluded to this many times since returning from Wyoming, but Banner woke up in the wee hours of August 3rd with a high fever.  I don't know exactly how high, though, because we didn't think to pack a thermometer.  There was little we could do except give him a dose of baby Motrin and Google "pediatricians with Saturday office hours in Jackson, Wyoming" on the iPad at 3 AM. 

Luckily, there was an Urgent Care with pediatricians on staff in town that opened at 10 AM.  Despite arriving early (there was already a line!), we didn't get seen by a doctor for several hours.  By then, the Motrin had worn off and Banner's fever was just shy of 103. 

Poor baby.

The diagnosis?  A very badly infected right ear.  Antibiotics were prescribed as well as a rotating regimen of Tylenol and Motrin every three hours to control his pain and fever.  Banner was also dehydrated, and we were told to get fluids of any sort into him.  Even if that mean coke or mountain dew.  Anything.

Except you can't reason with a toddler, or make them drink.  Because, believe me, we tried.  We even gave him fluids in new and interesting ways:  in straws!  in Dixie cups!  in cans!  out of bottles!  And...nothing.  Every now and again we'd get him to take a sip of something, and we'd clap and cheer like he'd just won gold at the Olympics.  Except, in reality, every little mouthful seemed to reinforce in Banner's mind that it hurt to drink.  So, one tiny shuffle forward and two giant leaps backwards.  By Sunday evening we were getting desperate.  I even thought, while changing his diaper, that he had developed some sort of hernia in his man parts and screamed, somewhat hysterically, for Trevor.  Except Trev took one look and assured me that's just what happens to guys when they get...ahem...extremely dehydrated.


(Sue me.  I don't have those parts.)

Things were further complicated by Banner's refusal to eat or, more importantly, nap or sleep.  Actually, "refusal" is the wrong word because you could tell he was exhausted and wanted to rest.  Lying down just hurt really bad.  So, the little guy never stayed asleep for long before waking up screaming in agony.  There was one particularly awful 24 hour period when he slept less than 5 hours.  The three of us were in hell, but at least hell had a deck, wine and a fabulous view of the Teton Mountains. 


Finally, more out of desperation than anything else, I offered the little guy a coconut popsicle.  I don't know if the cold felt good in his mouth (he was also getting ALL FOUR of his canine teeth, because why the eff not?) or what, but he devoured it.  I was glad because there was technically WATER frozen in there somewhere, and because it put something in his tummy so all the antibiotics and pain meds didn't reek havoc on his poor, little, empty stomach.

I don't know how we did it, but we managed to get just enough in him to produce a wet diaper at least once every eight hours.  Anything less than that and we had been instructed to go to the ER.  It was close, but - thanks in no small part to coconut popsicles, red Gatorade and chocolate milk shakes from Moo's - we were somehow successful. 

The real turning point was Monday afternoon when we FINALLY got him to eat something.  Knowing how much that boy loves his Japanese food, we took him for sushi.  Thank God it is trendy...even in Wyoming.  He gorged himself on ginger, edamame, tofu and avocado rolls.  The waitress was shocked at how much he ate.  I tried to explain to her that this was the first time he had really eaten since early Friday afternoon, but I'm not sure she grasped the level of my relief.  It was the most expensive meal we had the entire trip, but worth every penny.

Unfortunately, Banner continued to not sleep for more than an hour or two (max) until Tuesday night when he FINALLY slept 12 hours straight.  Wednesday morning he seemed more like his usual self, but we still had to be cleared by a pediatric ENT in Jackson in order to fly home the following morning (August 8th). 

The good news is that the ENT not only cleared Banner to fly, but also saw no signs of scarring on Banner's ear drum (or wherever the look for scarring that can permanently effect his hearing).  Even better, the doctor in Jackson agreed with my pediatrician's decision to wait to consider tubes until the fall.  This was wonderful to hear because, as you might remember, I wasn't 100% confident in my Dallas pediatrician's choice to wait a few months ago.

I mean, I know my pediatrician isn't a crackpot, but it is still nice to have confirmation.

Plus, what a relief!  It felt like a weight was lifted and Trevor and I were able to enjoy the last few hours of our Wyoming vacation before heading back to hot and humid Dallas.

Which is probably why we now own matching sweatshirts with buffalo on them.  Because nothing says "happy dance" like a hoodie.  Obviously.

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