The Mystery Illness

We are starting our second weekend in a row with A fighting some mystery virus that is causing her to spike a fever. She has been to the doctor each time, but no one knows what is causing it because the usual accompanying symptoms such as runny nose or middle ear blockage aren’t there.

We have a great pediatrician, too. He¬†knows child medicine, and he knows our kids. He also knows we’re not some crazy parents who run to the doctor when our kids are suffering from general malaise.

Our options are limited. A can’t tell us what’s wrong, obviously, because she’s only a year old. She’s eating well, sleeping well, and all other signs are good. It’s just the fever. So we are left with treating with infants acetaminophen (still no infants Tylenol in our house after the last recall) and infants Motrin. But I am ambivalent about this treatment because her body needs a fever to fight the infection, however a fever that’s too high or one that lingers too long could hurt her brain development. At the same time, loading her up with NSAIDs like Motrin isn’t good either because it can affect her liver function.

The best guesses we all have about the fever’s cause is that teething is so hard for her that her body is treating like an infection, or she just has some random virus; and that this week’s virus is different than last week’s. If they are viruses, they could be coming from anywhere. A is crawling like mad at home and at daycare. She’s even pulling herself up on furniture. The origins, however, are irrelevant. There’s no way we could clean our house enough to ensure she doesn’t get sick. We’d run ourselves ragged trying to do that.

So, what does a parent do? This is one of those dilemmas that there is no clear answer. We have to just follow the doctor’s advice, and rely on our instincts.

Anyone else have any suggestions?

My daughter’s first laugh, or is it?

Before our daughter was born, I was sure that I wouldn’t be as excited about “firsts” the way I was when our son was born. In fact, I was so adamant that I have almost all but tried to ignore the firsts just so I could stick to my preconception. It was a misconception, I’m discovering.

Then came the first time she looked at me and laughed. It was a real laugh, and it totally caught me. I spoke to her some more, and she continued to laugh. I was so enchanted.

I picked her up and walked out the front door to see my wife and son playing outside. I called to my wife, signaling her to come quickly. Thinking there might be something wrong, she made haste across the lawn.

“Watch this,” I said, and I held our daughter above my head and got her to laugh again.

Then came my wife’s uncensored response.

“Oh, yeah. I know,” she said. My face clearly changed from unbridled joy to disappointment. “Uh, well, yes. This is her first laugh. You’re right,” she added, trying to reassure me.

Well, I believe her first response. Clearly, it wasn’t our daughter’s first laugh. But it was the first time I made her laugh, and that means a lot. It’s apparent that she and I have bonded, because I know that not any man can just walk up and get her to giggle. At least, not yet…