What you ask is RSV? Oh it's a highly contagious respiratory virus that affects children aged 2 and under, and while adults are not immune, the symptoms are just lesser. Or so they say. To state that what i have is MILD would be a gross understatement, more like hit by a truck, BUT on the plus side, I have no cough. Sloan on the other hand is not as lucky. If this sounds any bit of coherent, then i feel i have succeeded.
It all started last week when the children from her classroom were dropping like flies. I think on most days there were only two kids there at one time, especially by the afternoon. Her classroom has a max capacity of six, but the sixth kid was scheduled to start this week so technically we have only had five children since Thanksgiving.
It's unfortunate really that the sick policy is so lax. The rule is, fever 102° or higher and the child has to go home and sit out the next day. It's sort of like getting a red card. So it's up to the parent to disclose the previous day's temperature and send the kid back in. What I find upsetting is that multiple children were sent to back to school for a mere few hours only to be sent home again because they just weren't better yet. Why not take some extra precaution, do the morally right thing and have them sit out just one more day to play it safe. Not only is your child at risk of catching other illnesses while their immune system is down but you're additionally exposing everyone, teachers, students and parents alike to the virus.
|Riding to the doctor, sloan has learned how to look back at me while i drive.|
And my headache doesn't stop here because Sloan was the only one actually tested for RSV. The other kids either didn't get tested or the doctor refused because they were over six months of age. Don't these doctors have an obligation to protect the health of the community and not just the individual?
|leaving the doctors office|
Ultimately though, the responsibility falls on the parent. they are the ones sending in sick children who are hacking everywhere, spreading their germs. Babies don't cover their mouths or wash their hands. In fact they spit and drool and mouth EVERYTHING. And to work for a company with such a generous absence policy as to allow UNLIMITED SICK DAYS including FAMILY SICK DAYS, why not take advantage for the sake of your kid, but for the health of the other kids as well. Is that too much to ask?
On Friday afternoon when I picked Sloan up, she literally was the LAST KID STANDING, ok that wasn't literal, it was figurative, as she hasn't quite learned to stand on her own. When I went to get her, they informed me she had a fever (but less than 102°). When we got home and took a bath, I took her temperature again, and it was around 100.5° so I gave her Tylenol and put her to bed. The next day she was her cheerful self and her fever was 99.5° unmedicated. I figured she was fine and whatever her issue from the day before, it was on its way out. Saturday afternoon she started coughing. At first it sounded like just a tickle nothing too deep but as the night crept in, sounding as though tiny trees rooted themselves into her lungs and her coughs are efforts to clear the debris, hacking away. The next morning it sounded much worse and I spent Sunday holding her and sterilizing her toys. Her fever ranged between 100° and 101.5° but the doctors office wanted me to wait one more day. I guess a typical virus lasts three days. Monday morning Sloans fever was less than 102°, so i could have taken her to school, but I was feeling a wreck by then. Sunday night she kept waking up crying and coughing. So i called the doctors office again and brought her in. Her temperature was 100°. Her breathing sounded fine, but her ears had fluid on them and were red, and her cough was still very gross. The doctor didn't think it was RSV but tested anyways, so the tech came in and shoved the swab up both nostrils and said it would take ten minutes. Less than one minute passed and the doc came back "There are nine minutes left on the test, but i'll go ahead and tell you it came up positive immediately", so she wrote a script for Amoxicillin and sent us on our merry way. We have our six month "wellness" checkup on Friday, if you can even call it that.
|Who said sick can't still be stylish?|
Today we stayed home. I have not taken her temperature, but I know she is still sick because she is coughing so intensely that she gags and even dry heaves. I know the feeling kid and it is not a fun place to be. Her appetite has dwindled, and she is refusing to eat solids, but at least she has my milk. I have to use saline spray in her nose and then suction before every feeding so that she can breathe. She used to let me suction her nose, but now that I have done it so often, she is really starting to hate it. She tries to grab it with her hands and if i restrain her arms, she turns her head. It breaks my heart to see her so ill. I asked the doctor when the responsible time to go back to school would be and she said, once the cough has subsided. So all those parents who brought in their kids with hacking coughs should have kept them home at least one more day. I plan to be the change i wish to see in others, and Sloan will stay home until she is better. The last thing I want is for her to get another illness on top of what she has now. Typically symptoms of RSV last 7-10 days, and today was day 5 if you count the fever from Friday. Plus, another child went home vomiting yesterday, so I'd rather sit that one out. Even if all the students are immune for the remainder of the year (immunity to RSV typically lasts for the year in which it was contracted), it is still better to be safe. Just trying to be the change.
|My poor baby!|