Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yusuf's first fever! and baby fever 101!


Ok. the title is kinda awkward as though i'm expecting more fever episodes pulak. hehehe. but of course these things we can't predict. we can only do so much as to try our best to prevent and live a healthy lifestyle. the rest, is of course up to the Almighty.

4th of june marked his first fever episode. it was in the wee hours of the morning that i was awaken by his usual wriggling next to me. but the difference this time is that the wriggling felt warm and hotter than usual. Awakened with a startle, i looked at Yusuf whose half awake and felt his forehead and body that has quite a temperature!!! without thinking much, i whizzed out of my bed and quickly grabbed the nearest hand towel and rinse it with lukewarm water (thank god for the invention of water heaters!). then i sprung back on to the bed and rubbed his face and unbutton his sleepsuit to rub his body. My god he felt hot! then i straight away breastfed him thinking he must be thirsty and I wanted to flush him with a lot of antibodies as well!

yes. sounds dramatic right? but that was how frantic i was. and to think for all the hundreds of children patients i see at work, nothing beats the actual real deal. and yes. now i know how every mom feels when their child is sick. and i am thankful, i get to be there for him. 

Well his fever was pretty high. it hit 39 degrees on the sticky forehead thermometer. which i'm sure isn't as accurate as the digital or mercury ones but i'm not in favour to be sticking it up his behind. at first i did panicked. but then i slowly calmed down and observed him. He seemed alert but not as playful as usual. My hubby and i call him our happy camper coz every morning without fail, he would wake up with smiles and coos to greet us. so we have this little beautiful family time with him in bed before bathing him. but that morning, he didn't feel like smiling. He still wants to breastfeed though, so that's a good sign. and like all sick people, he rest (slept) a lot. there was slight on and off dry cough, but no runny nose and he wasn't breathless. He pees ok but didn't poo that day. Although, he was cranky when i put him down to sleep on his own. Coz he preferred to be carried to sleep. So because he deserved it, i carried him most of the time.

So being a doctor, i have my stethoscope at home with me to check his lungs for any phlegms or wheezes (medical term ronchi), which Alhamdulillah, there weren't any. I had a mini torch light but no tongue depressors. But i managed to check his throat when he cried and saw no enlarged or angry-looking tonsils. There were no rashes on his body as well. *phew!* So for the rest of the day, i planned to do hourly tepid sponging to make sure his temperature won't spike, and breastfeed him as often as i can. I plan to go to the clinic to get medicines if the symptoms worsens or there is no progress the next day.

Thankfully, his temperature subsided reaching evening. He wasn't as hot as before. it went down to 38 to 37.5 degrees. So i stopped the hourly sponging by 3pm. and gave the last one at about 7.30pm. And the next day, i woke up to a normal body temperature baby, and most importantly, to my happy camper! ALHAMDULILLAH (praise to Allah)! of course with all these efforts, the one thing i did a lot was doa. For with only His permission, Yusuf is better now. =)

So mommies and future mommies, i know this is quite a long post, but i want you to read on coz i wanna share some important infos. What to do when you have a sick baby. As some mentioned in the earlier paragraphs, i'll highlight it again and some more in point form here.

  • 1stly, is to check your baby's body temperature! if you don't have some kind of thermometer, you can usually tell by touching your baby's forehead and body. But i highly recommend you get one. It's worth the investment.
  • If it's 39 or 40 degrees and above, GO TO THE CLINIC STAT. high temps can cause fits (febrile seizures) in babies if left prolonged. and this is not good ok! before leaving for the clinic, make sure you have tepid sponge him/her first.
  • If it's 38 degrees, you can postpone your trip to the clinic the next day IF your baby seems fairly active.
  • OBSERVE your baby. what you should look for is if he is quite alert, and still wants to take in orally (breastfeed or bottle feed). He may seem a little fussy and irritable but that is to be expected in sick patients. This is because the doctor might not be able to do much if you come too early to the clinic and the tests performed might not show sufficient info to help because it has just started. but again, if it's spiking high or your baby appears weak and dehydrated from not wanting to feed or vomiting on the first day, or there are rashes erupting, go quick!
  • Do religious tepid sponging! This really helps bring the temperature down. But don't do it with cold water because it will get the body to reheat again as a normal reaction to cold. How to know? you baby will cry in shock at the drop of water on his body due to the coldness. So make sure it's lukewarm (suam). Jangan panas pulak tau!
  • Put on loose clothes for baby. Please don't cover them up as though they are in antartica. in fact by doing this, heightens the body temperature even more! and no, please don't dress them skimpily like you're on a beach holiday either. Simple single layer of clothes will do to keep them comfy. 
  • Fever happens because the germs work at normal body temperature (if not mcm mana dia masuk buat kacau kan? bila you tengah tak panas lar). So automatically the body will increase the heat to kill it. so this is good. but we don't want it to go spiking high on its own or for a very long time. thus came the invention of medicine.  but don't go asking your docs to stock up paracetamol just yet. coz new studies* show that using paracetamol excessively or too early to control fever does more harm than good. As mentioned before, fever is body's own natural mechanism to fight off the offending germs. if you lower it too soon with meds, it will actually help propagate the germs's activity even more! plus, if medicine is really warranted, DON'T administer them yourself. The doctor needs to calculate the dose according to your baby's current weight. so if given more than the required dosage, it will be lethal!
  • Keep breastfeeding! Do not stop. Coz where else can the baby get the antibodies to help fight the germs if not from your very own milk!
  • Last but not least, is to pray for your baby's speedy recovery. i'm sure that most of us forget to do this one quite often. but this is the one step that should be done repetitively. Who else but only He that can give and take anything away. So pray that He takes away the illness just as quickly as He had given it. InsyaAllah.
So here are the essentials you need to have when handling your baby's fever:
  • Thermometer
This is the most basic one to have. bought it from mothercare.
  • Tongue depressor - you don't have to own the actual ones, but now would be good idea to start  putting your ice lolly sticks to good use! but don't use something thinner or sharper. and no. u may not use a chopstick to stick it in your lil bub's mouth!
  • Torch light - to look inside the mouth and the throat.
  • Wash cloths/terry towels - for the sponging.
  • Stethoscope - if u happen to be a doctor or married to one. it's a good idea to bring it back home than leaving it at your clinic. otherwise, this is not a must buy tool to have especially if you don't know what to listen for. =P
I happen to like pink thank you very much! hehe.

So that's all folks! Not much stuff is there? I've decided to make entries on basic health issues (insyaAllah) in future and what you need to know on certain medical conditions (since now i'm on unpaid leave and have the time to share it properly instead of giving concise and sometimes incomplete, rapid consultations at work due to time constraints).  And since i am also not having any income, it would be verrrrrrrryyyyy nice of you to help click the advertorials in my blog as a form of your generosity in exchange for the medical knowledge shared. heheheheheeh! *tersengih-sengih dengan penuh malu!* Of course, this is not compulsory lar ok? And i will still share what i know for your benefit as it is my form of investment for the akhirat. insyaAllah. :)

But if you do have any particular health topics you want me to talk about here, please do not hesitate to tell me. I will try and write about it as soon as i can. ( I work best late at night or early morning when Yusuf is asleep). =D

Yusuf with daddy not feeling well. =(

Yusuf is back as mommy's happy camper! =)

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