Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Sick Child: Episode 1 of ?
(Jonah in his mini-hospital gown!)
We had our first run-in with the dreaded high fever! Jonah spiked a 101.5 temp Sunday morning which eventually got up to 103.9! He was admitted to the hospital Sunday night around 11:00 pm and we were discharged today (Tuesday) at 11:00 am.
RESULTS: He has a non-specific viral infection which is causing his one and only symptom: a fever! He was fussy and lethargic, but that was about it.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?: He doesn't have a bacterial infection so he cannot be treated with antibiotics. He also does not have pneumonia, an ear infection, a UTI or meningitis. All of this is VERY reassuring!
So, we are home now, monitoring his fever and letting him rest - he is just exhausted! Jason and I did pretty well - no panic attacks or freak-outs. I think we knew he would be okay, judging by his disposition and lack of scary symptoms.
So, for anyone who would like to know more about fevers, I feel like I am now an expert! Here is a little info from "What to Expect: The First Year"
"In response to invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi, white blood cells in the body produce a hormone called interleukin, which travels to the brain to instruct the hypothalamus to turn up the body thermostat. At higher body temperatures, the rest of the immune system is better able to fight infection. Viruses and bacteria grow best in cooler temperatures, so a fever actually makes the body less hospitable to infection. Fever may also lower iron levels while increasing the invaders' need for that mineral - in effect starving them. And when it's a virus that has launched the attack, fever helps enhance the production of interferon and other antiviral substances in the body. When a person's body temperature suddenly rises a couple of degrees above normal, he or she often feels, paradoxically chilled. The chilling serves to encourage a further rise in temperature in several ways. The involuntary shivering that usually occurs signals the body to turn its thermostat up still another notch and prompts the fever sufferer to take other measures that raise the body temperature: drink hot liquids, throw on another blanket, put on a sweater. At the same time, outlying blood vessels constrict to reduce heat loss, and body tissues - such as stored fat - are broken down to produce heat (which is why it is important to take in extra calories during a fever). An estimated 80-90 percent of all fevers in babies are related to self-limiting viral infections (they get better without treatment). "