Paramedic: “When did you last give her Tylenol for her fever?”
Me: “I haven’t.”
Me: “Umm…because we’re homeopathic?”
Paramedic: “Well, did you learn your lesson?!”
The above was the exchange I had with the paramedic that rode with Z Nugget and me while being transported to the hospital. I didn’t know how to respond to his questions. I was in shock and already feeling guilty for everything that had happened to my baby girl. His last question was a stab to my momma-heart. What I understand now to be an uncalled for and lack-of-bedside-manner response, was a statement that caused me to wallow in feelings of guilt, inaptitude, and unworthiness of being a mother. The low blow received from the paramedic caused me to reflect everything that was happening onto me and make me feel like the culprit.
When I first wrote about what had happened to Z Nugget, I wrote that all the results from the exams they had done to her at the hospital had come back negative. The doctor had concluded that, “The fever had been due to her teething.” This conclusion, on top of the paramedic’s question, made me feel that Z Nugget’s fever had escalated because I had not given her any medication, negating anything I had done for her. I felt the guilt eat away at me for days after that ambulance ride.
After sharing my experience, I received many calls, texts, comments, and messages from people outpouring their love and support to us. Upon them was a message from an experienced mother of six. She shared with me that she had read my blog post. She was kind enough to take time out of her day to ask questions to find out more about what was going on with Z Nugget. “Did she get a rash?” she asked. I answered her question, and she continued to provide valuable information that eased my guilt-ridden momma heart. I let her know that Z Nugget had indeed broken out in a full-body rash. “It sounds like it could also just be roseola. Normally a high fever for 2-3 days and then a rash. All my kids had it.” Her knowledge and experience had provided something that my heart yearned for…a potential reason to help me believe it wasn’t my fault. Along with her valuable experience, she sent me the Mayo Clinic’s direct link to an in-depth explanation of roseola. Unknowingly, it was here that I found exactly what I needed.
That same day, I had scheduled a follow-up appointment with Z Nugget’s pediatrician. It was a short visit. The doctor asked some questions, checked her vitals, and concluded that she had contracted roseola, a common childhood virus. It was after this confirmation that I visited the link the experienced momma of six had shared with me. Under “Symptoms”, I found this:
“Your child could have a convulsion (febrile seizure) if his or her fever becomes high or spikes quickly. However, usually by the time you notice your child’s high temperature, the threat of a possible seizure has already passed. If your child does have an unexplained seizure, seek medical care immediately.”
Tears poured out of my eyes after reading this. After calming down, I text a handful of my mom friends to vent about the relief I was feeling, “I’m crying because I’ve been affirmed by some dumb text that it wasn’t my fault she had a seizure! I feel adequate to be a mother again. Sounds stupid, but it’s true. Motherhood is so effing bittersweet!”
Going back to the paramedic’s question of learning my lesson…why yes, I did indeed learn my lesson! I did everything I could to make sure my baby would be okay. I listened to my gut and will continue to follow my intuition. This experience taught me that I am a darn good mother.
Cheers to feeling adequate!
For the audio version of this post, click below.