Last Saturday our 2-year-old was struck down with tonsillitis. The out of hours GP confirmed it and prescribed a course of antibiotics which we administered and she took.
On Monday morning she seemed back to herself so I took both girls shopping. My 3-year-old, who was running around, bouncing off the walls at 6am, suddenly took a turn for the worst just as we arrived at the shopping centre. Sensing that we were not going to have a fun morning of retail therapy, I retreated to the car.
At this point I noticed my 2-year-old had a red rash spreading across her face. I loaded my 3-year-old into the car with my 2 year old (albeit red blotchy faced) happily munching away on a cracker in the trolley next to me. Just as I was about to buckle her in, my 3 year old threw-up. On the one hand I was relieved – I didn’t have to catch it in my hand which is usually how it goes and it didn’t go in the car. Instead it went inbetween me and a shiny Lexus parked up next to me. Lexus lady arrived whilst I was in the middle of the spewathon. I hollered at her to be careful not to stand in the sick. She was clearly relieved by my efforts but made no attempt to assist me as I struggled on with my daughter screaming and 2 year old I needed to get into the car. I looked around for a member of staff to alert but no one was near.
The lady who replaced Lexus lady was much more concerned about our predicament. She told me not to worry about the sick on the floor and encouraged me to get my child home. We made it home without further incident. However as soon as I took her out of the car she threw up again. This time on the grass verge. When you’ve cleaned up as much sick as I have in the last almost 4 years of motherhood you will understand why this was such a relief.
Later that day we headed to the Dr and she confirmed that my 2-year-old had suffered an allergic reaction to the antibiotics so we needed to change them. Apparently my 3-year-old, whilst she did have a fever, didn’t have tonsillitis so no medicine was required. We got back in the car. She threw up – this time all over the car seat. It was only a matter of time.
That night my 3-year-old’s temperature continued to rise and she came out with an itchy red rash on her hands, legs and face. I’m sure I’m not the only mother to freak at the sight of a red rash on your child. I grabbed an empty wine glass and rolled it over her skin. The rash disappeared -that’s good apparently. I then spent hours trawling through google images of red rashes convincing myself she had cellulitis. My husband insisted she was fine. I wondered, as I often do, when he had attended medical school? We had the usual discussion about how he always says they will be fine and what if this time she wasn’t?
I insisted on having her sleep in the bed with me that night so I could keep an eye on her. She spent most of the night itching and consequently I didn’t get much/any sleep. The rash and her temperature came and went. I booked the out of hours doctor who suggested the rash was an allergy or the virus coming out and no, she definitely doesn’t have cellulitis. Meanwhile, she was no way going to let him look down her throat so whilst he couldn’t confirm if it was tonsillitis he prescribed antibiotics as a precaution.
We were hopeful that after starting the medicine, like her sister, she would be feeling better in no time.
The problem is we couldn’t get her to take the antibiotics. No amount of lollies, ice-cream or new toys would convince her to take the medicine. Over the next 24 hours after trying bribes, disguising it in apple juice and pinning her down resulting in her spitting it out and being sick, we became increasingly frustrated by her refusal. I know that our frustration came from a good place – we just wanted her to get better, but on reflection we didn’t handle it very well. She tried it, it was disgusting plus she was sick and she is only 3 and a half years old – she just didn’t want it and didn’t understand that it would make her better.
After 2 days of getting frustrated and telling her how naughty she was being – we gave up. All that was happening was she was getting distressed and we were getting more uptight. It was also making our 2-year-old start to refuse having hers after witnessing how upset her sister was at medicine time. She takes other medicine usually, she just couldn’t stand this one. Of course I’m anxious that although she seems better now – it might come back. I also understand the importance of antibiotics/medicine. However we realised and agreed that sometimes you have to pick your battles – this was one fight we just weren’t going to win.