With part 1, we left off getting off the plane in Florida with an ill, naked baby after an extremely unpleasant flight.
The following days entail Parker getting progressively sicker. He starts doing the combo vomit/diarrhea thing. By day 3, Tim and both of his parents have been infected. The house smells to high heaven. Everyone is too sick to get out of bed except to hit up the bathroom. I am the only one who managed not to get sick.
And ooooh lucky me. As I was the only well person in the house, I had the pleasure of desperately trying to keep Parker clean, hydrated, and out of the ER. Tim and his parents were amazingly helpful, even in their debilitated states.
At day 3, Parker became listless and did nothing but moan. I started to really worry. He was actually floppy, and I was just about to make the executive decision to take him to the emergency room when he puked all over my father, who came for the day to visit. He perked up after that, so we decided to ride it out for another day.
He was up all night again with lots of diarrhea and lots of crying. So on day 4 we took him to an urgent care center that advertised that they treated kids. After seeing this doctor, I'd venture to say that he doesn't frequently see children...at least not young ones. He diagnosed Parker with an ear infection and gave him a prescription for an antibiotic.
The doctor didn't do anything wrong, per se, but he prescribed azithromycin for the ear infection. Besides the fact that the treatment of choice is amoxicillin, azithromycin tastes like shit. When you combine bad taste with a baby who is already vomiting and diarrhea-ing all over the place, you get... more vomiting. Obviously Parker wasn't absorbing any of this drug, so we needed an alternative.
I called up the doctor to ask if we could get an antibiotic shot. He said no. So I made an appointment with an actual pediatrician down there and took him in. This doctor and I had major communication issues...long story short, he didn't give us a different antibiotic. Without me asking for anything other than a different antibiotic, he prescribed cough syrup (not that I'm complaining since it is knock-out juice, but NO ONE does this anymore), Zofran (anti-nausea medication), and Imodium (google this for an infant....it's practically contraindicated). Bless this doctor's heart for trying to make my baby feel better, but read a freaking journal once a decade.
The next day Parker was still vomiting this crap up, so I called Dr. Azithromycin back to see if we could get amoxicillin....his response was "If your kid is still vomiting, you need to take him to the ER." Umm...you're not listening to me, sir. He is only vomiting up the antibiotic. Dr. I'm-too-lazy-and-incompetent-to-treat-an-ear-infection didn't care, and wanted to pawn us off on the nearest ER. This is why the ER is full of people who don't need to be there. This is part of our nation's healthcare problems.
Finally I did the most sensible thing...the thing I should have done in the first place. I called Parker's own pediatrician in St. Louis. I frantically explained that in 36 hours we would be boarding a plane with a baby with an untreated, raging ear infection (and terrible diarrhea). She called in amoxicillin and Parker has been tolerating it ever since.
On the ride home from the pharmacy, where we picked up the amoxicillin, Tim was horsing around with me while he was driving, and ended up badly curbing his grandmother's Cadillac SUV. The passenger rear tire deflated immediately, and the front tire had a huge bleb in it. $200 and hours later, we had the car back in working condition. Of course, now it was too late to get that first dose of antibiotic into Parker since he was in bed for the night.
As far as our "vacation" went, we didn't end up doing anything we had planned on doing. Tim didn't get to introduce Parker to the pool or the beach. No cute pictures of Parker in his bathing suit, rash guard, and sun hat (mega sad face for this one). No movie at the theater. We couldn't even take Parker to visit with his great-grandma for fear that her 80+ year old immune system would send her to the ICU if exposed to this monster virus.
The only good thing was that Parker got to visit with his grandparents (and his dad...let's be honest, he doesn't get to do that very often). I think in the future, if my mommy instinct is telling me not to travel with Parker, I will follow it. Even though we couldn't have predicted how sick Parker was going to become, something in me knew it was a bad idea to travel with him and over-exert him. Now if we could only get the dads plugged in to this instinct...
Update: Just in case you're curious, it is 10 days later and Parker has still not had a normal bowel movement. Also, somewhere during that week Parker's second top tooth erupted. That's 3 new teeth during that week of gastroenteritis, ear infection, and upper respiratory infection. I can't imagine how bad he was feeling.