It was exactly two weeks from the day Xena had had the dreaded mmr vaccine, known to cause high fever in many babies. Her body felt very warm and when we took her temperature, it was between 38 and 39 degrees. The nurse had told us to monitor her fever and take her to the hospital if it persisted for more than 24 hours. We gave her paracetamol every 4 hours and kept sponging her, but the fever kept coming back after the effects of the paracetamol wore off. Last night, she crossed the 24-hour mark so we decided to go to the hospital. We had just given her a dose of the medicine and her fever had gone off so luckily we did not have to frantically rush. No wonder that I spent 10 minutes deciding what she should wear. Sheesh. I know.
So we reached the Children's Emergency of KK hospital at about 8:00 in the evening. KK hospital is the mothership for both Xena and me, because both of us had got a new lease on our lives here
. There was a big sign saying that the wait could be more than 2 hours, so we were glad that we had given her the medicine just before leaving home. The doctor finally saw her at 10:30 pm, and said that he could not ascertain the cause of the fever but he wanted to do a urine test to rule out any bacterial infection. Hmmm... interesting, I thought. How on earth do you get a urine sample from a diaper-wearing baby? You can't just give them a container and say, "Umm... baby, pee. Now." If it was an older kid, it would be easy. You could just order them NOT to pee in the next 5 minutes and they instantly would. We felt rather silly, but we asked the doctor if they could extract the sample from her diaper, and luckily he did not burst out laughing in our faces. He got his nurse to stick a small bag for Xena to pee into, and the diaper went on top of that. Now all we needed to do, he said, was to wait for her to pee, and get back to the nurse once we had the sample. Sounds easy, right? WRONG. When you have a feisty warrior princess like Xena, who rejects food, milk and water left, right and centre, getting 10 ml of pee is a tough task.
So we waited. And we waited. And we waited some more. And then we got really hungry. We went to the McDonald's inside the hopsital and managed to grab dinner just before it closed at midnight. She was still rejecting all fluids so obviously, there was no pee. We even ordered sprite to offer her some in case that would work, but it didn't. After a while, we checked and there was some pee in the bag but not 10 ml, so we waited some more. And the next time we checked, we realised that the few drops had leaked into the diaper so we did not have anything now! We rushed back to the nurse who stuck a new bag and the whole waiting process started again. We managed to make her sleep for a short while, but she kept waking up. Since it was way past her bedtime, she was getting very fussy too. Since it was way past our bedtime too, we were also feeling very dazed. We pleaded, cajoled, but she refused to drink anything. On some level, it was quite funny. Viv and I were laughing at the fact that we had just paid 90 dollars to wait for our baby to give us some pee. The doctor had not given any medicine because she didn't have fever when he had checked.
Around 1:30 am, the doctor called us back and we told him we didn't have any sample for him. He said we could either wait endlessly or just go home and then come back whenever she peed. So Viv and I decided to wait till 2:30 am and if we still didn't have anything, we'd go home. At about 2:15, she was still refusing to drink, and fussing quite a bit so Viv spoke to her in a stern voice, "Xena, you need to do at least one of three things. Either you pee, or you drink, or you sleep." She must have been really scared by his tone because the very next second, she peed. A lot. It was quite funny. I suppose it was because Viv is generally a gentle and soft-spoken guy, and you know how scary it is when the usually gentle and soft-spoken guys get angry. (I did wonder if we'd have saved many hours of sleep if he'd scolded her earlier.) Anyway, we ran back to the nurse and gave her the sample, expecting them to call us any second since the results were supposed to be on the spot. When they didn't call us for half an hour, we went back and the nurse said that they did suspect some infection and had sent the sample to the lab for the detailed report which takes about an hour. Viv and I were complete zombies by then, but Xena seemed surprisingly upbeat, now that she had done the task assigned to her. She went around waving to everyone and randomly saying "Papa", "Mama" and "Babybaby". She even waved goodbye to patients who were getting discharged, much to everyone's amusement.
At 3:30 am, the doctor called us and said the detailed lab results were clean, so he was just going to give us more fever medicine and something for the runny nose that she had developed while waiting. "Take care, okayyyyy?" He said to Xena, and she chose that very moment to show off how she can repeat some sounds she likes. She looked at him, said "Okayyyy!" and waved goodbye. It was hilarious. She even waved goodbye to the cashier at the pharmacy after we had picked up the medicines.
We reached home past 4 am, complete zombies, but we decided to give her a good scrub before she slept to wash all the germs she may have picked up in the hospital. After the three of us had scrubbed ourselves clean, we managed to put her to sleep, and then we crashed. She had no fever so no medicine was needed. Viv had a match this morning and needed to leave home at 7:30 am and I told him he was mad if he thought he could play the whole day in the sun in that sleep-deprived state, and he should just switch with the 12th man. But Viv being Viv, woke up and was out of the house early in the morning. You know how some great performers need to down a peg or two before they can be their great performer selves? It seems like lack of sleep was Viv's peg or two, because the dude not only played in his usual wicket-keeping position, he also took four catches. (Yes, I felt really bad for having asked him to switch with the 12th man. Eeek.)
Xena woke up at her usual time 7 am, and I managed to wrestle her back to sleep till about 9 am, though I could not go back to sleep myself. She's been ok all of today - no fever, no runny nose, no meds. So there it was, the crazy weekend adventure we had, with 8 hours spent in the hospital, all for the princess to give us some pee.
Touchwood, all's well with Xena now.