Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down - Sometimes

Adam does his Home Alone impression
(Dova and Adam after our gingerbread house collapsed while decorating it. Adam is doing his Home Alone impression.)

My little angel Dova fell ill on her 4th birthday last Wednesday and I'm afraid she got the dreaded illness I had earlier in December (more like all of December). Since I kept refusing to take a chest x-ray because I wasn't coughing up any junk and the doctor said my lungs sounded clear, I never got a diagnosis other that "respiratory infection" for the thousands of forms for my work (FMLA, short-term disability, etc.). We had taken her to the doctor on Sunday, but they didn't want to prescribe antibiotics until they got her test results back (bloodwork and a chest x-ray). Since she would've had to go to the hospital for the tests, we opted to wait until Monday. She seemed better on Monday so we didn't go, but then she got worse again on Tuesday, where the office was closed for New Year's Day. Finally, she got her tests today. Diagnosis? Pneumonia.

Adam had gotten pneumonia when he was two, and we always joked that it was "running pneumonia" as opposed to walking or in-bed pneumonia, because as soon as his temp came down, he was back to his old mischievous self. But when his temp was up, it hit a scary 105°F a few times. Apparently, Dova has running pneumonia as well. When the Tylenol or Motrin kicks in, her temp drops down to 98 or 99 and she is back to singing and dancing (apparently I did not have the pleasure of having running or even walking pneumonia). That is when we can get the Tylenol in. She has become a terrible medicine taker. She will whine and cry that she doesn't want to take her medicine and start kicking and screaming when we try to force her. These are the things we tried:
  • Telling her that she doesn't have a choice and she has to take it. At this point, she still has the toddler mentality that she is in control of her own destiny. Yes, but not when it comes to medicine.
  • Telling her that we will take her to the doctor's office and have them give it to her. Didn't phase her.
  • Telling her that we will have to take her to the hospital where she'll have to get a shot. This only makes her cry louder that she doesn't want a shot either.
  • Comforting her and offering to hold the medicine for her. No dice.
  • Holding her down and squirting the medicine in her mouth with a medicine dropper. This totally backfired. I used the "give a kitty medicine" technique (which I am very good at) and tried to squirt it into the back of her mouth. She totally gagged and immediately threw it up and then some. Apparently, you are supposed to squirt it into their back of their cheek. I don't think that would've worked either.
  • Asking whether she wanted it with chocolate sauce. I refuse to mix it into juice because if she doesn't drink the whole thing, she won't get the right dosage. She had no interest in messing up perfectly good chocolate sauce.
  • Promising her a treat after her medicine is taken. This is the only thing that worked. And it takes a while to find just the right treat. Ah yes, resorting to bribery.
Still, even after she agrees to take her medicine, she will take her sweet time drinking it. It can take a half hour to find the right bribe and for her to finish the medicine. If you try to remind her that she has to finish it, she'll get all upset and it might jeopardize the whole process. Extremely painful for an instant result oriented person that I am.

She was prescribed Zithromax and since I had a terrible reaction to it, I was a bit concerned about how she might react. Thankfully, we managed to convince her to take it tonight (only took 20 minutes) and I think she actually liked the cherry flavor. And more thankfully, she had no adverse reaction and was soon back to her old self. At least she is finally on the road to recovery.


Melissa said...

I've had similar experiences with nail clipping when my guys were little. Worse than the cats...

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

My girls were the same way. One thing that worked for us was giving them sips of soda after every sip of medicine. They were never allowed to have soda, so it was a great bribe. When my kids are sick, it's WHATEVER WORKS! Also, once my oldest DD wouldn't take meds and I had to give her a suppository to bring her fever down. It not only helped the fever, but future mentions of "the medicine that goes up your butt" reeeelly encouraged them to drink that liquid medication!!
Hope she gets well soon.