Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Benjamin and a Virus

Activity here has been low because this past weekend Benjamin was sick. He didn't have a fever but he had diarrhea and he threw up a couple times. He was his usual self though, so we thought it was some 24 hour thing. I wasn't feeling to well either but I started to feel better Sunday evening. On Monday, Weena stayed home and worked so we kept Benjamin at home. He was fine and he slept well Monday evening.

Today he got to day care and within 45 minutes of being dropped off, he threw up twice so Weena made an appointment with Benjamin's pediatrician. Here's Weena's afternoon report after getting back from the doctors office:

The doctor saw Benjamin and he said that Benjamin has the rotovirus which can affect kids for a couple weeks at the most. Benjamin has the following symptoms: diarrhea, low grade fever, vomiting and nausea. The doctor said we just need to watch out for any dehydration. He instructed us to take dairy products away from his diet for the next week and give him alternative fluids. I asked about giving Gatorade and decaf tea, he said that’s fine, but my co-worker said try small amounts first or dilute it in water. At least Benjamin’s diarrhea is over, and so we have to watch out for vomiting. He’s fine but he’s hungry.

So we bought some lactose free milk tonight and Benjamin drank that like he normally does. We'll monitor his progress tonight and hope he does not throw up. He's mostly on a BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Apple & Toast) now.

More on this virus: The virus works by attacking the lining of the small intestine, causing often copious loss of fluids and electrolytes. The virus is spread through oral contact to fecal material, and is common in child care environments. While some medications may be prescribed to help treat symptoms such as nausea, there is currently no drug that is prescribed to treat the virus itself. Antibiotics are not effective since it is a viral infection as opposed to a bacterial infection.

These symptoms (listed above) usually last for 3-10 days. But even if the symptoms have subsided or improved, you should consider your child contagious for 10-12 days after the onset of diarrhea. Treatment at home includes plenty of rest and use of an oral electrolyte replacement solution such as Pedialyte. Begin giving Pedialyte at the first sign of loose stools or vomiting.

The biggest danger with this illness is dehydration. Signs of severe dehydration include irritability, lethargy, sunken eyes, sunken soft spot (in infants), dry mouth and tongue, less frequent bathroom trips and dry diapers for more than a couple of hours. If you notice these signs, it is imperative that you contact your physician immediately. If your child is hospitalized, IV rehydration is usually given and can save your child's life.

We're keeping him home the rest of the week so he gets a lot of rest and recovers. Both of us are taking time off from work to care for our little guy.


Dave Lifton said...

Aw, that's too bad. I hope Benjamin gets well soon.

Bill-DC said...

Wednesday 1/24/07

He's doing much better. Seven diaper changes today from 8:00-6:00. He ate well (Half of a banana, crackers, toast, rice and jello) and since he's now imitating me, I got him to sip some of the apple pedialyte out of his sippy cup. I would pretend to take a sip, rub my stomach and go "mmmmmm", then give him the cup and he would take a couple sips just like Dad.

He had three 4 oz bottles of lactose free milk and some water. Took a nap and pretty much was his normal self during our playtime today.

We plan to keep him out of day care the rest of the week as a pre-caution. It's a bummer we paid for the week and he spent two hours there but on the other hand, the Father/Son bonding experience today was priceless.

Anonymous said...

Hope Benjamin keeps on getting better!

Emelia got the new rotavirus vaccine when she went in for her 2-month checkup a couple of months ago. I can only hope that it keeps her from coming down with that nasty bug.

Bill-DC said...

Thanks for the well wishes Dave and Aaron. He's doing a lot better now!