Sunday, July 27, 2008

Better on the inside and out

Many of you may already know this, but it was news to me. In each of our intestines is a bacteria called acidophilus. This bacteria helps to keep our bowels, um, working properly, if you know what I mean. Anyway, because it's a bacteria, it is susceptible to an attack from some antibiotics. That is why many antibiotics claim diarrhea as a side effect.

Go ahead, snicker if you like. Of course this makes perfect sense now, but when Ryan was suffering from this side effect from taking a broad spectrum antibiotic, I was completely freaking out.

My poor little guy was not well at all. The fever, which hovered around 105 for 4 days, really knocked him out. By the time we took him to the doctor, his fever had decreased, but we found out he also had an ear infection.

As I side note, because I feel like I need to clear some things up, when Ryan woke in the middle of night last Thursday with a fever of 104, I did consider calling the doctor. But I gave him some Motrin and a bottle and he fell back to sleep, so I fell back to sleep. On Friday morning, I called the doctor at 8 a.m., and this exchange happened:

Me: Hi. My son has a fever. It's 104. He's cranky, not eating, and I guess I should bring him in, right?

Nurse: How old is he and does he have any other symptoms?

Me: He's 10-months-old and he has a runny nose.

Nurse: OK, I'll have the doctor give you a call.

45 minutes later:

Me: Thanks for calling me back. Ryan has a fever of 104, he's cranky, not eating and has a runny nose.

Doctor: Is his fever going down after you give him Motrin?

Me: Yes, but it never breaks.

Doctor: As long as his fever is responding to the Motrin, he should be fine.

Me: OK.

Friday night:

Me to doctor on call: Ryan's fever is still bad. Should I bring him to the hospital?

Doctor: If his fever doesn't respond to the Motrin, yes, bring him to the hospital.

Saturday evening:

Jon to the doctor on call: Ryan's fever is at 105. It's responding to Motrin, but after 4 hours it's shooting back up to 105. We just gave him another dose of Motrin.

Doctor: Give him a dose of Tylenol, and if his fever isn't down by 11 p.m., take him to the hospital. Otherwise, call the office at 7 a.m. and bring him in Sunday morning for an emergency appointment.

We made it to the doctor at 8:30 Sunday morning and that's why it took us so long to find out he had an ear infection, as well as roseola, and start him on antibiotic. Again, hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, he was exhibiting signs of ear pain, but we were so focused on the fever that we missed the ear pulling (and banging his head on the floor), which would have gotten him in for an appointment much sooner.

OK, back to the antibiotic dilemma. Doctor gives us this prescription for amoxicillin with clavulanate. He wanted to give Ryan something a little stronger to knock out the ear infection since he's had five in the last 10 months. He warned me that diarrhea was a side effect.

The first day of antibiotics, of course, he had some diarrhea. The next day, he broke out in a rash and the diarrhea worsened. On the fourth day, we took him off the antibiotic for 24 hours. During those 24 hours, his rash went away and his diarrhea stopped. We gave him one more dose and the diarrhea came back. The rash did not. So, we called the doctor and he prescribed azithromycin and Ryan is now right as rain. But not really right. That's how I found out about acidophilus. The antibiotic killed a lot of the good bacteria in my little guy's intestines and now we have to replace it by giving him acidophilus in capsule form, mixed with his food.

I really should have paid better attention in biology class.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, Ryan is feeling much better now. Sophia is another story. Today she woke up with a 104 degree fever and we are watching her closely to see if she develops an ear infection as well.

Oh, and did I mention Jon isn't feeling well and I'm feeling like I'm getting a cold. I'm sure we could have fought it off pretty quickly except that we thought it would be a good idea to go for a bike ride today. When we started the ride, it was a beautiful 75 degrees and sunny. We road 38 miles, the last 15 of which were road in a thunderstorm that included nickel sized hale.

What is our deal!?


Scooter Kitten said...

I only know about acidophilus from those Dannon commercials. Apparently Dannon has a yogurt drink called Dannactive that is packed with it.
Would Ryan eat yogurt?

Diane said...

He will eat yogurt, but he would have to eat A LOT of it to properly replace the bacteria that the antibiotic killed off.

Thanks for the suggestion. It's timely, too, since I packed him yogurt to take to daycare this morning!

Autumn's Mom said...

I had heard of acidophilus but didn't really know what it was. Hope you are all feeling better soon.

IRISHKAT said...

I tried eating the yogurt with the acidophilus in it. made me bloated :( But I have heard it works wonders for others. Hope your 2 little ones are feeling better soon!