Viral. MD Code for I wasted my money on a medical degree

Remember when I said we finally hit that typical milestone? The one that the school nurse calls and you have to take your child to get her eyebrow glued. Sigh. If only it ended there. Three days later my phone rings, again. “Hi Kerri, this is X from the school nurse’s office”.

Me: Did she hit her head again?
She: No, this time she has a sudden fever of 101.9 degrees.

This mom of the year couldn’t leave her office. Thankfully grandma was free and went to pick up the sick child. Then my phone rings, again. “Hi Kerri, this is mom. I don’t want to worry you but….I think she needs to go to the hospital.”

I bring Bridget to the local ER. Other than being obscenely warm and shaking from the chills she seems fine. She is laughing and talking. The ER nurse (who at this point had not taken her temperature) wondered why we were even there. Then she took the temperature:

103.4 degrees.

Now, I’m not a medical professional but I do know from my Bridget training you do not want a high number. In goes the IV (she made both the nurse and lab tech cry) and out comes the blood for labs. There is a special place in Hell for the God that thinks it is okay for a mom to hold down her screaming child when medical procedures are performed on them.


IV Fluids, medication and four hours later, Bridget is fever free. Labs are all normal and the chest x-ray was useless (see above comment regarding holding a child still during testing).  The Doctor tells me she doesn’t know why Bridget had such a high sudden fever. They do not “think” it has anything to do with the mild concussion from earlier in the week.   All lab testing is normal. Bridget looks like she is feeling better, so we are going to discharge you and want you to follow up with your doctor tomorrow.  On a Saturday, because sure that will happen easily.  It’s probably viral. Viral as far as what? I innocently ask. Viral as in they don’t know what is causing it but it’s probably nothing to worry about.


Come back if anything changes, and check her every four hours for another fever.  Guess what happened exactly 4 hours after she received the first dose of medicine?   By 10 pm in a sound sleep I was able to check Bridget’s temperature: 102.9 and give her medicine. We fought the fever fight for the rest of the night, every four hours. The next morning I called the covering pediatrician’s office and off we went.

This is not my first rodeo, I knew to pack a bag: clean undies, socks, yoga pants and a clean shirt for me. Clean PJs, socks and pull-ups (you would think all hospitals would have them, but no). Hospitals always provide toothpaste but they sometimes forget the important stuff:


I did not think Bridget needed to be admitted to the hospital. However, I have learned that if you pack a go bag she will not be and if you do not pack a bag of supplies you will most likely be wearing dirty underwear, smelling like a sailor and suffering severe M&M withdrawals.

The on-call doctors office is beyond kind, they agree her temp is up (now to 102.6) but think it is probably a viral infection. Viral infection of what? I ask. Well, we are not sure but everything looks okay. (Except for the high temperature). I’m told to keep on giving her Motrin to fight the fever and if I get alarmed to call 911. Please make sure you follow-up with her regular pediatrician.

In the doctor’s defense, Bridget was acting completely normal, except for the high temp. Her appetite was fine, she was drinking fluids and no vomiting, diarrhea or even cranky behavior.  She is just a girl watching Tinkerbelle on the kitchen floor (where else would you watch Tink?)

Yet I cannot help but wonder why not one doctor was concerned that she has a consistent temperature over 100 degrees for over 24 hours.  Yes, we can break the fever but the fever returns the moment the medication wears off.  Seven years of Bridgetitis has not made me a mom that panics. As long as her behavior is upbeat and her appetite is normal, I’m okay keeping her home and out of the hospital.

I am increasingly feeling annoyed when I hear the phrase “I don’t know” when it comes from a person who spent over $200,000 on their education.



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