Daniel had yet another ear infection a week and change ago. Luckily, we caught it early enough (he had stuff oozing from his ear) such that he didn't appear to suffer too badly. Days of missed work...only 1/2 day.
Then this past Saturday he woke up around 9am with a fever. He was BURNING up when I went in to get him, and he looked like he was feeling horrible. He just kept saying over and over "I'm sorry Mommy...I'm sorry Daddy". I had to put the baby down and cuddle with my little fevery fellow. His temp went up to around 102 (according to the temporal artery thermometer)...but luckily we got him to feeling better with some ibuprofen/tylenol and popsicles.
Jared on the other hand has fared slightly better. His biggest thing has been a persistent cough that he's had for a good month or more. I think it's part of the reason that he's waking up at night sometimes. I've given him some tylenol before bed and it seems like it takes the edge off for him, but it doesn't really get at the underlying cause.
Which brings me to the last point. The point of second-guessing yourself as a parent when it comes to how sick your kids may be. A fever seems to be the gold-standard for whether your kid is sick or not (or needs to go to the doctor). However, there's been several times where Daniel has had a fever and he seemed relatively OK. Conversely, there have been times where he's clearly been sick, but he didn't run a fever.
So when is it time to call the doctor? Clearly when there's stuff oozing out of Daniel's ear...check. When one of the kids is peeing blood...check. But coughing is a different issue. It's hard to tell whether coughing is the result of post-nasal drip or if there's a cold involved. Is it just dry out? Dusty? Is he allergic to something? Not being a physician, it's difficult to tell whether a cough is just in the throat, or whether he's got something going on in his lungs. It seems goofy to run to the doctor for a cough, especially when there's a strong likelihood that they'll just tell us to run a humidifier, get some saline drops and suction out his nose. In other words, there is nothing they can "do", but they can check to make sure that nothing more serious is going on (which you wouldn't want to have happen).
Not wanting the kids to be sick is the most ideal. Wishing that they'd give me a bigger sign (or have some sort of indicator light, like a car does) when they are really sick. But, again, not that I want them to be seriously ill anyway.
Here's hoping that everyone gets well and STAYS well!