High Fever Can Make Baby's Personality Change

Sona Charaipotra

Sick babyThanks to daycare and seasonal weather drama, Kavya has been sort of sick the past two months or so. (And so have we, truth be told.)

But this weekend, while we were visiting my parents in central Jersey, things got way worse.

She'd had a cold and some congestion running on about a week, and we were monitoring it closely, as well as using that little mucus-sucking bulb thingie. Which we all hate. A necessary evil.

But despite the cold, she was still her happy, smiley self. Then, while we were out furniture shopping with my brother and my mom, all of a sudden she grew quiet and listless. And she was burning up. We hurried home to see what was wrong. Apparently, in little kids, extended colds can go the ear infection route really fast -- and with Kavi it was like instant. Especially if a baby is prone to them.

Thankfully, my parents are her pediatricians, so she had a complete check-up on the spot. And having them both around made me feel a lot better when we found out she had an ear infection (her second) and a super-high fever of 103 (her first). And she's now on her second go-round of antibiotics (we had one course at four months).

Never before had Kavi been so sick that it actually changed her personality. But this ear infection and sore throat, which is what it turned out she had, was so tolling that she could barely crack a smile. And she was super-clingy. But she's very comfortable with my parents and my siblings, so it truly was all hands on deck. I don't know how I would have survived without them, especially when it turned out my husband Navdeep got bronchitis to boot. And eventually, no doubt, I'll get it, too. (Welcome to flu season!)

All is not well -- they're both still recovering. And we've decided to stick around my parents' place this week, so we can keep a close eye on Kavi. But dealing with this situation and how a 103 fever wrecks the body of a little baby made me think about how people in third world countries like India handle these things. How does a mother who lives in a tent on the side of the highway deal with her 8-month-old's 104 fever and whooping cough? Especially when she's alone with three kids? I can't really even imagine. I'm sure something as basic as a high fever claims the lives of little babies across the country. It's a terrifying thought, but an all too real reality.

So despite the fever, the clinginess, the tears, I'm counting my blessings this morning.

How do you handle your little one's fevers and chills?


Image via Lynda Giddens/Flickr

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