Friday, September 25, 2009

Tylenol Junkie

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I was a kid I hated to take medicine, because it tasted nasty.  Plain and simple, it was gross.  I'm not even sure there was anything besides baby aspirin for fevers.  You remember baby aspirin?  It had that weird orange taste to it.  I guess that wasn't as bad a taste as some other medicines, like Robitussin.  Blech!  Now they have Tylenol and Motrin for babies and toddlers, and I'm not sure you're supposed to give kids baby aspirin anymore.  I think it's only for older people to help prevent heart attacks. I do not look forward to having that weird orange taste again 20 years down the road.  The good news about kids medicines today is, they've made them tasty.  The bad news about kids medicines today is, they've made them tasty.  Now they think it's a treat.  So they want to take their medicine, but now they want it ALL THE TIME.

This was my problem for the past week.  Lana developed a fever Monday at 2am.
 (Welcome Home from Palm Springs Mom!!)  My kids get fevers often that aren't accompanied by any other symptoms.  I suppose this is a good thing, because it means their bodies are fighting off whatever is trying to attack them, and the fever is the result.  But, when it gets up to 103, I can't help but worry, even though my pediatrician says not to.  I started Lana on Motrin at that point, and then alternated between that and Tylenol the whole day, (as per Nurse Megan). The fever would go down, but not go away completely.  Then she started to see a pattern between taking her temperature and getting medicine.  I would start to walk toward her with thermometer in hand and she would say,

"I get medicine!"

"Yes, Lana, but let's see what your fever is right now," I would say.  This was fine for the first two days, because usually when I took her temperature, she would get medicine, either the yummy cherry or yummy fruit flavor.  It was like I was giving her candy every time, and she loved it.  It was nice that I  didn't have to force it in her.  HOWEVER, then came the time when she didn't need medicine after every temperature check, because the fever was starting to go down.  

"I get medicine!" She would yell, as soon as I approached with the thermometer.  

"I don't know yet, we have to see,"  I'd tell her.  Then when I told her she didn't need it yet, I 'd get this,

"I GET MEEEEDDDICCIIIIINNEEE!!!" She would scream and start rolling on the floor, like a little 2 1/2 year old strung out junkie, jonsing for her next hit of yummy cherry medicine.  Great that's all I need.  A two year old addict.  

I started taking her temperature less and just trying to feel her forehead, because there was no connection there for her.  As soon as the ear thermometer came out, it was all over.  I better be prepared to enable her habit or deal with the crying, screaming and shakes.  

Her fever is finally gone, after having it ALL week.  She seems to be asking for the medicine less now, so I think we're finally past the worst of the fruit flavor withdrawals.  When she does ask, it's more of a hope for one final hit, but she's prepared for my tough love of saying no to help her end the addiction.  The only problem is next time she gets sick it'll start all over again.  Maybe I should switch over to baby aspirin after all. 


Megan said...

no no no no no Baby Aspirin - bad for kids - only for adults. Aspirin can cause Reyes syndrome in kids if they have a certain virus. They recommend not EVER giving aspirin to anyone pretty much under the age of 18- bad juju.
My daughter is also a tylenol addict - sucks that stuff down like it is the best treat in the world! She gets excited and claps when I take the stuff out of the medicine drawer......

Allison said...

nate hates both tylenol and motrin. i can usually get him to take it the first time because he thinks it's his flouride drops (which he loves), but by the time he needs that second dose, he's closing his mouth and moving his head.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I LOVED the baby aspirin. I would fake a headache to get one. Those and my Grandfather's mint Rolaids were treats at my house.

Between that and the canned corned beef sandwiches, I'm lucky I survived the 70's.