If you follow me on instagram or facebook, you already know how this trip went. Epic failure. On top of the sickness Carter developed at the end of our trip, mommy completely forgot to bring her camera, so all of the pictures below are from the iPhone, so excuse the quality.
The first part of the trip was fine, but Carter started getting sick during the last leg of it and it just all exploded when we got home today. The trip was always going to be a short trip. Justin was out of town until Thursday night so we couldn’t leave until Friday, and he goes out again tomorrow so we had to come back today. Like I said, short trip. Anyway, we left around 10 on Friday. Carter did extremely well on the ride up there. Especially granted that we were in traffic in Pigeon Forge for over an hour. A trip that should have taken us about 5 hours took us almost 7 between the number of stops and because of the extreme traffic, which I later found out was due to a hot rod show going on that weekend.
Sweet boy just wore his pajamas the whole way there and snuggled with Henry. He slept about 45 minutes on the way there and watched Elmo episodes the rest of the way.
The horrific traffic that we really weren’t expecting!
When we finally got to our cabin, Carter had a lot of fun exploring it. I should mention that Justin rented our cabin for us. Almost 5 years ago to the weekend, Justin and I went on our very first trip together ever. We went to Gatlinburg…..and stayed in the exact same cabin. So where we stayed for our first trip together ever as a couple was also the same place we stayed as our first trip as a family. Love when he does romantic things like that!
He was so excited!!
This is our fabulous cabin, Livin’ Large!
LOVE this porch! And the view….
This is the view from our porch on Saturday morning. It’s Mount LeConte, which was also the very first mountain I ever climbed on that same trip with Justin 5 years ago.
The next morning, we wanted to take Carter to Clingman’s Dome, which is the highest point in the state of Tennessee. This was my very first highpoint to complete and we wanted it to be Carter’s as well. For those of you readers that don’t know, Justin and I have a goal of climbing the highest point in each of the 50 states. Justin has well over 30 (can’t remember exactly how much) because of how much he travels for work. I have 14 total. Naturally, we want Carter to take trips like this with us, so we decided that since we were so close to the TN highpoint, we’d take Carter to the top. Some highpoints are climbing, others are drive ups or walk ups. Clingman’s Dome was one you could drive to the top of, park in a lot, but then you had about a half mile walk up a very steep paved road. So we put Carterman in the stroller and rolled him up. It was a colder than normal weekend for this time of year, so we put him in a onesie underneath a sweater with a hood (to cover his ears) as well a jeans and thick socks and shoes. We were NOT expecting the wind and just how cold it really was at the top.
This is how cold it was at the top. This is not snow folks, it’s just plain old frozen tree. FROZEN.
This is the best picture of Carter at the top we could get. It was way to windy and cold and I wanted to get him back to the bottom. We put him back in the stroller and quickly went down to the car, but I could tell he was cold, he started whining a lot. Eventually I took him out of the stroller and held him in my chest underneath a jacket that Justin put over us. This was all he wanted and quieted him instantly. As the couple walking behind us said “there’s no safer place than mom’s arms”.
As soon as we got Carter in the warm car, he was fine. He watched some more Elmo on the way back to the cabin and was being SO goofy…
We put him down for a nap once we got to the cabin. He took a 2 hour nap, but was actually in the pack-n-play for close to 3 hours. Usually he wakes up from naps/nighttime sleep and just plays with his animals and we let him for a while before going to get him.
Once he was awake, we got him ready to head to the aquarium. I should note a couple of things that I noticed. First, I saw Carter’s bottom right molar breaking the skin during the car ride to Gatlinburg. I was hoping it wouldn’t be too painful for him and he showed no signs of pain until the next day. Carter has also had a very small appetite most of the week and even some the week before. However, starting this day, he just straight up wasn’t eating. Yogurt and goldfish was about all he would eat. I was wondering if he was getting sick or if those teeth were hurting that bad.
Anyway, we got him ready and headed to the aquarium.
On the left, Carter was looking at the fish in the tank. On the right, Carter was eating daddy’s Dippin’ Dots. He wasn’t sure about them at first, but then he would run to Justin to get some of his and then run to me to get some of mine. Sneaky sneaky.
After leaving the aquarium, we headed to take a picture by the Smoky Mountain sign and to walk along the trail next to it. At this point, Carter had spent the last 24 hours either in the carseat or in a stroller, so it was past time for him to be able to walk around.
After walking around on the nature trail, we ran a couple of errands and then headed home. This is where I started noticing Carter not acting right. He is usually either SO happy or SO fussy. It’s one extreme or the other. So I knew something was up when he did this on the entire car ride home:
No watching tv, no making noise, nothing. Just stared out the window. He is NEVER this quiet or this still. I think I knew something was wrong right then, I was just hoping I was wrong and that he was just tired.
We got home and tried to feed him dinner. Not only would he not eat dinner, but he wouldn’t even touch his milk. We tried juice and water and he took a few sips of that, but that was it. I even resorted to heating up fried chicken fingers. This is usually what I give him when he refuses to eat anything else because he LOVES them. He wouldn’t even touch it. I knew something was wrong for sure then. The remainder of the night, he did things like this:
He was extremely cuddly and just sad. He never cried per se….just whined every now and again. He just wanted to be held. Eventually we put him to bed and he fell asleep immediately, but then he was up probably every few hours that night. He hasn’t woken up in the middle of the night (with one RARE exception) since he was 3 months old. Most of the time, I didn’t go in there, I let him soothe himself back to sleep. We had been giving him Tylenol every 4 hours since dinner time so he did get a dose around 2:30 am when he wouldn’t stop crying. I went in there, daddy gave him Tylenol while mommy changed his poopy diaper (which is probably the reason he wouldn’t go back to sleep like he did the other times he woke up) and then daddy went back to bed while I rocked Carter to sleep again. I noticed Carter developed a fever before bedtime because his forehead was SO hot. But at 2:30am, his head wasn’t the only part of his body that was hot. His chest, stomach, arms, thighs and even his feet were blazing. I knew he had a very high temp, but we didn’t have a thermometer so I had no idea what it was.
Finally at 7am, I told Justin that we needed to forego our previous plans for that day and just head home. He agreed. We were supposed to go hiking in Cades Cove on the way home but Carter was WAY too sick for that. His body was still on fire and even though he was acting ok, I knew he was still sick.
This is what he did most of the way home. He didn’t sleep as well as he did on the way to Gatlinburg. He took two naps but they were VERY short, like 15-20 minutes each. I had to crawl in the backseat with him several times to keep him entertained, but I didn’t mind doing it because I knew he was hurting.
I also noticed some red spots developing during the ride home which I thought was weird, but I dismissed it after I talked to my mom and my friend Tiffany (both are RNs) and they both said it was a fever rash that comes with fevers. We stopped at a rest area once we crossed back into Alabama and let Carter run around the grounds for about 45 minutes to stretch his legs. I went to change his diaper and when I unzipped his footies, I saw that the red dots were ALL over his body too. I told Justin that I was going to call the on call nurse at his pediatrician’s office when we got back in town to see what that could have been.
When we got home, we gave Carter a lukewarm bath (which he DIDN’T love) and then put him to sleep. We also took his temperature, which had a reading of 103 degrees. He’s only had one high grade fever and it was 102.5. He ended up sleeping for a good hour or so until we had to wake him up. We had to wake him up because when I called the on call nurse, she called me back and asked about his symptoms. When I told her, she said we needed to go to Children’s Hospital ASAP. I don’t know what mother WOULDN’T start freaking out as soon as they heard that! So we headed to Children’s and waited for over 2 hours total to see a doctor. I was furious that I woke Carter from the only decent sleep he’s had in a 24 hour period to go to see a doctor, where we had to wait for 2 hours. FRUSTRATING!
On the left, Carter cuddling daddy in the waiting room while we were waiting to get called back. On the right, this was taken after we left the doctor’s office. You can see a couple of the red spots on his face. This isn’t a great picture of them, but he wouldn’t let me take another decent one. These spots are all over his face, neck, back and stomach. When he went through crying fits while being touched by the doctors, these red spots got bigger!
So what did the doc say? Oh lord….this is where the epic failure of the weekend comes in.
See, mommy’s mistake was thinking that all of these was due to the molars coming in. Not so much. On top of his molars cutting through, Carter developed croup virus. The doctor thinks that this may have come from the MMR vaccine that Carter got at his 15 month appointment that was 2 weeks and 2 days prior to this (apparently the symptoms take that long to show up). This sickness is a side effect of that shot and apparently it’s a good thing because it builds up his immunity really well. Regardless of where it came from, this awesome virus further made our lives near-unbearable by causing a double ear infection. So….molars cutting, croup virus that causes coughing and extreme discomfort and lack of appetite, and double ear infection. Awesome. Carter’s never had a single ear infection in his life and he’s 16 months old now.
The doc also said that he could, in addition to all three of those, have strep, but he wasn’t going to test for it because the antibiotics that he was going to give for the ear infections would also knock out the strep. Like Justin said when we were in the doctor’s office, when Carter does get sick, he knocks it out of the ball park! Carter is very rarely sick. And when he is sick, he takes it like a trooper. Luckily, it appears that the worst of his days are behind us. We gave him all of his medicine last night (oral motrin, oral antibiotic and ear drops) and put him to bed and he was asleep by 8:15pm. It’s now 8am the next morning and sweet boy is still asleep.
We’ll see how the day goes though. The big issue from here, for me at least, is going to be getting him to eat/drink. The doctor said no diary, so no yogurt (which is the only thing he was willing to eat). He can only drink juices and waters and eat things that are easy such as jello and the fruit pouch things. His diet will be barely there for a few days. As if my kid wasn’t skinny enough, he’ll probably lose several pounds due to this!
Keep my baby in your prayers folks! He definitely takes sickness well, and I know it hurts mommy more than him, but he is still hurting. He’s never had an ear infection so I know having a DOUBLE ear infection is killing him. Not to mention the pain when he swallows anything. I hate that as an adult and I can’t imagine being a child and not knowing what is wrong!