Those blasted wee little germies landed Clare in the hospital overnight last night. The boys started to recover from the virus and were up and about and eating and drinking again, but Clare just could not get over the hump. By yesterday morning, we could tell she was getting dehydrated fairly quickly, but resisted our efforts to take in fluids. After a visit with the pediatrician, it was decided that the best course was to admit her into the hospital overnight for fluids. As much as I hate doing this to Clare, we knew it was for the best. Dehydration is a slippery slope with Clare because of the condition of her blood vessels, and it was a slope she was rapidly sliding down.
Aaahhhh... the hospital. The nursing staff was awesome and made sure we were comfortable and left us fairly alone, but there is still the trauma of putting in the IV (probably our worst experience yet with this because from the moment I laid Clare down on the bed, she turned into a little wildcat - rearing off the bed, trying to bite me, screaming bloody murder) and the whole mind-numbing fatigue of being in the hospital. Last night, as we were shuffling kids around, arranging for my mom to come up in the morning to help out with Simon (since it was opening day of t-ball and Jamie and Shawn had to be at the field from 7:30-11:00am), and generally trying to make some sense out of the chaos, I kept wondering if we made the right decision. Maybe Clare would have been fine by that evening. Maybe after a good night's sleep, she would have perked up and drank something for us. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But then I keep reminding myself that dehydration is not something we want to fool around with. Chances are that Clare would have been absolutely fine. But who wants to take that chance?
So we endured our short trip to the hospital. Clare received fluids overnight, did get a good night's rest (I wish I could say the same for Shawn, who stayed overnight with her!), and woke up this morning feeling so much better. She asked to eat, ate more than she normally does in the morning, and we were able to be discharged by 10am. Her bicarb levels were still low and some of her other levels were high (meaning she was still not fully hydrated), but since Clare's temperament and energy level had done a 180 overnight, the doctor felt comfortable sending us home. In retrospect, I think we made the right decision despite the hassle and exhaustion. I feel that Clare was just at a point where she did not have the strength or energy to recover on her own from the virus. She needed a little extra help. Now we have our smiling little girl back (who is busy upstairs mock-battling with her older brother with the balloons he picked out for her).