/ #family #flu 

Our Bug Scare

I cannot stand my babies being sick. There’s nothing more I hate in this world, than a bug that has chosen MY KIDS to make miserable. It leaves me with this feeling of helplessness and despair. I get anxiety. I lay awake at nights constantly checking them. Yes, as soon as they have a little sniffle and at the first signs of a cough I FREAK OUT!

So naturally, when Valentino started school, we got a TON of bugs. It seems like since November he’s been having a chronic case of runny nose and cough, which in itself isn’t alarming, but when progressed into fever and fatigue I go into panic mode. I become even more panicky when Caspian catches whatever bug Valentino has. He’s just so little and it’s so unfair. I wish all their illnesses would just magically leave their bodies and transfer into mine instead.

Towards the end of January through just a few days ago, both babies suffered from a bad case of the flu. Valentino’s started out with just the sniffles and runny nose, and then progressed into full on fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and bronchitis…..along with a GI bug…(we call them GI JO bugs :). Then Caspian caught all this from Valentino and also developed an ear infection simultaneously. Then I caught the flu from the both of them. We were all just miserable. It was bad. VERY bad. We all went to the doctors, and the babies had to take this antibiotic called Cefdinir for their infections. The doctors told us the kids had Haemophilus influenzae, and not to hesitate to take them to the hospital if they show any signs of dehydration.

So that night, naturally, me and hubby stayed up late googling “haemophilus influenzae.” Big mistake. We became alarmed after learning that complications from this strain of flu can include pneumonia, hearing loss, meningitis, brain damage and even death. Talk about some serious anxiety! That night me and hubby checked on the kids multiple times through the night to make sure they were still breathing. Later on we asked their doctor how it’s possible for them to catch this flu virus as they both got flu shots and are up to date on their vaccines. The doctor said it is because this was a different strain of that type of flu virus (as the kids are both vaccinated against the Haemophilus Influenzae type b, or Hib). So the flu virus they had was still Haemophilus, but it was a different type of strain that wasn’t as dangerous. Or something like that. That made us feel a little bit better.

The next few days were a nightmare and Valentino’s condition deteriorated. He would constantly just fall asleep anywhere- in my arms, in his high chair, on his bedroom floor, on his toys. It was really scary. He would also constantly throw up and have diarrhea after he ate or drank anything. We would have to change his and Caspian’s diapers every ten minutes. If Valentino would drink an ounce of water, a minute later it would all come back up. We would have to change his crib sheets and his clothes at least three times a day. I would constantly have to scrub poop and throw up off sheets. We even had to roll up his rug and take it out of his room as there would be excrement everywhere. Caspian’s symptoms weren’t as bad because he wouldn’t throw up and he would at least drink a reasonable amount of liquids, however, his diarrhea from his GI bug lasted about two weeks and so he was constantly leaking poop everywhere. Hubby was doing laundry round the clock. I couldn’t even help him much as I was sick with the flu myself and attempting to nurse the babies back to health. I had to keep a spread sheet of medication dosages and times to keep track of each kid and their medicine, as it would be very easy to forget or mix them up. To say it was exhausting would be an understatement.


At one point, me and hubby started contemplating taking Valentino to the hospital. We thought, lets give it another day and see what happens. We were afraid he was becoming dehydrated. He would constantly refuse to eat or drink. HIs lips were cracked and he had lost so much weight that his ribs stuck out. I was constantly offering him liquids and food. He wouldn’t touch any food, but would sometimes eat popsicles. Hubby would go to the grocery store and come back with different kinds of popsicles, various flavored ice creams, sugary fruit juices and yummy sugar packed snacks that we would normally never ever have in the house.

Then one morning I woke up to find Caspian’s diaper filled with bloody poop.

Because I don’t want to completely gross you out, I cropped a bit of the photo I took of his diaper to show the doctors. This was the color:


I screamed “SALAR WE NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL NOW!” I didn’t even google “bloody poop” for fear of what I might discover. A few months ago I came across this one mom’s blog who had discovered her 5 month old daughter having bloody poop one day, then a few months later she died. The story is http://www.raisingarrows.net/2009/07/emilys-story/

WARNING!!!! if you are a parent of an infant I suggest you DO NOT READ IT. So naturally, after I saw Caspian’s poop, I immediately thought of that story and I FREAKED out. So I threw his diaper in a ziplock, we packed a few bags and rushed off to the hospital. When the kids were seen (we had checked both of them in) the doctors had told us that the red poop was not blood, but was a side effect of the antibiotic Cefdinir. Apparently some kids’s poop turns red as a kind of reaction to the drug. We were SO relieved. I felt the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders. I went in expecting the worst, as last time we took Caspian to the hospital he had pyloric stenosis and had to be hospitalized for days. My worst nightmare was for something like that to have happened again and for him having to undergo surgery again. I cannot tell you how happy I felt that he was perfectly fine, sans flu bug and his GI JO bug and ear infection. But all that is no big deal compared to bloody poop scare. No biggie at all!

Valentino was hooked up to iv fluids because he was dehydrated. Within an hour he was feeling much better. His face got some color, his lips were no longer cracked, and he was even smiling. He also drank half a cup of juice and then ate an entire chicken sandwich! I about fell off my chair! What a difference the liquids made for the better. He did, however, afterwards poo all over his hospital bed. It was a mess. But so long as there’s no bloody poop, I can totally handle it. I GOT THIS!!! We left the hospital after seven hours feeling relieved and confident that they were on the road to recovery.

Since the hospital scare, Valentino slowly improved, as did Caspian. Big shout out to hubby who had to juggle work while taking care of all of us, doing laundry, letting me sleep in, and bringing me tea and medicine in bed. Great excuse for room service.

And here is Caspian just coding with dad……not bothered about his multiple bugs, or his red poo :)


It was all just so exhausting. I kept Valentino home from school for a week extra to what the doctor said was safe. I wanted ZERO chances of any of his classmates catching it, especially as one of his classmates has a newborn sibling. To have a newborn go through what Valentino went through could be life threatening. It is nothing to take lightly. Call me crazy for being paranoid about my kids health, but I know of a 20 something year old healthy person who caught the flu and died shortly after. It happens and it’s scary. So yes, I will go to great lengths to keep germs away from my kids. Please don’t look at me like I’m crazy when I ask you to wash your hands before touching my kid. I will never hesitate to take them to the doctors or hospital to get them help asap if I feel like something is off. Always trust your instincts. It is just better to be safe than sorry.

About: Leila Rahmanian and Salar Rahmanian

Leila Rahmanian is married to Salar Rahmanian. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have three wonderful kids, two boys named Valentino Rahmanian and Caspian Rahmanian and a beautiful daughter named Persephone Rahmanian.