a little girl came in to the ED today with a fever to 39.5. i had spoken with her mother several hours earlier about the fever, as well as some bug bites that looked infected and asked them to come in to make sure the bites weren't cellulitic. at that point, her mom told me over the phone that she wasn't too worried, because she was still playing.
by the time she got to the ED, she was no longer playing.
she was, in fact, lethargic.
the dreaded L word that parents throw around willy-nilly without proper respect for the weight it carries. it does not mean they're sitting on the couch all day playing video games or just wanting to watch movies. it means that they are sleepy and very difficult to wake up.
this girl slept through my exam, including the belly exam. even still, this mom did not describe her daughter as lethargic, but, rather, as "a little more sleepy than usual".
1 IV, 300cc of NS, 240mg of tylenol...and presto!
up, talking, smiling, asking for apple juice and stickers that were pink.
i gave her all the pink stickers we had, including the one of the bear with a pink bow and the caption, "i'm all better!"