All these Fevers in a Day

Her fever is 38.6 Celcius, which in Fahrenheit, is not too too high. It is not rush-your-child-to-ER temperatures, but in this house, in these bodies, it is high. High high.

Every two minutes now, she wakes, upset, and delirious. Ex: cries for tissue, but is revolted as I hand it to her, “Why would you give me this?! I don’t want it! I won’t eat it!” And then five more nonsensical statements, all shrieked.

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This morning I woke with a bang. An earthquake. Really, a real quake. Then I thought it was Saturday. Did I miss her performance? I was alone in bed and it felt late. I climbed upstairs.

There she was, daughter on couch, crying hoarse-voiced. “I have a fever!” I didn’t sleep through Friday. Here it was, but everyone was batter-rammed–certainly the febrile, crying kids, and certainly my husband who slept with them and didn’t sleep a wink. Her fever would make it so all of us missed the show she’d prepared for with her preschool class. Of all the rotten days. It is still Friday and the one we’ve been anticipating, counting down til, for weeks on end.

Her fever would make it so all of us missed the show she’d prepared for with her preschool class. Her assigned spot was to the left of the piano, every paper hung on the preschool walls said so. Another song had her placed more right of center. Of all the rotten days. Yes, it’s still Friday and the one we’ve been anticipating, counting down for weeks on end.

She’d planned her cat outfit for two weeks, excited and prepared to the point of thinking her regular practice day, sorenshu, in Japanese, was a dress rehearsal. She was so ready, the only one in costume, the one who sang loudest and most sure.

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All the makings of a strong black cat remain on a yellow hanger now, hooked on her closet handle: long sleeve black shirt, soft tie pants the color of midnight, even black feet, flecked with pink stars.

I guess there is always next year, but I am just as disappointed.

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This is Influenza A, the kind a nurse swabbed from each of our children’s little nostrils with a too-thick-looking Q-Tip.

This is them hot to the core, fevers burning through the flu. This is no sleep for parents and the fact that our own flus may be imminent.

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This is them crying and eating like puny birds. (They ate small bites equalling one small piece of home made, hand-delivered challah from their Baba, grandmother).

More waking up. Speaking in Japanese in sleep. Commands that are garbled, then forgetful, loud, and accusatory.

Her hands move differently. They are not soft as she tries to find comfort, but tight like claws. She cries again. “I don’t like this.” She sees little lines and something dripping that is so not there.

Night fevers with delirium are flipping, f—, downright scary. Knowing you’ve already given all the medicine that may be given in that window, knowing she is 8 billion times more upset by what is going on in her body. That there are still hours and hours of scary.

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And then I think of children who are really sick, the sweet kiddos who more often than not, burn with fevers. The kids who always miss their events. The parents who reassure through tears and are themselves, completely, utterly scared.

This flu business may last a week, but then we get better. We expect returning appetites and ice cream treats to feel better. We expect looking back on this while doing something active, her full senses and functions regained.

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I pray a night of peace for these flu-struck dears, for rest that envelopes and makes it all better.

 

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