One of my children is on Day 3 of a fever and therefore no school here. At the time of writing this, I don’t know yet if she’ll be back at school tomorrow or not.
And since I’ve been sitting in my house for 3 days, only taking my other child to school and back, I’ve had some time to ponder sickness and how it impacts a family.
Last week, when we were already in the throes of the week and I had my week’s plan all laid out, Big G kept telling me her ears felt funny. I didn’t want to take her to the doctor, because like most of us this flu-epidemic season, I’m reserving my trips to the doctor for when it’s absolutely, totally, 100% unavoidable.
Plus she didn’t have a fever, so off she went to school. Plus I don’t consider “ears feeling funny” something you keep a kid home for. Plus, my week’s plan was already in motion and I was loathe to change it midstream.
Saturday morning she woke up literally screaming in pain from one of her ears. Theatrical and dramatic as she
is can be, she never fabricates about illness and that kind of pain, so I knew she was in distress.
So off we raced to the doctor, trying to avoid the later morning crowds of sick kids. I did not want my kids exposed to a myriad of viruses, most importantly the FLU, just from showing up at the doctor.
She ended up having a double “wow, this is a doozy” ear infection and we started her on antibiotics that day. Yay for her.
Cue Sunday and Little Iggy. Waking up coughing, sneezing, can’t keep her hands off her runny nose, etc. And at about 6pm on the nose, she spiked a 101 fever. Fuck me. That trip to the doctor, so good and necessary for one child, did exactly what I was trying to avoid with the other one.
Don’t you hate that? When a decision is so right for one child, but so wrong for the other? Sophie’s Choice, anyone?
And here we are, 3 days later, still riding the fever out.
Which brings me to my musings.
Have you noticed how time stops when you have a sick child? How you just kind of float through the days, not remembering your commitments, not even remembering half the time that the world’s going on without you?
Like, for example, when I was able to run to Panera for lunch yesterday because the Big Man was home for a little bit from a trip. And I’m literally looking around at all the people, thinking, “Wow, what are all of you people doing here today?”
Because time’s stopped for me.
And while I’m less than thrilled about losing points in my competition this week, I’ve kind of liked it too. Because a really sick kid, who leaves no alternative to staying home from school and no second guessing (“Do I send her? Do I keep her home?”), kind of gives me a chance to heal, recuperate, and just “be” for a bit.
And I’m ok with that.
Even though I’m wiping down the house with disinfecting wipes every hour and washing my hands until they’re cracked.
Because a sick kiddo is one thing. A sick Mama? Not an option.
***On my Facebook page this week, I asked how you treat a fever – let it ride or medicate it? Boy, howza, are your answers all over the map! FWIW, my policy is this: medicate at night (mama needs to sleep), and medicate if I have to take them out – like if I have to take another sibling someplace. Otherwise, I let it ride. I’ve had kids with fevers up to 106 before. That was the only time I got truly scared. Otherwise, 101/102 doesn’t faze me. And a fever has a job to do. I try to let it do its job as much as possible.