Fragile–and Now Frantic
I am so ill-equipped at motherhood it’s astounding. I mean, I saw my mother through a crack addition and death. And yet, my tot gets sick and I freak the f–k out.
Last night out of nowhere, Fia spiked a fever. We were just finishing her bath when she went pale and started to shake. I grabbed the brand-new/expensive forehead thermometer I bought and swiped it on her. 105 it said. I began to shake.
I should note that Fia has never had a severe fever before. Which makes me one of the luckiest moms to have come this far, dodging bullets. However, it also means I’m no veteran when it comes to coping with a sick child.
Phil and I, both novices, did a couple stupid things. We a) panicked; b) put her in fleece pajamas, since she was shaking and wrapped her in two heavy blankets. (Apparently this makes the fever worse. Duh.); and c) took the forehead temp again…only to have it register 107. I almost went into convulsions right then and there. Note to all parents: those things suck. They are so inaccurate they must be designed to get you to the ER. Even if it’s unnecessary. I could get into some major anger issues over this.
We grabbed a rectal, stripped her down of the 11 layers, and were relieved to have it register at a mere 104.1. Never thought that would seem like a “reasonable” number. We gave her Tylenol. Then texted a friend, who suggested alternating Tylenol and Motrin/Advil. And giving her Pedialyte. We had none of that. Like I said, we’re ill-equipped and obviously incompetent. Or were. Not anymore. Now I have a small pharmacy in my house.
I called the pediatrician. It was after hours. They said on their machine not to page a doctor unless it’s over 105.5. Huh? I guess in some ways it made me feel better, as she was still in a decent “zone” if you will. They listed other reasons to call: a purple rash, seizure, etc. None of those she had.
We then put on a lighter pair of pajamas, took her 23 stuffed animals out of her bed, and covered her with a light swaddle blanket. I checked her throughout the night. The fever went up and then down…like a roller coaster. So did my emotions.
This morning she seemed much better, much cooler. Still has a fever of 102.1 but I began to calm down….until…. I got an email from her preschool. Apparently hand, foot, and mouth disease is going around. And this is the classic progression of it. First a fever, then sores. I just finished Googling it–bad idea. Especially the Wikipedia stats on how many kids died in Malaysia and China from it (note: none in the U.S., which should calm my nerves). And now I’m waiting for the doctor to call me back. Not only am I worried about Fia, even though this is a common toddler ailment, but I have a 3-week old at home. Dear God help me. I’m going to seriously lose my sh-t. What do I do? Never send her to preschool again? Quarantine our family from the world? That’s what I feel like doing. I know, I sound ridiculous. But being in my fragile state of mind already, this is going to send me over the edge.
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