I don’t hate a lot of things but I must admit that I hate fevers. Yes, I realize fevers are the body’s way of fighting something and that at their core, they are a good thing. I realize fevers are a symptom and not a problem on their own. I also realize that nine times out of 10 fevers themselves do not harm your child.
I think my issue with them is that by nature I am a problem-solver. After all, I work in marketing. Numbers are down? Ok, here’s what we’re going to do about it. Everything I do is about getting at the core of an issue and fixing it.
Fevers by their very nature are vague. You can’t fix them because most of the time you have no idea what is causing them. Those random ones are the worst – when your child is boiling hot but not complaining of anything. Their ears don’t hurt, their throat is fine – there’s nothing to attribute the fever to except a ‘virus’. Those ones drive me crazy.
And of course, as luck would have it and while my husband was away for work, one of the random ones decided to attack our two-year-old last week.
There’s nothing worse than watching your child, who is normally a bundle of energy, down and out. When he woke up the first night, it was clear something was wrong. I walked into his room thinking I was going to give his back a rub to get him back to sleep. When I touched him, he was wet. Not just a little wet – wet enough that I actually wondered how he got his hand on a bucket of water to dump on himself. In my seven years as a parent, I have never seen a child sweat like that. My mind was racing as I held my limp, whimpering, soaking wet little boy in the dark. He didn’t want me to put him down and truthfully, I had no interest in putting him down either. So there we sat – a mother-son sweaty mess watching Higglytown Heros as I tried to get him to drink water at 3am.
Medicine didn’t help much. Tylenol would take it from 104 to 102.7 but didn’t provide much more relief than that. I have since found out that there are new theories on medication and fevers – many doctors are recommending just letting it run its course without medicine unless they are really uncomfortable (I’m thinking that means things like ear aches and throat pain).
The fever was up and down for the whole week. When I got home from work on one of the days he was just lying on the couch looking at me. He didn’t move – his eyes just glanced my way. I sat next to him and stretched my arms out for him to come to me – he still didn’t move. It broke my heart.
On day three, I did take him to the doctor and she confirmed it was “viral”. I must admit that even though my rational mind knew all week that the fever would break, my emotional mind was a mess. It was awful seeing him like that. It was awful just “hoping” it would break. It was gross that the medicine just didn’t bring him back to normal. Ultimately, I just wanted to fix it for him and I couldn’t.
And then, five days later, it did break and his energy came back. Our little boy was running around and being his wonderful, adventurous self again. Then I heard it –the “thump thump thump thump” that can only mean something horrible is happening on the stairs. Sure enough, he took a header and rolled down our (carpeted, thankfully) stairs from top to bottom.
Another 24 hours of worry. There’s always something.
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller