Fever

Two nights ago, my six-year-old’s temperature peaked to 106.4 degrees. That’s high. The highest we’d ever seen. Ellie was surprisingly awake, lucid and chatty. The girl loves to chat. Our doctor’s visit ruled out meningitis and strep. She had a stomach virus. She was in no real danger.

When my children or husband get sick, I have a peculiar way of detaching. There are those mothers who are naturals at babying, caring, sympathizing, tending, and nursing the sick back to health. And then, there is me. I wish I were a natural. But I am more like Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I kick in to robotic mode. I will water, feed, clean and medicate you, but don’t expect warm fuzzies. And the sicker you are, the more mechanical my care will be. I am this way because I am afraid. When I feel I am edging too close to witnessing the fragility of life, I temporarily shut down parts of me that might debilitate function. And I need to function.

I must learn to strike a balance.

Ellie has gone eleven straight hours with a normal temperature. She’s kept all her food down today. I hear her chatting with Sophie and her stuffed animals downstairs. I want to go to her and give her a hug. She needs a hug. Or maybe I need one.

In recovery.

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Published in: on March 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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