Saturday afternoon, while Ben and the littlest Littles played on the trampoline/sunporch/awesomeness, HD came in to find me reading in the living room, reporting that, “Mama, my brain feels fuzzy.” Let this be a lesson learned: when your kid cites a fuzzy brain, be prepared for all hell to break loose within 48 hours of such proclamation.
Yesterday, of course, was a warning, too. I got home from teaching shortly after 10:00 and within the hour, Harrison made his way to the couch and then proceeded to stay there for the next 5+ hours, spiking a fever over 102 and falling asleep for more than one restless, cough-filled nap. It’s never a good sign when my uberactive kiddo takes to the couch to rest, much less crash out, so we knew for sure he would be home from school today to rest, recover, and hopefully not infect the rest of his class with whatever was bugging him.
This morning, I figured I was in for the typical hyperactivity of a kid who is kept home from school but is feeling so much better that they just bounce off the walls all day long. For the first few hours of the day, it looked like my prediction was right. There was no wall bouncing, per say, but there was breakfast and chatter and a snack and a general light in HD’s eyes that made me think we were on the up and up. But then 10:00 came again – hmmmm….what’s w/ the 10:00 fever stuff? aren’t fevers supposed to strike later in the day?! – and shortly thereafter, he was back to the couch in the living room, burning up and literally leaking from his eyes because he felt so crappy. In plain English you might call that crying, but it wasn’t like he was sobbing; it was really more like his body felt so awful that a slow steady stream of tears was the only way to express itself. Panicked by the swift return of his high fever, I called our doctor’s office and left a voicemail with the nurse on-call.
Three-and-a-half hours later, she was able to call me back and thankfully they had one spot left open to see someone today, and even more thankfully, it was at 4:00 so I could wait for Ben to get home and take HD instead of me having to drag all three kids (which would include the so far, knock on wood, perfectly healthy ones) there and back. While we waited for Ben to get home to actually take him to the appointment, Harrison stayed like this on the couch and I did my best to keep his brother and sister away from his germ bubble:
No surprise, but the doctor’s visit confirmed Influenza A and when they first took his temp, he was at a terrifying 104 degrees (at least, to me, that is a terrifying temp). So while there isn’t much we can do besides give him some Tamaflu and keep him home (for, who knows, the rest of the week?), at least we know what we’re up against and that it is likely he’ll be feeling cruddy for another 3-4 days. And of course we’ll be keeping a super close eye on everyone else in the family, with fingers crossed that no one else gets it, because holy crap, it is scary to watch your baby hurt like this and I will hit full-on freak out mode if RL or LT spike similar temps.
While I know logically that I too need to respect the germ bubble, I can’t help but want to hold Harrison while he’s sick and have been doing so while he naps on the couch as much as I can. Ben echoed my feelings exactly tonight over dinner when he said, “You just wish you could have the 104 temp, and never your kid.” — every time I hug HD or put my hand on his head or neck, I wish so badly that I could take away the fever and the pain of the flu. And I gladly would be sick if it meant none of my babies had to be, but such is parenthood. We know we cannot keep our Littles from every hurt or germ in this world, so try as we may to prevent, in the end all we can do is love on them and do our best to ease the aches in whatever little ways possible, over and over again. In this case, easing through tomorrow will mean a lot of blue Gatoraid, footy pajamas, as well as endless rounds of napping/Curious George marathons. Here’s hoping it all works.