August 28, 2006

Olivia woke up with a fever yesterday morning and got worse and worse as the day wore on. I knew that something was wrong; she felt like a baked brick, but our thermometer said 97. Marc thought that she might have spent too much time outside Saturday and might be feeling the effects of the heat. I gave her Tylenol twice, but she didn't improve and spent the whole day in our laps, eating and drinking little and playing quietly. By evening, when she was curled against my chest panting, I knew that what we were doing was not enough. Marc ran down the street and got another thermometer. 102 degrees. We had no idea how long it had been that high. By the time we got to the ER, it was up to 104.1. We hadn't been giving her enough Tylenol and our thermometer was broken. They gave her more medication, took blood and a urine sample with a catheter, all while she screamed, cried huge tears, and tried desperately to get away. I was having terrible thoughts about horrible illnesses. We know several families with children who have been very sick over the last few years. For a few panicked minutes with O limp against my chest under those bright hospital lights, listening to the ebb and flow of voices in the hallway, hoping that the doctor would come in soon, I had just the slightest inkling of the abyss those families face, the huge, gnawing fear that something was happening to my child, something bad, and there was nothing I could do.

Even with my mind running away like this, the bigger part of me felt like it had to be just some kind of virus she had picked up, surely something that she would easily fight off. And eventually, the bigger dose of Tylenol kicked in and she started to drink some water, ask for rice cakes and point out all the shoes in the ER. We knew she felt better. It was so delicious to see her smile again after not having seen it all day. Her white blood cell count was normal, her temp was down to 101, and they had ruled out a bladder infection. They sent us home with directions to continue treating the fever, watch for other symptoms, and call about the rest of the cultures. She has kept a slight fever all day today and slept horribly last night. She still isn't eating much and is clingy, but is obviously improving. Hopefully, tomorrow she will be back to her old self again. Tonight, I'll sleep better and feel grateful to be home with her, but I'll be thinking about the families who are still in hospitals with their little ones.



Anonymous courtney said...

this post made me cry. glad to hear she is improving. whenever i need my guts wrenched out and trod upon i check out the web blog of a beautiful girl who is trying to be a senior in high school and battle Lukemia at the same time:
I don't pray, but if i did, it would be for her.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Paige said...

courtney, i was thinking about lindy a lot last night. hope all continues to go well with her. xoxo

9:16 PM  
Anonymous alish said...

jesus. so so sorry. i am relieved that o. is improving, and that i was saved the anxiety you endured, being able to read through to a positive end. i have been really impatient with ivy today (and for a few days, really)as she has been functionally sick for a week now, and quite rude. nice to get a little perspective.

9:54 AM  
Blogger soleclaw said...

I'm so glad Olivia is doing better and that the illness was nothing serious.

1:58 PM  

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