The offspring managed to eat a couple of decent meals, and went for a walk today. These are very good signs. I think she’s finally ok again. Her cough is lingering, and she still seems lethargic, but after more than a week, my daughter is almost herself. A fever takes a lot out of a person. Takes a lot out of the people who care about that person, too.
Fevers are so dramatic. They change your whole life, and take you out of your normal day-to-day routine, rendering it difficult to do much of anything. They’re also kind of terrifying. I saw my sister hallucinate with a fever once when I was a child, and believe me, that’s a memory that sticks with you! (At one point she started talking about being a tightrope walker, and later began reciting random numbers. Unsettling.)
Well, the offspring didn’t hallucinate, but my brilliant girl spent the week in something of a semi-sleepless fog; her poor body more occupied with making itself healthy again than with helping her have deep thoughts. (I love my little smarty-pants!)
I worried every day. Deep down, I knew that the fever was a good sign. It’s an indicator that her immune system was doing it’s job. Still, it’s a bit of a scary sign, and as a parent, it puts your whole life on edge. You check in with them a lot. You feel their forehead. You seek out advice. You read articles. You must remind yourself: this is ok, she is ok.
After all, we are very fortunate. This is a predominantly healthy child with no major medical problems and no allergies. It’s only stressful because it’s no fun, and we’re not very used to it. She doesn’t get sick all that often anymore. She’s far beyond that little kid gotta-touch-everything germy stage. Little kids pick up lots. 14-year-olds, not so much.
Still, there is nothing like the glazed-eyed look on your child’s face when her fever is over 103 degrees to make you realize how young 14 really is. At those times, I see less of the almost-adult I am used to, and more of the baby I remember. I even managed to get her to snuggle up with me once or twice.
Her temperature is gradually getting back to normal, and so is she. I can finally relax a little more. It’s hard on them, but it’s also hard on us…something I never truly understood until I was a parent myself!
In gratitude for my family’s health, and for my own parents, who have always been there to care for me,