My son ran a fever all day yesterday and stayed in bed, which is extraordinary for him. Usually when he is sick, he is a bit sick, and will spend a couple of hours in bed and then get up to play. Not his usual self, but still energetic enough to power three cities and drive everyone batty. Yesterday, though, he stayed in bed. We had Cirque du Soleil tickets which we could not use, and he barely cared. His fever hit 102, then 103. Even with ibuprofen, it only came down to 101.7. His temperature bounced up and down all day like that. He sat in the living room for a while and watched “Simon’s Cat” cartoons on YouTube, until he abruptly sat up and wailed, “Where can I go to sleep? I need to go to sleep now!” (another unprecedented move). I pointed out that he could sleep in bed, and helped him wobble off to bed and tucked him in. I put down the blinds, read him a story, turned on his soft nighttime music, and endured demands that I “tell the fish tank to be night”. This was 3 o’clock in the afternoon. He was asleep by 3:30. Although he woke up briefly at around 6 and went to the bathroom, he put himself straight back into bed and went back to sleep. Weird, I thought, but at least the rest will help him.
I was supposed to work today, because my students were starting a new project before Spring Break, and it would be very complicated to explain to (and through) a sub. My husband had an eye appointment in the morning, and then had to take the cat to the vet in the afternoon, as she is having some intestinal issues. We figured that with a long night’s rest, Miles could endure a couple of errands.
At about 9:30, he woke up screaming and sobbing and terrified, from vivid nightmares brought on by the fever. It was 104 at that point, and he could barely talk or breathe because he was coughing so hard. Eventually, I got some more ibuprofen in him, and, after an hour and clinging desperately to me, he fell restlessly asleep once more. I used the last of my sick time to call a sub, since he was not in any state to be dragged around, and my husband’s appointments were important ones.
I repeated this process at midnight, by which time my son was so incoherent that it took several minutes to convince him that I was there and everything was ok. And then again at 3:00am, until his fever mercilessly broke at 4:00am and he was able to sink, at last, into a sound sleep.
He slept until 7:40 this morning, which is probably a Guinness record of some sort. He stayed in bed for most of the day, and could barely speak, but he drew pictures, and ate a bit and even smiled at me from time to time. My husband reported that the eye doctor said he does indeed need more eye surgery, and the cat needs medication, but we could manage all this. He would take tomorrow off work to stay home with our son, and I would teach and figure out what exactly my students gleaned about their assignments. I was feeling very glassy-eyed and having trouble finishing sentences after two nights of shattered sleep fragments, but I optimistically thought that everything would be okay.
My husband’s throat started to hurt and his eyes turned red. I ran an errand to pick up some more supplies for the project and realized that I was light-headed, dizzy, and unable to focus clearly on anything at all.
Until my son’s fever spiked up again at 7pm.
And so, lesson plans in disarray; sick time used up; lovely, organized, and color-coordinated analysis booklets for the project unassembled after I spent a ton to get the copies made, and spiraling ever downwards in the health department, we start the circle all over again.
At which point, the other cat threw up all over the kitchen floor.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be hiding under a blanket with a book.