Friday, December 7, 2012

now that I can concentrate again

Eve came home from preschool on Monday with a fever that rose to over 103' and wouldn't break.  We kept her home on Tuesday, thinking it was a regular cold, and then late Tuesday afternoon she began to complain of pain on the lower right side of her belly.  Now, I really don't like to panic over a two-year-old's fever and runny nose, but when a kid that little is that specific about an acute physical pain, I have to take it seriously.  Especially when I couldn't talk her out of the idea.  Are you sure it doesn't hurt over here, baby?  What about here?  Does your knee hurt?  Your elbow?  Nope, she would not be deterred - her belly hurt just there, on the lower right, and then she got up off of the sofa and doubled over in tears.  Half an hour later I had her and Lena in the emergency room so my baby could be checked for appendicitis.  I had even thrown my glasses and contact case in my bag along with a phone charger just in case we had to stay overnight.

Six hours later we left with the diagnosis ear infection and a prescription for antibiotics.  Turns out her pain was, well, I don't want her to read this in high school and be horribly embarrassed, so let's just say it was a bellyache.  I won't mention the fact that I've never taken Lena to the emergency room, but this is the second time my youngest has gone in for...digestive-related issues.   Kid, you are the cutest, cuddliest package of trouble I have ever laid eyes on.  And you are totally eating kale and prunes every day for the rest of your childhood.  Mama doesn't think she can survive another trip to Cedars without running down the emergency room parking attendant who only sauntered over after I flagged him down, then shrugged and said, "Well, the lot is full.  Why?  Where are you going?  Huh.  I guess you'll have to park across the street."

I don't regret going, and she did have at least one wicked ear infection happening, so it's possible we would have wound up in the ER in the middle of the night anyway.  Poor baby.  Too much poking and prodding and that damn fever that would not go away even after she began antibiotics.  We had to keep her home through yesterday, too, and she ran that fever the whole time, even managing to peak over 104' on several occasions.  I know this isn't the most insightful or unusual thing I've ever written, but I hate, HATE, to see my baby sick.  Just a common childhood cold, a fever for a few days, a run-of-the-mill ear infection - I know.  And still I couldn't concentrate on anything else, always feeling out of sorts by the gnawing feeling that my family wasn't okay.  Maybe it's silly.  But last night after the girls were in bed and Jimmy went out to the office to work some more, I sat alone in the living room and worked on our Christmas letter, feeling that nagging off-kilter presence, until suddenly it disappeared.  It disappeared, and I thought, "Her fever broke!"  And darn-straight it had.  It was a physical relief to touch her skin and find it cool after four days of feeling like it just came out of the oven.

There must be nothing worse in the world than having a child be really, truly ill.

So.  She's better, now.  Back to preschool for her, and back to my mile-long Christmas to-do list for me.  Part of me is so frustrated to have lost the week this way, but for the most part, I'm just happy to see my girl happy, running her little Muppet run, and giggling at her big sister.  And oh, is she ever going to love having cauliflower and Brussels sprouts for dinner.  Welcome back to Christmastime, baby!

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