When Olivia got off the bus Monday, I saw her eyes, and her ruddy red cheeks, and lips that looked like sausage skin, and knew she was sick. I got her home, and laid her down. She started to beg me not to go to Brownies, but quickly realized I wasn't letting her go even if she did want to. Her stomach pains had returned, and her fever was high. She was achy, and hot, yet freezing cold, to the point that her teeth chattered.
Yesterday morning at the doctors office, we were sent over for blood work, and several other tests. An ultrasound is scheduled for next week. I took her home, and got her cozy again. Dosed her up on an antibiotic, and Tylenol, and covered her with a blanket.
I had an hour to get dinner ready before Charlotte had to be picked up from the bus, so I made meatballs for dinner. I love making meals like that if someone feels crumby. And I love the process of dicing the onion, and chopping the garlic. Mincing up herbs, and mixing it all together until it has just the right smell. I know my meatballs are the way I like them by scent. I have no measurements.
I worked quietly for about an hour, and thought that Olivia was sleeping. She was so still and quiet. She asked to stay home on the couch, instead of me dragging her to the bus stop down the street, so I put the phone next to her, and locked the door behind me.
When we came back, I took one look at her, and became frightened. Her cheeks were bright red, but the skin beneath the rosy color was pale. Almost a greenish yellow. Her eyes were red. Her lips looked so dry they were white. I touched her, and she was on fire. I took her temperature, and had to look twice. 104.9. I have never had a child with a fever that high. I have never seen those numbers on a thermometer before. I took it three times just to be sure.
I called David, and he left overtime at work. I gave it an hour in my mind. I started Tylenol, and Motrin, and despite her cries, stripped her down to a T-shirt. I put a cold wash cloth on her head. I even gave her a Coke to get some fluids in her. I tried to get her into the tub, but that was so not happening.
One hour I thought. If those numbers don't start going down, we are taking her to the hospital. I took her temperature every ten minutes. She recoiled every time I walked toward her. Slowly the numbers came down. When it got to a respectable 100 degrees, I felt like we were out of the woods. The greenish color subsided.
But the worry hasn't. And so, I will wait the hour, until the doctors office opens this morning. Patiently. And keep my fingers and toes crossed awaiting her test results. And kick myself for focusing on car repairs, and a mounting electric bill, and how are we going to pay the car insurance, and the water bill. Because who really cares about all of that stuff when your baby is sick.
All it takes is an hour change your perspective on everything.