After a weekend that left us all feeling a bit under the weather, this morning Lucy woke up bright and chipper. "Good morning Mama, I am so glad you are awake !" were the first words she said to me as I dragged my bleary self out of bed.
After some cuddles and love, we drove towards town - our destination was the aquarium, but I was badly in need of some caffeine first.
So, as we make our way down the mountain, Lucy says her legs hurt. She is whimpering a bit. We get to the aquarium, and she says she wants to ride in the carriage. My first sign that something night actually be wrong, is when she gets in her carriage, and then does not get out again. Usually she is up and down, in and out, hopping onto the ground with no notice and getting banged in the ankles by the forward-moving stroller. But not today. She was quiet and still. Then, she began to cry. Said her head hurt. No fever, so I held her and offered water. And within minutes, the furnace kicked on, and she was raging hot to the touch. It literally happened in 5 minutes. She was fine, and then she was NOT FINE AT ALL.
So we bustled out of the aquarium, and got to the car, where in the light of day she was white as a sheet - verging on gray. Still burning to the touch. No sweat - just this incredible radiating heat.
As soon as the car began to move, she started to cry anew. Her eyes hurt. Her head hurts. Her legs hurt. I pulled out of the parking lot and headed towards the drugstore. Motrin, thermometer, cool pack, what else......
And then, suddenly, she was asleep. I moved over two lanes and changed direction - heading towards home and hoping she would be OK when we got there.
There is something to be said for mother's instincts. You are connected to your children in a very real, extremely primal way. You know their body temperature, their personality, their smell, their appearance. And if anything is the slightest bit off, it hits you in your gut. And when I looked in the rearview mirror, my heart was in my throat. She was so pale. So hot and dry. Her eyes were glassy, her hair and breath smelled different. Her reactions were off and her behavior was, well, odd. Our friend, who was with us (and also checked her temperature before and after the fever hit) said she looked over at us and saw that Lucy "just wasn't there". Sick kids - especially with a fever - get a very vacant look. They cry for seemingly no reason at all - and you can see the hot tears, rolling down hotter cheeks, evaporating before they reach their chin.
My reaction to fevers is to put cool damp towels on their foreheads and necks, give them sips of cool water, and let them sleep it off. I gave her some Tylenol because the fever was so high, but if she pukes it up I am not going to be surprised. She won't eat - but she had a big bowl of Cheerios at 8am, when she was feeling fine and dandy, so I know she has something in her belly.
And of course, my digital thermometer is flashing an error message which I cannot translate because I lost the manual about 7 years ago. So i think Sami will have to get a new thermometer on his way home. And something for dinner, because our trip to the grocery was completely derailed.
Just another day in the life.........
3 hours ago