This is probably the umpteenth time I have applied a wet sponge on M's forehead today. Her temperature is still high. Fluctuating from 101F to 98F, 102F to 99F, too high for my tiny eight-month-old, I think.
This is the first time she has gotten a viral fever, you know? One of those dreaded firsts. Of course, I'm not counting the times after vaccination here because those I had expected. I was prepared mentally. But today, it is totally unexpected. I'm not prepared for this. How does one take care of a fragile eight-month-old down with such high fever? I have no clue.
She's asleep now and all I want to do is cuddle her, tell her that she's going to be fine. Maybe even reassure me in the process by saying those words out loud.
Honestly, I got a bit scared after seeing the 102 reading on the thermometer. It spelled danger for me, really. So, I rushed her to the paediatrician in the middle of the day.
How does one take care of a fragile eight-month-old down with such high fever?
Truth is, I just wanted to take her to the doctor in the blink of an eye, magically carry her there in an instant, if possible. Silly me, I thought the doctor would wave a magic wand and my baby would feel fine. A mother's folly to think so, I know. But there is no such thing, I realise. M has to take medicines, go through the whole regime and only in time will she get better.
It is frustrating, yes, not being able to do anything to soothe her immediately. The drive to the clinic too was nothing short of a nightmare. She was burning with fever and we were stuck in traffic. It was terrible.
I know kids fall sick, even get hurt sometimes. I was a kid myself, obvious but yes I know it happens. Still, it's a whole different ball game when it actually happens to your little one. You feel helpless, suffocated and restless. It's a strange feeling, similar to, well, how can I explain it?
You know, when you forget something but can't quite remember what it is? Something which doesn't let you relax; keeps nagging at you. Or, when even on a good day you have the worst possible mood without an inkling as to why. That's how I have been feeling today.
I dust the shelves in my room as she sleeps just to keep functioning. I haven't been this restless in a while. I write a line, look her her, drift off. Motherhood you have me befuddled. Again.
Her fever shoots up to 102 again at midnight just when I thought she was getting better. I can feel the heat even through the blanket and rush for the wet sponge but she hates it. So, I carry her close and hold it on her forehead with my cheek as I walk around. I can't help but think that she's too small to be down with this fever.
I walk around with her for over an hour, till the fever subsides and she is finally asleep. I realise that I can do anything to just make her discomfort go away. Anything at all.
This is probably the first of many such sleepless nights for us. Truth be told this makes me see my mom and what she had been doing for us from a whole different perspective because I remember her being next to us every time we fell sick. I have to be that for M. I hope I do half as good a job as my mother because it sure isn't going to be easy.
Well, I hope she feels better when we wake up tomorrow. I really hope she does.
Parents, how do you deal with the restlessness when your kids are sick?
PS: She's doing much better now.