Monday, January 24, 2011
Being ill and a right of passage
It turned out that I would worry about something else instead. My son took sick on Friday. With a lite fever and cold he laid on the couch most of the weekend. On Sunday, he got worse and the fever went to 103. We worried about what to do, buying over the counter fever reducer we banked my son's heath on the claims of the packaging. I had made up my mind that if he wasn't better by morning he was heading to the hospital.
About ten in the evening he awoke screaming and we ran to his aid. He was soaked in sweat and confused. His bed needed changed and the fever was gone. I held him then. I felt better even if he didn't think he was better. We both showed signs of mending.
I can remember getting ear infections when I was little, and taken with a high fever. Staying awake was the worse form of torture. The pain of an ear infection would keep me awake for days, along with a fever and cold to boot. It became the perfect storm of sickness. I can remember my dad picking me up and holding me in his arms. I must have been ten, and he rocked and consoled me.
It is funny were your mind goes when you hold you sick child. It races to all directions, you figure out what needs to be done, check. You figure okay how sick is he, check. You figure is he getting better, check. What would my father do, check?
What would my father have done? He would have called my aunt and asked her what to do. I really didn't have that option; do to circumstances beyond my control I am forced to deal with these matters on my own. We had phoned a friend about the treatment of fever and had chosen the fever medication based on what she had told us, but what to do when your child is still sick. It placed us being parents in a whole new light.
The next morning he claimed to be sick and I was tasked with finding out the truth. Yes, my son a normal child that really doesn't seem to lie about anything. But will push this practice when it comes to matter involving him going to school. He stood in front of me. He coughed. I felt for his head and it felt normal. He coughed harder. I felt for his stomach and it wasn't clam-y and for the most part felt normal. Then he coughed louder. I almost laughed. He was good at faking but his eyes were a little red and as he stood there his noise draining onto his upper lip.
I asked myself would I want to stand outside for hour and half in the cold just after getting over being ill myself, because I send him to school he would have to go out and play in the cold. The answer was no and he got to stay home. Truth was he could fake a lot of things but he could fake the runny nose and red eyes.
So back to me or as least in my direction, my father used to be in pain for days and I often wondered if he would hit his thumb with a hammer to forget about the pain in his leg, because this is really how this weekend turned out for me. I came into it with emotional baggage and sickness of my own. I turned out worrying about my son. I forgot about the trouble and sickness I felt. I forgot about my stomach for the most part. But am I better? I will let you know once I have eaten my first meal and held it down. I will let you know once my head clears from the morning funk. That I find myself, more and more, since I passed the 40 years mark. I will let you know when I know and not a moment sooner.