Day 2: You Give Me Fever

There are some moments you don’t forget – and for me I vividly remember The Princess as a toddler, elevated fever. I remember getting ready to lower her into a bath to cool her down. And then I remember her face just looking…funny, unresponsive. And then she began seizing.

I had never seen a seizure before and I had no idea initially what was going on. I remember we carried her downstairs into the living room, and called 911.

I had no idea a seizure could last so long.

Princess’s dad was panicking and I remember his saying something worst-case-scenario-ish while I was talking to the 911 dispatcher who basically told him that he was going to need to stop talking.

They sent an ambulance. I remember putting her in her huge carseat and then putting the carseat in the ambulance. I sat up front while the EMT drove and one sat in the back with my daughter trying to make the seizure stop.

They gave her Versed.

She threw up.

And still the seizure went on.

I had no idea they could last that long.

We finally made it to the hospital.

I don’t remember when the seizure stopped, only that it finally did and that the Versed made her grind her teeth together so horribly – this awful noise coming from my little girl, the scraping together of teeth.

I remember being discharged to go home and I remember how little sleep I got that night, checking on my baby in her crib, making sure she was sleeping, making sure she wasn’t running a temperature, making sure she wasn’t having another seizure.

The doctor told us then, “She’ll never remember this, but you’ll probably never forget it.”

And so tonight… She’s ten now. A temperature of 103.8 blazing through her body. We’d been in the grocery store – she didn’t even ask for anything. I got one of those mammoth carts with the bench in the back for children to ride along. She barely moved from the seat. Usually she’s a “helpful” shopper, with suggestions of things we can make, things we should buy, things we need. Tonight, she was silent and when we got to the checkout, she didn’t even try to guess the final dollar amount – our bizarre game of The Price is Right that she always wins somehow, sometimes guessing within the dollar.

We got home and she immediately curled on the couch. Pumpkin away at a birthday party, the house was fairly silent, just me and my oldest. I put away groceries as she burrowed under a blanket on the sofa. She seemed sleepy. “Why don’t you go ahead and go to bed?” I said. “Here, let’s take your temperature first.”

She slid the digital thermometer under her tongue and we waited and when it was done, the read out of 103.8 caught me off guard. No wonder she’d been so listless. No wonder she didn’t even want to watch television. No wonder she didn’t beg for random junky things at the store.

Fevers that high still scare me. That’s too high. I still see my baby having a seizure when I see numbers like that.

A phone call to her doctor at home with a breath of gratitude that we have the kind of doctor that can be called at home. I met this woman, the doctor that is now the whole family’s doctor, when The Princess was one day old. I liked her so much, I switched practices so she’d be my doctor as well. And then I liked her so much she was the one to deliver Pumpkin, instead of some OB-GYN who could never learn my name (like when The Princess was born).

“There’s a nasty virus going around,” said the doctor. “High fevers are very much a part of it. In some cases, I’ve seen it last a week.”

Today was day four here, so I guess I should be relieved, glad that we may be on the downhill slope of this.

She advised me to alternate the Tylenol and ibuprofen – and I’ve been relieved that the Tylenol nudged the fever down enough that I can comfortably send my daughter to her room to sleep.  Turning down my offers of 7Up or watching shows on Food Network, The Princess was merely waiting until I was satisfied that her temperature had dropped enough that I would let her go to bed.

I sent her upstairs moments ago, and I anticipate that I will be checking in on her as the night goes on just like I did that night when she was much younger, hoping that whatever this virus is, it works its way through her system soon so my girl can feel like herself again and I can put away that memory for another while.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. There is nothing worse that seeing your child ill. Sadly I know all too well how that seizure looked, I am so glad it was febrile and nothing more. I am also glad that by now your daughter is feeling better.

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