“Mom – Bee has a fever.”
I thought it was soooo funny when Gracie threw the door open early Sunday morning and made that announcement. Not funny ha-ha (or funny like a clown), not funny in a ‘oh she’s so cute being all mamacita’ kind of way, but funny in a ‘why in the world is she waking me up 15 minutes before my usual wake-up time. I mean, really. Does she not know the importance of those last few minutes? Which is also kinda funny because it’s not like being a mom has a punch-in, punch-out work schedule.
proudly matter-of-factly informed me that she knew Bee had a fever not because she had felt her forehead, but because she found the thermometer and took her sister’s temperature. “It’s 100.12,” she added. Naturally, I repeated the experiment and found Bee running steady at 98.1. So. Off to church she went and a normal Sunday was had by all.
Later that evening, Bee complained that her “froat” hurt. And she felt warm, but her temp was only reading 99.5. It bounced up to 100.1 but it was still under the point at which daycare or school would have sent her home. Still… her allergies might not be allergies and her throat might be sore for a reason and there was a flu epidemic in my city. So when she woke up in the morning with her temp still in the mid-99s, I booked her a doctor’s appointment.
An hour later it was official, although I knew when the doctor said her ears were clear that it had to be the flu. We all have had our flu shots, but that didn’t seem to matter. The doctor gave us our scrip for Tamiflu and told us Bee shouldn’t get any worse and that we were lucky to have caught it so very early. Of course, catching it so early meant Bee was Little Miss Chatterbox all morning. She happily chugged down juice and water and Sprite and played with her toys and talked to Auntie Rhi until her phone battery died. She wore us all out. And then some.
But then, not to be outdone, the flu rallied. After getting Gracie all set up in Auntie Kim’s room (seriously – Gracie moved her two stuffed animals, two blankets, a pillow and ALL HER SHOES) so that Bee’s room could more effectively serve as a Quarantine Ward, Bee hit a brick wall. Suddenly, her fever rose, the lovely Tamiflu side effect of NeverStopThrowingUp! hit her, and golly did she have quite a lot of mucus that couldnt’ decide if it wanted to stay in or come out. The poor thing laid in her bed all pathetic-like, complaining that her tummy hurt, that she didn’t feel very good, and shivering. I can’t lie: the shivering scared me. People with fevers should not shiver. Especially with the flu. The flu scares mamas. All I could think about was the six-year-old girl who had been to the hospital in Dallas and was dead six hours later. She had died while she was sleeping. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep any. I was up every hour checking on Bee and making sure she was still breathing. Her fever finally broke at midnight and didn’t come back, even without Tylenol. But that didn’t stop me from worrying. I worried less, but I wasn’t sure what I’d be facing in the morning.
Turns out, it was Little Miss Chatterbox remixed with Suddenly I Don’t Feel So Good. And that particular hybrid didn’t seem to mind that she hadn’t slept the night before. She wasn’t tired! But she didn’t want to do anything except watch a movie and cry. Ooh! OR WII DANCE! But no, she wasn’t thirsty. Her belly felt full. She was hungry. But she didn’t want to eat anything. Popsicle races sounded fun! Except she didn’t want a popsicle. Nothing I tried except bribing her with putting up the tents in the living room if she drank a glass of lemonade. Funtimes! And to further exhaust everyone, my strange little child who cries when her sister has antibiotics and she doesn’t (because it usually tastes like candy, don’tcha know) decided that Tamiflu is the vilest tasting medicine known to mankind. It took me FORTY MINUTES of coaxing, bribing, yelling (mama of the year, right here) and mixing to get her to take it. The trick from the night before of giving her a bit of sugar, then a squirt of Tamiflu, then a chaser of Sprite wasn’t working. So instead we finally settled on a squirt of Tamiflu on a teaspoon covered in Hershey’s syrup. One mL (of 7.5) at a time. We even tried mixing it with ketchup at one point because Bee wasn’t having anything else. Turns out that makes kids throw up. Don’t try that. Tamiflu copays can run to $113 a pop and you don’t want to have to buy more because you ran out.
Bee spent last night at her dad’s since he’s on Flu Duty today. I had to get some work done this week and I honestly don’t know how much longer I could have taken being housebound with multiple-flu-personality disorder. I mean, I could have kept going – mamas have hidden reserves, I know – but golly it feels good to be in the world of grown-ups. And uninterrupted sleep last night might have been the best part of my week. I’m still getting used to not asking at the beginning of every conversation if they feel any better or if they’ve had any Pedialyte, but I’m sure I’ll adjust.
Just in time to spend another 24-hours behind locked doors on Flu Duty.