Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fever, I curse thee!

Abby is one sick little girl. I feel so bad for her! Today is day five of this awful fever that simply won't stop. Actually, I take that back--it does stop now and then; last night she was totally fever-free--but it always comes back. She woke up fine, but now, two hours later, is asleep on the couch and her temperature is 103.9.

Fevers are one of those things that really freak me out. I think because of all the books I've read set back in the 1800's when people died from them (supposedly) or became blind or deaf. Like Mary in the Little House on the Prairie books. But my head knows that it's not the fever that's to blame, it's whatever infection is in there that, back then, they didn't know about and couldn't see. All they saw was the fever, so that's what got blamed.

I have this awesome book called, "Raising a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor." The fever chapter is so interesting. Apparently the body will not allow its temperature to reach 106 if the cause is an infection or something viral. It will always cycle itself down. And under 106 fevers don't do damage--it's the ones above that which are caused by things like poisoning or heatstroke that can actually harm you. And, of course, it talks about how the fever is your body's way of killing off whatever you're sick with, so trying to reduce the fever just suppresses your immune system and keeps you sicker longer.

So I've been pretty good about resisting the urge to pump her with Tylenol or sponge her down, though I have caved a couple times. Yesterday she stopped eating or drinking, and that really worried me, so we gave her some Tylenol and she perked up in, like, ten minutes! I got some food in her, and a bunch of water, before her fever went up again and she was back to being miserable. Hopefully she won't do that to me again today. I can handle the fever; I can't handle the thought of her getting dehydrated.

So it looks like my birthday will be spent in the same manner as the last three days have been: on the couch with a hot little body curled up on my lap, or else wandering around the backyard with her in my arms. (every once in a while she'll say, "Outside!" I feel like we should have her in a robe on a deck chair with a quilt tucked around her legs. The Morrow Convalescent Home.) I'm going to need some serious chiropractic care after all this is over. And a massage. Mmmmm, massage...