It started with a phone call yesterday around 10:30 am. The secretary at Shortcake's school called me at my school with the dreaded news that a pajama wearing Shortcake (in honor of that day's Red Ribbon Week theme) was in the nurse's office complaining of an aching head and sporting a temperature of 99.7 degrees. I wasn't surprised - she had been exposed to The Plague that had nearly cost The General his life the week before (seriously, at one point he thought he might be dying) so the fact that she was now running a fever was just a fear that had finally materialized. I arrived at her school, walked into the nurse's office, and saw the most pitiful sight - Shortcake, in her favorite monkey jammies, laying curled up on her side with backpack & coat sitting next to her waiting for home. I picked her up, gave her a big hug, and she let the tears fall. I can not explain to you how much this child loves school. She had been looking forward to this day - Pajama Day AND a hot lunch of mini corn dogs - for over a week, and the fact that she had to leave early on such an awesome day was killing her. Seeing her so sad nearly broke my heart.
We got home, she got snuggles from daddy, and the first dose of Motrin (or, as I like to refer to it, THE MIRACLE DRUG) was administered. She immediately took to her bed where she slept for over an hour. That alone is telling of how crappy she must have felt - this, my most reluctant napper eagerly turning in for a mid-day snooze. By the time she woke up her fever had broke and she spent the rest of the afternoon asking, "Is school over yet? What do you think they're doing right now?". When I gently explained to her that she might miss school again today she got a slightly panicky look to her as she quietly protested: "But it's ravioli day tomorrow!".
(Raise your hand if you think Shortcake makes kindergarten sound like the most fun thing ever in the history of the world. *raising hand and waving it violently*)
Just before dinner, as I was putting food on the plates, she walked into the kitchen and I instantly knew her fever was back. Her eyes were sort of glassy and she just looked plain miserable - her temperature was now up to 101.9. She hardly ate any of her food, barely hung on through the annual viewing of the Charlie Brown special on ABC, and was out instantly after I tucked her in for the night. Just as I was leaving her room, she looked at me with sad eyes and asked "Maybe school tomorrow?". It killed me to tell her the honest answer so I just gave her the "We'll see in the morning" cop-out response.
Around 2 am I woke up to this strange sensation, one in which I felt an incredible heat radiating around me. I opened my eyes to find Shortcake, clutching her beloved Gunner, standing next to my bed. A middle of the night temperature reading showed her fever had returned with a vengeance, now up to 102.1, so we followed with another dose of The Miracle Drug and a glass of water. Tucking her in again I told her that there would be no school on Wednesday and even in her fever induced, 2 o'clock in the morning fog she was coherent enough to reply: "But if I don't go to school tomorrow that means only two more days until the Halloween party!". And I thought missing corn dog day was a big deal.
Early this morning the phone calls were made to all the necessary agencies announcing that we would be staying home again (one good thing that came out of this was that The General got mandated to work a second eight hour shift last night, 10 pm-6 am, so my staying home became two fold - take care of a sick child AND give The General a chance to get five hours of shut-eye before returning to work today). Shortcake woke up fever free; all morning she and her sister played like they were the healthiest children on the face of the Earth. But by 11:30 am that glassy eyed look was back, the complaints of a head ache returned, and we started the dance all over again. The dance resumed again at 5 pm and I'm assuming we'll be administering The Miracle Drug sometime in the middle of the night as well, all the while keeping fingers crossed that whatever bug this is packs up & heads out of town before the big Halloween Parade & class party on Friday.
So far *knock on wood* Punkin is remaining healthy, although tonight when The General called to check on his girls and I had to remind Punkin for the 108th time today to please, please use a quiet voice I expressed the idea that maybe Punkin having a fever wouldn't be so bad. I kid, of course (sort of). No one wants their kid to be sick. As for me, I'm also feeling okay thus far. I'm banking on my bout with this illness hitting full force sometime around the week of Thanksgiving. You know, just in time for Poke & Cari's wedding because sometimes the universe just likes to mess with me.
How are your households faring with this crazy October outbreak of medical nastiness?