Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Too far away

Tonight is a night when it's hard to be so far away from my family. I was going to say, "far away from home," but my home is here. The family I made, the house we bought, this is my home for now. My original "home," the house where I grew up in Maryland, has long since been replaced by new digs in Florida; my Mom and Dad, and Brother and his family all moved South when I went West.

I called Mom tonight because R has been feverish. She's had one or two fevers from teething before, but they always went away after administering ibuprofen. This is different. She woke up at 3 am last night, screaming bloody murder. I put teething gel on her gums before I noticed how hot she was: 100º. I gave her ibuprofen and held and rocked her for a half hour. She still felt hot so I took her socks off. Another temperature reading gave 101º. Crap, it's going up. I took her pj's off and held and rocked her naked self for another half hour. Still 101º. At this point I took her to the bathroom to give her a lukewarm bath with a cool washcloth on the back of her neck. She enjoyed playing in the tub. I took her out of the bath when the flush in her cheeks went away. It was 5 am. The readings after that came up as 101º, 98º, and 98º. I kept checking because she FELT cooler, so how could she still be 101º?? (It was a temple thermometer by ReliOn. I have since thrown it away because it is so unreliable.) Senpai was awake for work at that point, and he told me I should try to get back to bed. I tried, but she never fell back to sleep. I would calm her down, go back to my room, slide under the covers, and as soon as I got warmed up she would start crying again. That continued until 6:20 when I gave up and lied down on her carpet. She was walking all around the room, stepping over me, and making disgruntled noises. I admitted it was time to start the day at 7. Neither of us had gotten any sleep since she first woke up at 3.

Her temperature throughout the day was on the warm side but not feverish. I kept her in her pi's, I was still in my robe, and we spent the morning watching Winnie the Pooh. Time was moving so slowly. I was desperately hoping for the clock to strike 11. That's when I would make an early lunch and haul us both off to bed, but I couldn't wait; started making lunch at 10:30. She barely touched her food and only ate spoonful upon spoonful of beef broth. After the post-lunch potty routine I took her upstairs only to have her scream and refuse to get in her bed. I was beyond tired, having a hard time not nodding off myself, so I took her to bed with me. That never happens. She had slept in our bed when she was a newborn, but since she's become more aware of her surroundings, getting into Mommy and Daddy's bed means fun for her, she gets instantly wired. So I took her to my bed not having any idea if she would actually fall asleep, but I was hoping she would just play quietly enough for me to sleep. I sat on the bed and rocked her in my arms first as she was still quite upset from me trying to put her in her bed. When she calmed down enough, I laid us down together and curled around her. Her head on my arm, she fell asleep almost instantly. I followed not too far behind her. She woke up crying after a half hour. I calmed her down and we went back to sleep. She woke up after another half hour. This time I notice she's wiping her nose and having trouble breathing. I give her some Benedryl which puts her out for a heavenly two hours straight.

After nap time she was clingy and lethargic. Both of us were lethargic, actually. She didn't eat her dinner until I made Cup-a-Soup, which Daddy lovingly spoon fed to her. She looked beyond tired. I checked her temperature and it was back up to 101º. I gave Senpai explicit directions as I had to leave to go to bellydance class. I was worried the whole class. When I came home, Senpai confirmed that he had followed my directions. I went upstairs to check on R who was fast asleep, and was scared to see that her temperature had not gone down. I immediately called my Mom. R was asleep, and I didn't want to have to wake her to give her a cool bath, so I really wanted to know if it'd be okay for her to continue to sleep through the fever. Mom's reaction was, "Call the nurse line. And call your brother; something difficult for him happened last night."

I was calling the nurse line when Senpai went upstairs with a different thermometer, and it came up with a temperature of 97.6º for R. I was so relieved. I checked with another thermometer, got the same result, and that's when I threw the ReliOn one away. Not reliable at all. Senpai had angled her mattress to make it easier for her to breath, she does not have a fever now and is sleeping soundly, so after I cleared things up with the nurse I hung up and called my brother.

That phone call made me wish I was right there in the same room with him, giving him a huge, squishy hug. The feeling hasn't left yet. I am too far away to help him the way I'd like. It aches... the place in my heart where I hold him dear. We were so close as kids. We grew apart as we grew up, both through interaction and distance, and I don't regret that; it's just how it goes. The love was always still there. Now that he's going through this hardship, though, the distance feels like a million miles. And I know that if I were to hop on a plane sometime soon, tomorrow even, it would be too late. Right now. Scotty, beam me South. I'm too far away.



Gayle said...

"And I know that if I were to hop on a plane sometime soon, tomorrow even, it would be too late." That sentence really caught me. Don't ever let anything be too late. The aftermath sucks. If you can go, go. Best wishes to your brother.

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