But yesterday evening, Hank's temperature spiked to 106.6'!! I couldn't believe it when I looked at the thermometer. I could feel that rising bubble of complete panic start from my stomach to my head. I called my mom with a "Hank has a temperature of 106'! What do I do?" (always go to mom first, right?) She told me to call the doctor. It was after 5:00 pm, and unfortunately, I got the one nurse who apparently has never dealt with a really high temperature and she started asking me questions and consulting her computer screen for protocol. I wanted to scream... Jeff got home after picking Lucy and Charlie up from karate and looked at me inquiringly as I continued to answer questions on the phone. I wrote Hank's temperature on a piece of paper and Jeff's eyes got wide as he paled at the number.
I pretty much needed the nurse to just answer two things..."How do I bring the temperature down?" and "Should we be en route to the hospital?" Pretty clear cut...but she took what felt like an eternity...I could hear other voices behind her and finally asked if there was another nurse she could consult with that may have experience with high fevers. She excused herself and came back on..."OK, I am calling the doctor right now, and will call you back." UGH! I called my mom again who said to strip Hank down, wrap him in a sheet and sponge him down with tepid water, exposing one limb at a time and drying him off afterward. Jeff started the sponge bath and I quickly threw dinner together for Lucy and Charlie. (Thank goodness for frozen chicken nuggets and Top Ramen!)
The nurse called back and told me to get him to the emergency room in downtown Sacramento. OK, why do I live in a town of 130,000 people and no hospital? We used to live in a town of 50,000 and had 3 hospitals! After 3 years here, we have avoided the hospital, but I knew this day would come, so I quickly mapped it out on the computer and got ready to go. The nurse called back and said, "I didn't realize there is an after-care unit where you are. Go there instead." Woo hoo! Reprieve!
Anyway, I won't go into how I RAN into the office, carrying Hank, who had developed chills, and was wrapped in a blanket, only to find I was in the WRONG building! Race back out to the car, drive around the medical center and start all over...oh, but this time I had to go through the building, up the elevator and down the long hall to the doctor's office, all the while fighting back tears, carrying a 48 lb boy who's all arms and legs and burning up and making me feel hot too!
Of course by the time we got there his temperature had fallen to 102' and Hank had perked up. The doctor said he has a virus called Epstein-Barr, characterized by the horrendous canker sores carpeting Hank's tonsils, and that it would probably hang on for a week. No real advice on the high temperature... I did look Epstein-Barr up on the Internet, since I do know what it is, and confirmed the fact that you need a blood test to diagnose it. (which we did not have). I did type in both Parry Romberg's and Epstein-Barr to see if there is a correlation, and did get a few hits, but I don't know. Does Hank's PRS make him more susceptible? But given the symptoms and lack of real fatigue, I think Hank really has tonsillitis, which was my favored childhood illness.
Hank stayed up late last night and I sat beside him and read the first "Harry Potter" book to him. His temperature came down and he slept through the night. (At least one of us could sleep). Today, he woke up without a fever and is upstairs playing a video game. He even ate a muffin for breakfast. I'm sure that the fever will be back, but it is such a relief to see him feeling better.
As I write this, here comes 3 year-old Lucy, holding her stomach saying, "I'm sick...sooo sick". But with no fever and a healthy appetite, it seems that this one just wants the right to have her own pillow and blanket on the couch and the option of eating in the family room on her tray-table. And so I will indulge her and pray that she won't really be needing these things later in the week!