The American writer Kin Hubbard once said: “No one can feel as helpless as the owner of a sick goldfish.” I disagree. I can’t imagine anyone feeling more helpless than I did last night when Olivia woke up with a temperature of 39.7. I lay there feeling the heat come from her little body and quickly decided to take her to hospital. I may be helpless, but others are not.
She has been ill all week, as have I, but she has had a temperature which I have been spared from. It is an incredible thing, a temperature, because when it is there it is so scary and you think it will never go. But then when it goes you forget how awful it was. A bit like childbirth.
At the doctor’s yesterday (before the nocturnal visit) we had a meningitis scare. That was more than scary. For some reason their blood pressure machine went off the scale and when Olivia refused to move her neck they feared the worst. The main man was called in, a Dr Styles, and he quickly put my mind at rest. But for a moment I was staring into the abyss.
This morning at 3 am (and can I just add what a pleasant place Abu Dhabi is at that time of the morning) they said they needed to bring her temperature down. Olivia refused to take any medicine so they asked me rather gingerly if she would mind a suppository.
“Of course not,” I told them. “We come from France.”
They monitored her for an hour and a half and her temperature came down to 37.6. Phew. She slept well and is now in bed watching ‘Enchanted’ with Dr McDreamy. He may be even more effective than the suppository. I am going to snooze next to her and hope the scary moments are over…..
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009