We are now paying dearly for our short, beautiful summer. Winter bullied Autumn into submission, gave her a swirly and stuffed her in a locker, it seems...
My eldest daughter lies up in her room, fighting the flu... 102F fever, sore throat, headache... for the second day now. On Monday she came home with the news that 1/3 of her class was out sick, and that she had a scratchy throat. By noon the next day her symptoms were full-blown, and today, some schools in the area are closed due to half the students being absent, fighting the same bug.
My calls to various "Ask-A-Nurse" hotlines resulted in a total of 45 minutes on hold, listening to elevator music, and the same advice: "Do not bring her in unless she is not drinking and needs IV fluids or is in respiratory distress; we are following CDC guidelines and will not administer Tamiflu unless she had an underlying medical condition. There are 100's of kids out of school... we've stopped testing for H1N1 as 90+% of the tests came back positive... keep her home, keep her hydrated, give her OTC pain relievers and expect that everyone in the family will catch it and that it will last 5-7 days".
Not that we would be going anywhere, as it is raining/snowing/sleeting outside, the tree on the front lawn is doubled over under the weight of the ice, and I shudder to think of what the roads must be like. It seems that winter has, indeed, arrived with a vengeance.
And so, what was supposed to be a a few days of playing with the horses, dabbling with various home-improvement projects and enjoying a long, glorious autumn weekend, will instead be one of seclusion, hand-sanitizer and waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Its scary to see my normally bright, sunshiny 11-year-old, so incredibly sick, and scary to know that her younger sister will most likely soon be sick, as well. We do, however, find one thing about the situation truly endearing... her cat, Star, does not leave her side. That big, black, one-girl cat lies on the bed, or on the sofa, right next to her 24/7.
Star will get some cooked chicken and a big thanks from me, tonight. For tonight, it doesn't matter that she cold-shoulders everyone in the house but "her" girl, or that I could spin wool and knit blankets for an army from the fine, black hair she leaves behind on everything from the commodes to the tv screen, or that she occasionally upchucks a nasty ball of it for me to step on, barefoot, in the middle of the night. Tonight, she vigilantly watches over my beloved daughter, as do I... and I am grateful for the company on this cold, dark, stormy night.