Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Sick and sicker

I don't want to get all "blessing of the skinned knee" on you, but having a fifteen-and-a-half year-old child with a wildly high fever is not for the fainthearted. For two nights now, there has been a 3.45am reveille, with a croaky voice coming through the darkness in my bedroom (where the Maharishi sleeps beside me, quite blissful, with his earplugs in). The dogs don't make a sound.  "Mamma?" she whispers.  "Mamma? I can't breathe." To which I reply with the only thing you can possibly say in this situation. "Yes you can darling. Don't cry. Just try to breathe slowly."  "No, Mamma" she croaks. "I'm siiiiiiiiiiiiiiick."  "Yes, you're sick, let's get you to bed with some hot tea." "No" (the Linda Blair intonation begins to crack through the miasma) "I need DRUGS Mamma. I am SICK."

And thus we leave the husband, the disloyal dogs, who pretend not to notice, all rolled up snugly on their dog sofa at the end of our bed, and I put my arm around this burning girl, and wander slowly through the house, holding onto each other, trying not to bump into a table or a wall (why do we insist on not turning on the lights in the middle of the night, what is that dumb defiance?) back to her bedroom.  Her body is so hot that I don't need to find a thermometer. I can spot 103F at twenty paces. For so many years now she goes down for the count; she should be in the Guinness Book of Records for these fevers.  Water, a cold flannel (wash cloth), advil (ibuprofen) and tylenol (acetaminophen), sliced apple and banana for her stomach, hot throat tea with lemon and honey (from my brother's Scottish bees).  And then we wait, wait for the fever to subside, in our knickers and t-shirts, like two girls at a slumber party. She lies on top of the duvet because she's burning up. I sit next to her, flannel in hand. She sips the tea. Declares it too hot. Asks for some peeled apple. Panics because Cheeky Monkey has disappeared.  (Cheeky Monkey, we have discovered, is the key to recovery, like an evil little voodoo doll -- cue Psycho music -- his innocent little face heals all things).

And we wait for the fever to come down, for the shivers to stop, for the throat to stop aching. I fill jugs with water, give her tissues filled with Vicks, hold cups of tea to sip, and she says "At least Jerry Brown is our Governor." Yes, thank goodness.

As my daughter pointed out last night in a lucid moment between tylenol-dosing, while eating Thai chicken and green bean coconut curry and watching the returns on CNN, imagine what Meg Whitman could've done for schools in California with that $160 million she spent (Brown, in contrast, spent $25 million).  She didn't get the hispanic vote, which is key in California, despite a visit to Porto's bakery in Glendale, the finest Cuban bakery in the state.  (Try the potato balls, the media noche sandwich, and of course the Tres Leches cake. Betty makes the best one in the world).  And Boxer defeated Fiorina. But the rest of the map is a depressing shade of gridlock red.  It's a depressing time to be in America. As Snarky Penguin points out
Because the majority of Americans, while certainly impossible to educate, aren't vicious and venal. Rather, they're willfully ignorant -- and proud of it. They call it "faith" -- a rejection of all factual knowledge, logic and reason in favor of unthinking belief in nonsense -- and they become very upset if you attempt to use logic and reason to remedy their ignorance. 
This poster is making its rounds on Facebook:

There couldn't be a more important time in history to spend time and money on education. And, for the record, if Boehner gets in there, and reaches out across the aisle, and embraces his Democratic colleagues and gets something done, I'll salute him. I'll eat my words. I will. I don't really care, at this point, who does something, as long as something gets done.  We need to look after those less fortunate than ourselves, with education and healthcare. These are the foundations of basic human dignity.  We need to look after minorities and prevent hate. It's enough divisiveness.  E pluribus unum and all that. We are all connected. of good courage; hold fast to that which is good; render to no-one evil for evil; strengthen the faint-hearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honor all people...
-- From Paul's letter to the Thessalonians


So Lovely said...

Poor H - I was sick constantly as a child with tonsillitis until I finally had them removed at 13, it's just never ending.

The day that sports, art and music classes were taken out of the schools was a very bad day. Its truly dire!

LPC said...

I hope your daughter, and therefore you, feel better soon. And that poster made my dang day.

Miss Whistle said...

Thank you SL. I thought it would stop when she had her adenoids out (and, to be fair, she hasn't been sick since then, till now).

My friend has just been brought on as the art teacher at Wonderland, paid for entirely by the Friends of the School (ie parental donations). Therefore, what happens to children in neighborhoods whose folks can't afford to give? It's tragic.

LPC -- thank you! I know, I want to blow up that poster and put it on my wall!

Miss W

Wzzy said...

You're a wonderful Mamma and I'm sure your ministrations and love help every iota as much as any "DRUGS!!!" she could take. xx

Anonymous said...

not a bad blog, but spare me the Bush hating and the classical "progressive" race hustling.If you want to really know why we had a housing bubble,look at the policies under Bill Clinton that put people in homes for zero down, homes that they had no business being in.Look at Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. Look at the Dem majority slapping down the Bush administration when the latter wanted to put some constraints on Fannie Mae's irresponsible lending practices.

I correct myself; don't look, it will conflict with your narrative. Just remember that all homeowners have takena hit, even if they played by the rules, put up a good downpayment, maybe even paid off their mortgage-all because the feel good police believe that everyone is entitled to be in a house regardless of their financial situation.

Sorry to make this a political rant, but you can't say you didn't start it, unless you believe all your readers of one mind. Never make those assumptions.

Miss Whistle said...

Dear Anonymous,
I've made no such assumptions. I'm surprised at the level of your vitriole. My blog is not a political one, but it is hard to pass an event as large as the mid-terms without comment. I'm all for a good debate, but that is very hard to do with someone who posts anonymous comments. Fortuitously, as its MY blog, I'm entitled to MY opinions. And you are, of course, free to disagree with them.
I appreciate your faint praise however.
Have a wonderful day.
Miss Whistle