This past Sunday, I was flying back from Florida with my peewees and had one of my scariest flights ever. It wasn’t because of turbulence, delay or even overcrowding. Earlier on Sunday, my daughter woke up with a fever, but no other symptoms (besides lethargy). She perked up after medicine (Grandma was able to get her to take it) and over the course of the morning even went to the beach and pool.
But she went down hill as our flight drew closer. By the time we were on the 2nd leg of our trip, I took her temperature and she was at about 105. As a mom, crazy things started to enter mybrain (especially as a daughter of a doctor). Would her spiking fever cause damage? Would they need to land the plane immediately? What will happen?
And then I went into pragmatic mode: fluids. Must push fluids. And medicine. I had the medicine with me. How to get her to take it. “Would you have it in juice?” no. “Will you please drink it?” no. “Before I’ll let you go to sleep, you need it!” no. and then, finally – the escalation to the bribe: “Take the medicine now – even in the juice – and I’ll get you any toy you want for under $X amount!” and this is when I knew she wsa really cruddy. Her response to me in a sleepy voice with drooping eyelids: “Mommy, I just need to sleep, I have enough toys.”
That’s when I just gave in – and I think that’s also when her fever peaked. I asked the flight attendants if I could have her on my lap if I strapped us together. Thankfully, she said yes. Ordinarily on flights, even with the kids, I’ll read, work on my laptop, and, in general, stay productive. However, in this case, I spent the next 4 hours sitting still, holding my daughter in various positions until she was as comfortable as she could be. My son was an absolute star in allowing his sister to kick him, bonk him, invade his space, push his book over or whatever else she need to do to get comfortable.
With an hour to go, she finally found a position that led her to more restful sleep, melted into my neck and torso and lay still. Thankfully, by the time we landed, her temp was down to 102. My husband met us with a subset of the pharmacy in the car and, before bed, we were able to get her to take more medicine.
The following morning, she woke up and, incredibly, was fever free, chipper, ready for school and Hungry.