Lola is ill.
Two days ago, I talked to my girlfriend on the phone and she told me about how her husband, extended family, and all 3 of their daughters had been fighting with a terrible virus: high fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. I expressed my concern and sympathy, telling her that I hoped she wouldn’t fall to the same fate. “I haven’t had time to be sick,” was her reply. We had thought we would be getting together for a playdate (ha! funny that it is now part of my vocabulary), but we postponed our plans. I laughed internally at the face of the virus. You didn’t get us, you nasty devil.
Who knew that the phone was a conduit for an evil virus hell-bent on spreading itself as far and wide as possible?
Yesterday, my poor Lola had a severely high fever. My normally vibrant, talkative, active girl was a lump on the couch, barely conscious, save for the moments when she was grasping for the bucket we had nearby. More was exiting her body than entering, and I was so worried about dehydration. Thankfully, she was able to keep some water down after I gave up on trying to get her to drink ginger juice, and eventually in the evening, she ate and kept down 3 small bananas. And by small, I mean, small. They are probably a 1/4 of the size of the bananas that North American grocery stores sell. I’m not sure where these atomic bananas come from (dang it! I so close to an alphabetized phrase there) but they are a LOT bigger than what we have grown locally here. And ours are sweet. None of that cardboard dust.
My attempt to return us to a regular school schedule sort of fell flat. Charlie did manage to make a lapbook about our holiday destination, but Lola and I basically just spent our day on the couch. We cuddled. I held her hair back. I washed her body. I tucked her into bed. I sat on the edge of her bed. Hoping, praying that this won’t get more serious.
I think I’ve written before about one of my biggest fears being that our children become ill with something that would, in the West, be considered minor, but because the medical system here is so poor, the condition would spiral out of control and a small life would be lost. My fears aren’t completely unfounded. I’ve heard stories. We even knew a child that lost her life over something that would have otherwise been detected, had she had access to adequate medical care. We have taken the necessary precautionary measures, arming ourselves with amazing medical insurance that has an evacuation option if needed. And while this is comforting, it can only comfort me as much as a piece of paper than turns to ash can offer comfort. So, I prayed. I prayed my pitiful little fear-filled supplication, asking for my daughter’s health.
Normally, I hate sleeping with my bedroom door open. The kitchen is right across the hall and, dang it, I hate hearing the hum of the refrigerator cut in and out. Plus, there is a light on all night in the upper stairwell for the sake of the kids if they happen to wake in the night, but as soft and dim as that light is, it’s too much for me. I need complete dark. I need complete silence. You know you are loved by White Girl if she will put up with and be able to sleep through such inhumane conditions as the humming fridge noises and disruptive hall light. I woke up with a start at 5 a.m. I had expected to be woken several times through the night with Lola’s needs, but I had heard not a peep from her. I tried to logically think my way through the situation: no news is good news. But if anyone knows me, they know that the last thing I do well is think logically especially when there is opportunity to FREaK OUT! I threw the covers back and headed to Lola’s bedside. She was sleeping soundly. I watched the rise and fall of her breath. Then I touched her lightly on the head. Still feverish, but not nearly as hot as the day before. I silently exhaled a prayer of thanks.
Today, Lola ate some pancakes and a few noodles at lunch. When she asked for some orange juice, I knew that we were heading to healthier pastures. As we hung out on the couch this afternoon, cuddling the virus away (cuddles are medicine, if you didn’t know), Lola said to me, “God is making me better.”
He sure is, Lola. He sure is. And that is a medical insurance plan that I can take comfort in.