Before my daughter was 2 she had twice suffered from lung related illnesses that came with high fevers.
The first time was classic croup. I still remember with vivid clarity the cold days and nights and long steam baths to keep her breathing and relaxed. I must have spent hours in the bathroom donned in my bathing suit while we both sweated and inhaled. And the long frigid walks we would take. Her in her stroller, finally sleeping because the cold dry air was letting her lungs do their thing.
It was pretty typical but sometimes draining. Still, it was distressing.
A while after that she developed another seriously high fever. The pediatrician we had at the time attributed it to a cold, but the baby was nodding out and burning up. So I called MY old pediatrician who was still around and asked for an appt. He'd since become highly sought after in New York City but since I and my brother were former patients and since he had treated me for an equally mysterious ailment when I was about 12, I felt obligated to try my luck getting an appt.
It worked. Very much like my own emergency Dr. Smith (yup, Dr. Smith) was clutching my daughter in his arms and taking her to the Pediatric Emergency Room at New York Hospital.
Hours went by. Her mother was in a panic because the baby's fever had not subsided and it was frighteningly high. My mother had come to town from Long Island to help out and it was a boon. My ex wife (well, not ex at the time) was beside herself with fear. The baby was screaming and they had to do many tests. I was in the terrible position of having to hold her very tight and as gently as I could while doctors, poked, prodded, extracted and pinched for hours on end. The bay seemed to be pleading to me to make it all stop and there I was holding her down to help them.
Not one of my favorite days. At one point, still mystefied, the doctors decided to keep her overnight on ice to keep her fever down. Then shortly after they found that she had a very odd and rare form of pneumonia and that she would need shots for a few days. At long last, they saved her life.
But after that day, she was never the same.
(to be continued)