Tonight, YaYa’s high fever refused to succumb to acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Being the 5th day of fevers, both of us are beginning to wear down. Unfortunately, things seem to be getting worse rather than better.
Similar to when he was little, YaYa lost composure during the longest lasting of these fevers. Between hallucination and reality he cries out to me but is sent into panic when I come near. The thermometer, he says, feels like a “bunch of men are standing on his tongue.” He is scared and cries out that he doesn’t want to die.
We’ve been to the doctor earlier today. There is nothing that can be done at this point; we are left to wait it out and treat the symptoms as they come.
In as firm but gentle way as I can muster, I command YaYa to strip down to his underwear. Then I wipe him down with a cold wash cloth, and reassure him that he is not dying. A short while later, we sit on top of a blanketed couch: YaYa wearing nothing but his underwear and a thin sheet, while I am bundled up in my sweater and scarf. We watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show for distraction… until he can find peace.
But when night hits, the fear of dying returns, this time, just as strong as it was in the 1st several months after his father’s death. It’s been 5 years now. I stroke my son’s head, scratch his back, and acknowledge the fear. As his fear of death settles down, I reflect on how different things are from where they were 5 short years ago. Back then, feeling overwhelmed and unequipped to deal with life, I sometimes wished that I had been the one to have died. Not often, but sometimes.
Today, however, afterI finding happiness and joy in my life once more, I am holding onto dear life. When I pray to God, I give thanks for my many blessings and pray that this beautiful life will be long and just as lovely as it is right now for I don’t want to die either.