|The Invalid -- Carl Larsson (1853-1919)
Sophie began shivering uncontrollably last night at dinner, her fingertips slightly blue. She had been sick earlier in the week but hadn't run a fever in two days, a residual congestion in her chest the only sign that she had been sick. I felt a rising panic inside as I bundled her in blankets and draped myself around her, wondering if the Vimpat was causing these strange symptoms and because no one in our house gets sick enough to warrant owning a thermometer, (how dumb is that?) I had to tell Henry to run to the neighbor's house and borrow one. When I pulled it out from under Sophie's arm and read one hundred and two point seven which meant one hundred and three point seven, I blinked and shook it. It was, literally, the highest temperature I'd seen for Sophie in at least a decade. I gave her Motrin and debated internally whether or not to call the pediatrician. I knew, though, that the pediatrician would just say it was a virus, to watch her fever, push fluids and if it didn't come down she would need to be seen, perhaps, for a secondary bacterial infection.
I didn't call the doctor and instead waited in that agitated and forced calm way that I remember from my children's infancy. Despite the fact that I've witnessed tens of thousands of enormous seizures and true crisis, fever is still something that brings out the irrational in me and it's all I can do to stifle thoughts of meningitis or viruses that attack the heart and kill you in a flash, etc. etc.
Sophie's fever went down and she woke up this morning without one.
And why the title "contrariness?" I've never mentioned it here, but Sophie has the peculiar characteristic of being free from seizures when she is feverish.