Friday, April 6, 2012
Footprints On the Ceiling and Ants On the Floor
My daughter fell asleep on the front chair, something that almost never happens. I assumed she had a busy day and since she is a grownup 5 year old now and doesn't take naps, she was just worn out. However when she woke up an hour later just as I was getting reading to put her to bed, she seemed a little confused. Never the less, she let me carry her up to her bedroom.
Despite the fact that she was wearing a long sleeved shirt and jeans, I could feel the heat emanating from her body and suspected as I was carrying her up that she may have a fever and not merely tired. That still didn't prepare me for what happened when I laid her in her bed and told her that I would be back in a second to take her temperature. She started screaming about the footprints on the ceiling. I came rushing back and followed her pointing but failed to see any footprints so I asked her again thinking I might have misunderstood her. Again she said in a very scared voice that their were footprints on the ceiling.
I started panicking because now I new she was sick. She was burning up with a fever and hallucinating. Not good. I tried to make a dash for the bathroom where the medicine and thermometer resides but every time I got more than a step away, she started yelling about the footprints on the ceiling. I calmed her down as best as I could and said the footprints weren't going to hurt her and that I needed to get the medicine to make her better. So I quickly dashed out of the room leaving my poor daughter whimpering in bed.
Back with the thermometer, I checked her temperature which was 101.5 degrees! Yikes. I dosed her with medicine and started putting cold wet wash clothes on her forehead to force her fever down. I kept rotating the wash clothes because her head was so hot that after a minute on her head, they were steaming hot. I was frantically trying to call a good doctor that I know, my wife, but she was on call and as I found out later, tending to a much sicker patient. Finally after about a half hour, the fever started falling and my daughter fell to sleep. By morning, the fever would be gone and she would be back to her normal self. I asked her about the footprints on the ceiling and she remembered them and told me matter of factly that they must have been in her imagination. I reassured her that sometimes that happens when we are sick. Of course, I knew better by then.
According to our family doctor, my wife, it is not uncommon for some kids to hallucinate when they have a high fever and it isn't something to worry about unless your child starts convulsing. Then you need to worry. Fortunately my daughter never did that so all is well. It is funny though, because as I write this, memories of my childhood come back and I just remembered a particular instance when my brother had a high fever and started hallucinating about ants crawling all over the floor. Chalk up yet another thing inherited to my daughter.