Fever Fever on the wall….One Mother’s Journey
Caring for my child last weekend with a high fever confronted me with the reality that I have “fever phobia”. A blog I was reading on Dr.Greene.com described me perfectly; basically panicking that the fever my child was exhibiting would somehow be the end of her. Of course as I type this, and as I read that blog, intellectually I know and knew that was pretty much impossible. Let’s face it, she has had several fevers in her life, and they run their course, she gets better, and life continues.
So why the fear? My personal tendencies to fear the worst aside, Dr. Greene, MD, FAAP, spoke of something that was very intriguing, our culture has a long history of fearing fevers. It can be traced back to a time when medicine didn’t have the option for anti-inflammatories or antibiotics, when the sign of a fever in a baby or child signaled the possibility of a serious childhood illness. Ironically, most of us have not known anyone who has died from such fevers. My father had Scarlett Fever, as did his sister, and several of his cousins. Besides him and my aunt, the only other person I know that had complications from Scarlett Fever is Mary from Little House on the Prairie, and I actually only read about her in the book and then of course the TV series.
So even with the data of my own childhood, both of my parents, my husband’s and all of my friends, and all of their children, including my own, the fear of a fever still strikes. I have the wonderful blessing of living during a time and working with brilliant health practitioners in the co-creation and management of this web/blog site. I have used homeopathics successfully. I understand the role of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Recently, Dr. Greene suggested trying and doing more research on the use of tart dried cherries and cherry juice as a fever buster. What a magical time I am living in.
By the way, my daughter, after all the remedy and anti-inflam applications, reading of blogs, texting to Dr. Greene and call with our trusted homeopath Kathy Arnos, slept thru the night fever free, woke up perfectly fine the next morning and was back to school that Monday, playing and laughing with all her friends. I, of course, continue to ponder my reaction, and bought an extra set of batteries for the thermometer.
Sure, fever is a sign of illness and needs to be taken seriously. No doubt. That doesn’t seem to be the problem over at my house, and probably isn’t for most of you reading this. Are any of you wrestling with “fever phobia” too?
*Please always consult with your medical practitioner regarding treatment options for your child.
Alisa Donner, MSW, LCSW
Co-founder Pregnancy Awareness Month®