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April

News Bulletin: Febrile hallucinations are no fun for anyone.

So the part about last night I didn't want to talk about until she was better was that April was suffering from febrile hallucinations. She woke up screaming in pure panic, crawling over her sister trying to get away from spiders. After that, every spot was a moving spider. A mole on my arm was a spider. A stain on the floor was a spider. She felt spiders on her body and screamed. A lot. She could hear the spiders buzzing behind the couch, although she later told me they must be bees because spiders don't buzz and I cannot tell you how weirdly relieved I was by that statement.

I think I could have handled it better if there hadn't been a Do Something! expectation attached to said hallucinated spiders. Mommy removes real spiders from the house, after all. But I don't know how to Do Something about spiders that aren't there.* Instead I get that sick and tight feeling in my sternum, and that vivid plunging sensation that's not at all captured by the cliche "my heart sank." I offered cuddles a lot. For both of us. I let the night nurse talk me out of rushing to the hospital. I imagined how much worse her hallucinations might be with the added sensory input of a house vibrated by jackhammers in the basement. I cuddled some more.

She's fine now. Her fever broke somewhere in the morning. Today has been all about temporary tattoos (she has a spider on her ankle now to protect her from "real" spiders), Legos, stickers, and running laps around the house. She's not even sniffling any more.


* Next time I will try role-play and see if it works.

Comments

Oh, wow. Yes, role-playing capturing the spiders might work.

When my granddaughters were small, they both had a fear of spiders, a fear somewhat alleviated by observing that every adult they knew would remove spiders from the house immediately. At some point, they came up with an elaborate game wherein they'd wave their hands frantically but purposefully in front of themselves, shout, "I can't get my spider!" and then laugh themselves silly. They were never able to explain the game to any of the adults, in part because they laughed too hard, but after that, spiders seemed to be less of a threat.

This is not a repeatable method of curing spider fear, because the small girls came up with it themselves and thoroughly forgot it soon thereafter. At this point, it's something only the adults remember (I asked recently). I believe that your small girls are as resourceful as our small girls.
Jesus, how scary.
It was pretty intense. I think I may have leveled up in parenting again.

Dude.

Yes. I'd panic if a tiny person under my care was going through this.

So glad to hear the fever broke and she's feeling better! For everyone involved.
That sounds so scary, both for you and for April. Glad to hear that you're both doing better today.
No worries, it translated correctly, and thanks for checking anyway.
Oh, scary! So glad she is fine and was fine so quickly.

The temporary tattoo for protection sounds so smart!