My Great Enemy

I once watched something. I’m trying hard not to say movie just so you don’t turn away. I promise to try my best and make this piece as interesting as possible without sounding like a Doctor F.Mwambi. So in this something I was watching, there was a woman in her late twenties who was burning up, well,  not literary. They never said what was ailing her. They simply pointed a horse pipe at her and let the water hit her.

She obviously had a fever and I support the horse pipe idea considering they were in a ranch in the Spanish…..

I am not saying that’s the way to go. what I am saying is that under whatever circumstances fever catches you, be it in a matatu, on the railway tracks, or even in an interview room, your top priority should be to cool it off. I don’t care if you dip your head in a toilet bowl. Kill that fever.

I never joke with fevers. Ever since we met, (fever and I), we swore never to stand in the same spot. We do not see eye to eye. Neither do we sneer at each other. There’s no time. We go straight into battle…and I always win.

My husband was having a chat one morning with his colleague. I wasn’t there but the story he shared with me later in the day caused my heart a lot of anguish. That previous night his colleague,  and his wife went to bed a happy family. Not long into the night, their six month old son was attacked by the enemy; the fever. Innocently unaware, they helplessly watched their baby snivel in pain till morning. I can almost picture them peering at the little boy in wonder and awe as he winced and yelped for help. They knew it was the fever but didn’t know what this fever was really up to. Lucky for them, Fever must have realized it was fighting a child already down and tapping out.

Baby did not get convulsions. Yes, to you all who imagine that fever is as minute as snipping your finger with a nail cutter, get more creative. Convulsions damage brain cells and if not controlled, they can easily turn you into a cabbage. I am not a guru…I wouldn’t mention it if I were anyway.

I have a similar episode. At two years old, my Pesh got a fever one night. As the chap chap mom I feel I am, I rushed for my trusted Calpol and fed her one spoon. Half an hour later, her temperature shot higher. I didn’t panic; I took a bowl of warm water and damped her for the next thirty minutes till I got convinced she could go through the night. She did. However the following day, it recurred. Fevers have this nasty habit of visiting in the witchy hours. I used my trusted Calpol again and damped her, this time for an hour. It didn’t get better. I thought she would explode into a million pieces. Picture a glowing balloon that grows bigger and bigger as it gets incited by heat from within. At some point it will cease from being elastic and blow up! That thought made me rush little Pesh to hospital. She was confused and agitated, talking as though she were asleep. She wasn’t clear with her words. She kept insisting that I carry her even while she sat on my lap.

At the hospital, doc asked what painkiller I was using. Quickly, I pulled out my trusted Calpol and held it high enough to see. “I have been using this ever since she was 2 weeks old” I announced proudly. Doc wore a glum face. ‘What?’ I went on slowly trailing off my smile into a worried look. Doc calmed me down and assured me all was well…that was before he told me Calpol was a painkiller used for children below one year.


He subscribed a stronger painkiller for Pesh and accompanied them with suppositories. He gave me a few pointers that I thought to share with you today, if only to show you how to keep the fever away.

1) The most important thing is to keep the fever down; we’ll seek its cause later, just kill the fever.

2) As a mother…or dad, always keep a thermometer at a close range. If it’s not on your budget, don’t panic. Always check your child for high temperature by feeling his/her forehead, with your hand.

3) Dress your child lightly to help lose the heat.

4) Always keep painkiller syrup for such emergency cases.

5) Always damp the body with luke-warm water to help cool it off.

6) Never wait till morning if the temperature doesn’t go down. Fine baby’s body is fighting something but we can always find that out later, once we have handled the fever.

That said, watch out for this monster and let’s keep our children healthy. Have jolly one, friends!

1 thought on “My Great Enemy”

  1. Last week my 11 month old son had fever. I stopped functioning. There is nothing as bad as having an unwell child. Everything else ceases to exist. I wouldn’t wish it even on my worst enemy. He had a throat infection. Oh, and thanks for letting me know about the Calpol for under 1 year! Didn’t know that either.

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