On Saturday, my son had a fever, but it was not too bad. He was a bit lethargic, but he had a fever. I put him down for his regular nap at 11am and at midday, the strangest of noises came out of his room. A mix of panic and fear, is the best way to describe it.
In his sleep, his temperature had spiked 3 degrees and he was having a Febrile Seizure in front of my eyes. I knew what to do, thankfully, but it was a very real fear for me. In the coming hours, we rushed to the hospital where he was vomiting and was limp. The thoughts that creep through your head are terrible. We are built to imagine the worst-case scenario and it’s not pretty.
My wife and I teamed up like we do and came up with positive plans, worked tirelessly with the doctors and he showed progress quite quickly, sleeping calmly through the night. Unfortunately, he was still pretty much a dead weight in the morning and our fear levels matched those of the doctor and again, you cannot describe the feeling of seeing you child so helpless unless you’ve seen your child so helpless.
I thought I knew fear before, but this was entirely a new experience.
My boy has progressed beautifully since then. The virus attacking his system left him with an inner-ear problem, which is why he was firstly so limp and is now just a little wobbly, but moving swiftly back to being Baby Kong.
Just when I thought I knew how to handle fear, I got taught a lesson. Fear was a big driver for me for a long time.
Fear of failure
Fear of missing out
Fear of myself
Fear of not fitting in
While I will always be a work in progress, I had those things worked out. Then this one showed up and I am not sure there is any getting around this one. We want the best for our kids. When that is in danger, for them to live a normal life running around being kids – that is a fear I had never experienced. Our little man has never been sick but he recently contracted a virus from his play group at the park, then a teething sinus infection and that opened him up to this big daddy virus.
How do you not beat yourself up as a parent?
All the doctors told us we did the right things, over and over, but still….could / should we have done more?!? What could we have prevented? Those are also fears that were unexpected, but should not have, because parental guilt is pretty crazy in the modern age. Not so much for dads but mothers guilt is pretty intense.
Coping with this kind of fear is an unknown to me. I am eternally grateful for a smart, level-headed wife who is the best team mate in the world when it comes to this sort of thing. Any words of advice? Drop me an email on the contact page.