The top hat has been sitting on the couch alot this week. That’s because the head it normally accompanies is in bed.
Last Thursday evening I left for a long weekend at Marty’s, 3 hours away. Friday night when I checked in with Ivan he told me he was sick. He forgot I was at Marty’s. He had gotten on the bus that morning, but instead of riding it all the way to school, he got off near my house, feeling all achy. Finding me not at home, he walked the mile back to his dad’s. Earlier in the week, Monday, he had stayed home with a cold. Strange. But his father had been in bed sick the previous week, so I figured he had the same flu.
I kept in touch over the weekend. Sunday night he told me he didn’t think he could go to school on Monday. Really? Don’t you have final exams this week? Yeah. Let me talk to your dad. Yup, still pretty sick. Hmmm…
When I see him on Monday he is noticably thinner than he was just 4 days earlier. I bring him hot soup to eat before I leave for school. Monday night he is with me, tells me he was hot all weekend, spent Sunday in his boxers. “I feel weird” he reports as we lay on my bed watching a movie. Monday night he keeps us both awake with his coughing….
Feels slightly better on Tuesday, but tired, and still no appetite.
All he wants is hot tea with milk and honey.
Tuesday night, less coughing, and he eats some noodles and chicken. I wake him Wednesday morning, thinking surely he’s better now. He says he feels tired. “Hop in the shower, see how you feel after you wake up a bit.” He calls me from the shower. I think he has forgotten to bring a towel in with him. “Can you bring me a chair?” A chair? OK, what’s up? “I feel like puking and I don’t want to leave the bathroom.
It feels like there’s a ball rolling around in my stomach.” Shit!
After sitting for a while, wrapped in towels, he tells me his sheets were wet with sweat all night. I bundle him in his bed and wait two hours for the clinic to open at nine. I call them right at 9, they can see him at noon.
He’s in good spirits, but coughing, his skin and eyes glistening with fever. We drive west, listening to poetry on CD. The doctor examines him and asks questions and listens to his lungs. “Pneumonia. Mainly in his left lung”.
He gets a huge shot of antibiotics in his butt muscle, plus 6 horse-pills to take home. He asks the nurse for a Batman band-aid.
His sense of humor never suffers.
“If he gets any worse, take him to the Emergency Room. The fevers should subside within 2-3 days, bring him in on the 27th and we’ll have another listen to his lungs to make sure we got it all.” Ivan pushes past us, his hand to his mouth, nauseous from coughing.
Now it is Thursday morning. I snuck out for an hour, while Ivan slept, to deliver my final essay to my English teacher. I bought blueberries and cream on the way home, plus a strawberry-banana-Orange juice smoothie for Ivan. Last night he said he’s been craving scones and biscuits, and smoothies. Hot blueberry scones will soon emerge from the oven. I just felt his head. Cool for the first time in seven days.