The brink

I am ready to talk about it. The edge. It’s easier on your way back. This week, the same week that saw our country reflect on the atrocities at Sharpeville in 1960, I thought we were going to lose her. It started innocently enough. On Monday it seemed she woke up with the blues on the crabby side of the bed. She was extra clingy and irritable. Refused her water and cheese. Odd. I put it all down to teething. Later that morning, nana called to say I should come home because baby was not well. I was stuck out of town on an assignment, so I arranged for her to be seen by the doctor. He diagnosed a throat infection and put her on a course of antibiotic, warning us to expect fever while prescribing something for this eventuality. Tuesday she woke up with a high fever. She was listless. We gave her the meds, sponged her down, and she eventually settled. Later, I put her in her cot, while I got ready for work. I found her crying exactly where I left her. Odd. So I decided to stay home with her and give her some TLC. We monitored her temp, and it improved after a sponge bath. She managed her meals and even perked up enough to play a bit. She seemed to be getting better. She slept right through the night. Good sign, I thought, we are over the worst! Woke up with a fever. But this time she was more listless. We gave her the meds and something for pain. Her porridge made her gag, but she managed some cold custard. She didn’t want to play, she slept on my chest for two hours. She was burning hot when she woke up. The paed told us to prepare for admission and we took her straight to hospital. She had no energy. She was barely able to hold her doll, kai, her head lolling to one side in the carseat. But she managed to sing along to her favourite nursery rhyme cd. The paed mentioned that there are three strains of viruses filling up the childrens wards. She mentioned meningitis. It did not register. I focussed in on the one that sounded like the flu (that’s what she has! We will be home by Friday!). Doc sent us away to draw the blood etc. They called

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