Fever Fairy

Lucas has been sick all week and still is sick. Today we took him to the urgent-care doctor, who determined he has a lung infection and asthma because of it. We now have medicines to treat both. And now Asher has a fever, too.

On Thursday night, after the fourth solid day of fever, I got creative. More about that in a minute. 

There is a whole school of Athroposophical medicine, of which I am largely ignorant. I know a couple of key points, however, and have an uneasy relationship to them. One key point is the idea that fever is one of the body’s main ways of purging itself of unwanted substances, i.e. viruses and bacteria. People who subscribe to this theory recommend not suppressing a fever with drugs, but say we should instead simply provide supportive care and allow the fever to run its course. The supportive care stuff is somewhat familiar (and seems natural/reasonable to me), and somewhat alien. Lemon leg compresses are not the stuff I was raised on.

Over the course of the past week, Ian and I have waffled a bit. Sometimes we gave Lucas ibuprofen to suppress his fever so he could feel better. When his eyes get glassy and he stops moving and talking, I begin to worry. Whenever we dosed him, he felt much better and was able to play and be more himself (still sick, but more himself). When he wasn’t that hot, we let him be in the hopes that he’d rest and get rid of the bug. Now I kind of wonder if dosing him may have prolonged the sickness, given that he was far more active with the ibuprofen in his system. Perhaps he overtaxed his impaired body during those times.

I am so not a doctor, and often have a hard time separating the health info/advice I have stored in my noggin into appropriate True, False, or Complete Bullshit categories.

Anyway … In an effort to distract him and keep him still, I made him a felted Fever Fairy. (Yes, I made her. With. My. Hands. You may rightly gasp with amazement now.) So. A Fever Fairy. She is adorned in fiery colors and is made entirely of wool roving (with a single pipe-cleaner inside for structure). I named her Scarlett (OK, that part wasn’t very creative) and gave her to Lucas, telling him that Fever Fairies are special friends who visit children who are sick and feverish. 

The job of a Fever Fairy is to keep sick children company and to whisper soothing things to them. Fever Fairies stay by their side as long as the children are sick, then disappear. But whenever a child needs a rest and some quiet time, he may call to his Fever Fairy and she will come to him and whisper soothing words and cuddle him.  

I told Lucas a story about a sick little boy and Scarlett, the Fever Fairy. Every time the boy became sick while he was growing up, Scarlett came to him and kept him company. She reminded him of all the cooling things in the world, like the sweet taste of ice-cold water, the many flavors of ice-cream, swimming in summertime, the feeling of snowflakes falling on his cheek and raindrops on his skin. She told him he would get well and feel better soon and that she loved him very much. Scarlett came to him when he was a boy, and a teenager, and a grown-up man, and even an old man—whenever he was sick. And each time she visited, the boy always felt better. Her sweet words helped his fever come down. They were forever friends.

Lucas has slept with Scarlett since then and held her while resting on the couch. I don’t know if this is an original idea or not, but I’ve never heard about anyone else doing it. Either way, his Fever Fairy has distracted him a little. And for that, I’m grateful. 


And now, we’re off to do some face-painting. He wants a teddy bear on his cheek.

One Response to “Fever Fairy”

  • childofeos
    April 1, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    S: Sometimes you make me cry (happy tears) with how tender and loving you are with your family. Thank you for always bringing a bright spot and smile to my day. Hugs, AK


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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