Today was another record breaking day at the Hammond house. The record that was broken was in the medical category, and you know it has to be spectacular if it is going to surpass any of our previous medical highs (or lows, depending on your point of view). In fact, before today I would have thought this particular record was unbeatable. I clearly underestimated the abilities of my daughter Alexandra. I should know better by now!
On Christmas Eve of 2000 Alexandra managed to get sick. Make that very sick. While the turkey was roasting in the oven, Alexandra was baking on the couch. When her temperature hit 105F (40.5C) I knew she was in trouble and I rushed her into emergency. I will spare you the details of that less than memorable night. The point is it was the highest I had ever seen that thermometer register, and I assumed I would never see it reach that mark again. I held that assumption right up until last night, when she managed to tie her own previous best in the "personally baked" category of illnesses.
Never one to shrink from a challenge, this afternoon she managed to shatter the previous record and come sizzling in at a toasty 105.8F (41C). After a couple of hours of IV fluids at the local hospital emergency department she started to become coherent again and asked what can happen if your temperature gets too high. I pointed out that if it had gone any higher she could have ended up like our cat Emily, who spent an expensive 5 days at the vet hospital last spring with a high fever and some sort of infection. Ever since that illness she has been acting strangely, clearing having toasted a few neurons. For instance, she will go up to the screen door and make horrible yeowing noises for hours at a time. I am not exaggerating- hours of yeowing. If you were going to pick a cat sound to invoke the same response as a fingernail on a chalkboard this would be the front runner.
Alexandra is home now, feeling somewhat better, and because she is feeling better that means I am too. That's how it works when you are a mom. So now I am headed to bed, thankful on many fronts, not the least of which is that I live in a country where I don't have to worry about what this evening cost, or how much my insurance might cover. The sum total of my bill was a $3.50 charge for parking. Which is exactly $959.50 less than it cost me to treat the cat.