I missed my last weekend’s letter because of Andrew’s illness. It was not serious, but required that he be in the hospital for four days. A virus that produces nausea, diarrhea and fever has hit the little ones hard in this area, and they are hospitalized and put on IV’s to prevent dehydration… I stayed with him during the days and Elaine stayed nights, except for Sunday night, when I relieved her and stayed overnight. There were heart-wrenching scenes when he would be strapped or subjected by various devices for x-rays, IV’s and so forth. His temperature was taken rectally every several hours round the clock, and for most of the time he wasn’t eating or drinking, so was receiving the liquids via the IV, which required that his arm be strapped to a board and be heavily taped, so the needle and tubing would not come out. He was precious, and tried to take it all with good humor, but was frightened a lot as any baby would be and needed much comforting. Until Sunday he was tired most of the time and either dozed or lay fairly listlessly in bed. He had toys, balloons, etc. and we would play with him when he was in the mood. It’s so sad to see a toddler down, and it’s so good to see him back to normal… I think he’s still recovering, seems to need more rest than usual, but he’s eating and drinking normally and seems to have most of his energy back. I hope he never has to go through that again. I experience such deep empathy with him that it’s an ordeal to see him suffer in any way. His IV went bad on Sunday and I watched the nurses try four times to start the new one before they were successful. He was crying and saying, “Get down, pees, get down, pees” over and over. Several of the nurses were touched by how he says “pees” whenever he asks for something. I was up almost all night Sunday while he slept, then was up for several hours. I got a good piece of my translation of “The Drunken Boat” done that night. I lack about 8 stanzas to finish.
[JMN, Correspondence, 1987, Copyright (c) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.]
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