Logo, part 1
Logo, part 2
Zoe Versus A Virus
  Tuesday   October 28, 1997




The Usual Suspects

Well, starting Monday I was going to re-inaugurate this space with a series of entries about my trip to New York, a new entry on a different facet of the trip posted each day to make up for the long break and haphazard posting before it. At least that was the plan, but then a little something with a little something got in the way and this is the first chance I've had to write.

The little something is Zoe, and the little something she has is -- we think -- a virus. Yes, Zoe is sick, which means Daddy is at her beck and call 24/7 until she feels better and beyond. Since I haven't had time to marshall my New York experiences into any kind of coherent narrative, I'll write about Zoe tonight. It is fresh in my mind, after all.

Our first inkling of illness took place on the flight home, about an hour out of Los Angeles. Beth was sleeping in her seat, Zoe was stretched out asleep on the seat between us with her feet on Beth's lap and her head on mine, I was listening to Game 7 of the World Series on an airline headset. Everything was copacetic, then Zoe's head jerked. I looked down and saw that she was vomiting like a fountain. I immediately sat her up, Beth bolted awake, Zoe continued spewing. There was pandemonium for a minute or two, during which Zoe's projectile vomiting narrowly missed the people in the row in front of us, then it was over. Zoe was fine, we were panicked, the stewardesses were polite as they gamely tried to hide their disgust at having an entire row of seats covered with baby puke. Since there were no further outbursts, so to speak, we wrote it off as the stress of travelling.

The next morning Zoe seemed sad. It turned out that she was sick. I went out to run errands and when I came home the nanny told me Zoe felt warm. I took her temperature. 105. Warm was an understatement; she was burning hot. Following advice from her pediatrician, I dunked her in a tepid bath and dosed her with infant Tylenol. That brought the fever down to 102 and Zoe was back to her old self, talking and laughing and tormenting the animals. Three hours later the fever was inching back up again, so it was back in the bath and more Tylenol down the hatch. Again, back down to 102 and the Zoe antics returned. That has been the pattern for the last 36 hours.

I was up every three hours with her last night alternating between giving her Tylenol and Motrin, bouncing her fever down to 102 and up to 104.6. It got as low as 101.8 this afternoon, but that's the best it's been. Zoe's been a real trouper through all of it. When her fever's up she doesn't want to do much but lie down or sit in my lap, and when it's down she doesn't want to do much but run around the house like a banshee or torment our animals or go down the block to play with the neighbor's cats. The only times she's cried is when I wake her up to check her temperature or put her in a cool bath. She's been the epitome of stoic. I wish I were half that calm when I'm half that sick...and I'm sure Beth wishes that, too.

We've been on the phone with the pediatrician several times about this, but the docs don't seem to think Zoe needs to be seen. They say it sounds like a virus and if we control the fever everything will be fine in a day or so. Maybe so, but if things don't turn around by tomorrow we're taking her in anyway. In the meantime Zoe's being the best damned sick baby I've ever seen, which is just more proof that she is, indeed, the perfect child.

So that's the deal here for right now. I'll be putting up those New York entries soon, but here's a few teasers to tide you over until I do: Lifestyles of the rich and famous...a suite at the Four Seasons Hotel...large cash gifts...Zoe's shopping spree at F.A.O. Schwartz...celebrity sightings...stalked by Rudy Giuliani...$24,000 for a watch???...L.A. is a town with no culture.

Stay tuned.

Oh, I almost forgot. Tomorrow is highlighted on the chuck'stake calendar because tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be 35. Feel free to send condolences.




Copyright 1997
Chuck Atkins