Night Owls / by Susie Lubell

Owls
Night Owls, acrylic and pastel on wood panel

I painted this the morning after I'd taken my daughter to the ER when her fever hit 105. They checked her out and, besides the fever, there appeared to be nothing wrong. The ibuprofen hadn't worked earlier so they gave her Tylenol which brought the fever down to 99 and they discharged us. The next morning she was weak but her fever was still down. I went back for the last day of my art workshop and this image of a mama owl and her baby emerged. I checked in with Mr. Rosen every few hours the rest of the day and her fever continued to rise, though never passing 103. Then she started complaining of chest pain. When I got home she looked gray. Her breathing was super rapid and very shallow. But of course by now we were nearing night, when all things medical become extra scary because nothing is open and no one is available. She and I were up much of that night too. She came into our room around 3am asking for medicine so I knew it was bad. She has never willingly taken medication. She finally fell asleep on the floor by our bed with her panting breath and I was basically on watch the rest of the night.

I took her to urgent care the next morning and her xray confirmed what I had suspected. Pneumonia. She got a shot of antibiotics in the tush, affirming her disdain for medication, and we met my husband and son at a motel near our house because the painters had already arrived. Our plan had been to drive down on Monday to be at my mom's for the week while our house was painted in preparation for sale. But not with this sick baby owl. So we set up shop at the Tropicana Lodge and spent the day in and out of sleep while Mr. Rosen and junior continued moving our stuff into storage. Another restless night.

Finally Tuesday morning we saw her pediatrician. The antibiotics were working. She was getting her coloring back and had an appetite. I filled the rest of the prescription (I will spare you the story of how she then refused to take her oral medication saying she'd rather have another shot in her ass followed by the hour and half negotiation that ensued when I said, among many other equally ridiculous things, that she should be grateful her medicine tastes like strawberries because when I was a girl the medicine tasted like gasoline.) By noon we were medicated and on our way to Grandma's. 

She's getting better everyday and I'm happy for an excuse besides my laziness to not take them to Disneyland. Thanks everyone for your well wishes. xo