We thought he wasn’t sleeping because he was excited. We were all excited. The limousine was arriving at 8 am to whisk us away to the airport for Edward’s Make-a-Wish trip to New York City. So we were excited. But as he lay in the bed next to me at 3 am, not sleeping, I could feel the heat radiating off of his skin. I put him back in his bed, attempting complete denial as my wife took over for a few hours. She woke me back up at 5 am to trade again. He still wasn’t sleeping, he definitely had a fever, and now he was saying that his ear hurt. Disaster. After tubes, surgeries, and years of being in the clear, the ear infection had struck again.
So what do we do? Cancel the trip? Postpone the trip? Be bad parents and take a sick kid with an ear problem onto an airplane? I sat on the couch, groggy and half-asleep, trying to kick my brain into gear as he watched episode after episode of Inspector Gadget. I had the pediatrician’s cell phone number. She was the one who had recommended us to Make-a-Wish in the first place; surely she would come to our rescue? But it was 6 am. I can’t call our pediatrician’s home cell number at 6 am. Can I?
At 6:40 I pulled Edward into the car and drove to urgent care, which opened at 7. We sat there until someone else walked up, at which point we jumped out and sat down on the cold sidewalk in front of the door. We had to be first. And we were first. Even so, it was 7:30 before we saw a doctor, who explained that there was redness, but not swelling. It might go away on its own. But if the fever spiked again, we needed the antibiotics. He sent them over to the pharmacy and we raced out of there at 7:40, only to find that the pharmacy did not open until 8. Right when our limo was supposed to arrive. I waited until 7:50, hoping for an early pharmacist (we know them all personally at this point) and then I gave up and went home.
My wife gave me some good news. The car wasn’t coming until 8:30. I could run back to the pharmacy. That was when the urgent care doctor called. He had rushed us out of there without looking at Edward’s medical history, but having now seen it he wanted to let us know that the antibiotics would lower the seizure threshold, making a seizure more likely during what was sure to be one of the most physically stressful (think excitement, exhaustion, general travel stuff) weeks of his life. Nope. We were not doing that. We were just going to pray that his fever, which had gone for the moment, was not going to come back. And then the limo pulled up.
We got into a limousine, many of us for the first time ever, and we drove off to the Make-a-Wish offices where we were going to be sent off, although we did not know what that meant. Imagine our surprise when, as we pulled into the driveway, we saw Batman pull in after us in the Batmobile. This was very surprising, but Edward ran right up to the caped crusader and gave him a big hug.
That was when Iron Man pulled up in his town car.
It was great to have his two favorite superheroes show up to send him off, but they weren’t done yet! When we got inside, we found Spider-Man, Captain American, Star-Lord, and Captain Marvel waiting for us as well! And after some pictures and some partying (Star Lord gave Edward his Guardians patch, right off of his jacket!), the superheroes all got into the limo with us on our way to the airport. Well, most of them. Batman followed in the Batmobile of course, and Iron Man couldn’t quite fit into the back with all that armor, so he rode shotgun.
When we got to the airport we found television camera crews and plenty of airport people ready to help send us on our way. They checked us right in, helped us to security, and then we got free breakfast at The Skinny Pancake (a standing offer of theirs for Wish families) and VIP boarding from Jet Blue. In fact we got on so first, that Edward and Ruby got to hang out in the cockpit with the pilot for a while, and then Ruby got to make the safety announcement from the back of the plane. Epic.
When we landed we found another limo waiting for us, ready to whisk us away to our hotel in Herald Square. From there we had no plans for the rest of the day, so we headed out to Central Park to ride the carousel, play on one of the playgrounds, and generally relax. Edward’s fever did not return (though we were ready to fill that prescription in New York if we needed to), and we even found, just a few blocks from our hotel, a restaurant specializing entirely in grilled cheese. So it was basically Edward’s perfect day.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about the snakes. Sorry. There were just too many adventures. I’ll tell you about the helicopters tomorrow. For today, another huge thank you to everyone involved in Edward’s wish send-off, from Vermont Comicon and Skinny Pancake, to Jet Blue and Make-a-Wish (and probably twenty other groups I don’t know about). It really was perfect.