Monday, 18 May 2009 - 6:49 pm

Fever fighting

I fell asleep a little while before dawn this morning. It can’t have been more than an hour later when I was woken up by Ben’s hand crashing into my side. He was thrashing around and shouting, delirious.

It took four of us to hold him steady so he wouldn’t hurt himself. Masterson shrugged and said that there wasn’t anything he could do; he didn’t have the medicines for this. We just had to hold on until Ben exhausted himself and fell back into a stupor again. He was restless all day, thrashing one moment and then mumbling the next, never quite still. Never resting.

By the time darkness fell, I felt as wrung out and drained as he looked. From somewhere, he found the energy to howl and thump the bedding up, writhing and sounding like someone was gutting him slowly. Whatever the fever was ripping up inside his head, he was fighting it so hard.

It was louder and more violent than anything Sax did. We were all too shocked to know what to do with Ben and Masterson was still useless. Holding him down just made him twist harder, so we let go for fear of hurting him.

I’ve never felt so helpless before. All I could do was watch and wish for it to stop, and then hope that he wouldn’t stop altogether. I want this to be over but I know that that will mean Ben is dead. I don’t want him to be dead. I don’t know how much more of this I can watch.

He’s quieter now; those awful sounds have stopped curdling in his throat, though he’s still mumbling incoherently. He seems to be calming in stages. I don’t want to see the final stage. I can’t.

I want there to be a day when I don’t end up crying.