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Kool-Aid and Motrin. Day 487.

“Max threw up again,” Roger said. “We should check his temperature.”

It was still high. So was Sam’s. “I think we should take them to the doctor.”

The boys were around four and one, and they had been sick for a couple days with some type of stomach virus. My concern was morphing into terror.

I called the doctor and they didn’t have any appointments left, so we packed them and Tyler into the van and left for Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital. Once we got there, we walked in fast, then checked them in.

“The wait is a few hours,” the corpsman said.

“They need to be seen now,” I said.

“I’m sorry ma’am. We will call you when it’s time,” he said flatly.

We found a few chairs that were empty and sat in the sun-drenched waiting room amongst other sick babies and lots of young men with short hair. My stomach was in great big knots. I had to do something.

I put Max on my hip and marched to the swinging emergency room doors, found a nurse and said, “They need to be seen now. They are lethargic and dehydrated.”

She took one look at Max and her face softened. Roger was behind me holding Sammy, and Tye stood next to him silently.

They gave them each Motrin and Tylenol, which eventually lowered their fevers, and some good advice to give them one juice box strawful of Kool-Aid every five minutes because their little bodies would be more able to absorb the smaller amount. Also, at the time I didn’t know you could mix the two medicines, and I believed real juice was better.

I’m usually a quiet person, not one to bring attention to myself in a crowd or to be loud amongst others, but this is one time I was done being quiet. I was terrified for my little boys, and nobody was going to tell me to sit down.

Now that the boys are adults and capable of taking care of themselves, I would surely and swiftly charge through doors for them still and forever.

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