When an Emotional Fever Hits

Illness can be a reaction to what’s happening in my life.

Anna Burgess Yang


A spoon with medicine digital art
Image created via DALL-E 2

The first sign of fever, for me, is always a stiff neck. Before my body even feels warm, the stiff neck will settle in and I can feel the impending weight of illness settle from my neck into my shoulders, and then it spreads to the rest of my body.

Yesterday was different though. By mid-morning I felt the burn of a fever, but nothing else. Taking my temperature revealed a low-grade 100.2. Enough to feel crummy. As the day progressed, no other symptoms appeared.

By evening, I desperately needed to lie down. To make matters worse, my husband had the same fever, the 8-year-old wasn’t feeling well, and the baby had thrown up three times. Made me wonder about the 6-year-old’s ability to fend for himself… My husband said that he would put the baby to bed, and I tucked both of the big kids in at 6:00 pm, telling them “I don’t care if you play or read in your room; just don’t come out and leave me alone.”

I took a Tylenol and within a few hours, the fever had burned off.

Reflecting this morning, I don’t think it was any type of illness. This past week has been rough. I spent two years in therapy after losing my babies, and now that my rainbow baby (a baby born after loss) is 7 months old, I find myself back in therapy again. New therapist, and the first few weeks are always rough. So much ground and history to cover.

I also know from my own past writing that my husband and I were incredibly stressed when our now 6-year-old was around 7 months. There must be something about that age of baby that elevates the pressure. They still need a lot of care, but getting more mobile…. I don’t know.

My husband complained to me this week “I don’t have time to do anything other than work and take care of the kids/house.” I gave him a pointed look and said “It’s the same for me.”

Possible that the fever was a little mini-bug that circulated our house, but I also wonder if it was an “emotional fever.” A fever escalated by a response to the happenings in my life.

Whatever the cause, it made me pause and reflect on self-care. I keep meaning to go back to yoga. I was such a regular practitioner before I became pregnant in November of 2017. Now I haven’t been back since the baby was born. Sometimes I can barely manage to wash my face for the day. Sometimes writing ideas float around in my head and I never manage to commit them to keyboard. It was a reminder to take a break, or find a break in my day, for myself.

I managed to take an Epsom salt bath and finish a writing piece yesterday. Today I feel better. And if I can manage to go to yoga on Saturday, that would be the best.

You can support my work as a writer by becoming a Medium member. Or buy me a coffee!



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur. Niche freelance writer. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. • https://start.annabyang.com/