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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Do You Have a Temperature?


Do You Have a Temperature?


What is the first question asked when you are feeling poorly?

“Is it Covid?”

Ok these days that is the first question, but after that it is,

“Do you have a temperature?”

There is a test for Covid, taking your temperature is not so easy.

Back in the day there were those mercury thermometers that only adults could read.  If you were normal that thin metallic line would stop at 98.8…every time.  Ninety-nine; you had a fever.  One-hundred you stayed in bed.  Those thermometers were dead accurate, and 98.8 was normal for almost the whole world.

Lately the rules have changed.  Now normal body temperature can be from 95 to 99.  How and why dd that change?

To make things even worse, today’s thermometers all vary by two or more degrees.  Those forehead and ear things can beep at 95 degrees one day and 96.5 the next. 

Normal body temperature is a crap shoot.

Last week I was feeling poorly.  Not Covid, I was tested (I am not an animal).  Just stuffy, congestion and I felt like a fever.  Chills and sweating usually indicate a fever.

So, Mrs. C brought out the forehead thermometer. 

“Ninety-five point 4, your fine.”

“Fine! Isn’t a low temperature also bad?”

“It says 95-99 is a normal range.”


Days later I was over the stuffy nose and chest congestion but I really felt crappy.  Mrs. C took my temperature with a new under the tongue electronic thing. 

“Ninety-eight point five…normal.”

“What the hell, how is 98.5 normal when the other day 95.4 was normal? If 95.4 is normal then I am three degrees above normal! I need to stay home from school!”

“You don’t go to school you old fool!”

“See, I am delirious from fever.”

“Oh, your fine, you can’t trust these new thermometers.”

So, there you have it, one of the most trustworthy measures of your well-being no longer has any measure of accuracy.  Makes me wonder what the hell good were all those forehead tests to enter a building during Covid.

What happened to those old mercury things that you had to shake down before using, and the time under the tongue was measured by Mom’s,

“That should be long enough.”

These days the hand on the forehead and

“I don’t know, feels kind of hot to me.”

Is more accurate than that electronic crap.


BTW, this morning feeling much better, 96.4. Is that normal?


  1. dd should be did and your should be you're but I am too lazy to go back and correct.

  2. Glad you're feeling better, but not sure i would call you "normal!" I still have one of those mercury thermometers, and I can still read it! The "normal" arrow is at 98.6. To be sent home from school with a fever, a student (or teacher!) needed a temp one full degree above normal, or higher. So the cut-off was 99.6. Less than that, no escape from school.

    What about those ear thermometers? I had one for my kids, with little plastic thingies to put over the end. They had a lower reading for "normal," but I don't remember what. You could also use a digital readout thermometer in a kid's armpit. Of course you had to pin their arm down for the allotted time. I didn't use the "mom hand" technique. I could see when the edges of my boys' ears turned red that they were running a fever. I imagine they would have liked being "shot" with those forehead thermometers.

  3. If you want accuracy - use a rectal thermometer!
    My normal is 97.6. So if I get a 98 that is a fever for me.

    1. Careful ... do you know the difference between a rectal and mouth thermometer? The taste!

      Praying for you, Joe my friend. Keep smiling and God bless you.

  4. Glad you're feeling good now and I had what you had but didn't test for Covid because I don't really care anymore. I'm over it because Jack was sick as a dog a few months ago and tested negative for Covid even though he had all the symptoms. A week later I got it only not as bad. I tested positive! No Way! Not sure I trust the test or the thermometers. Some years ago our hospital had an exchange program where you could exchange your mercury thermometers for a new digital one. They don't make the mercury ones anymore. Stay safe and healthy out there!

  5. You can get an oral thermometer, but not with mercury in it. They have another substance in there which is supposed to react the same as the mercury and be just as accurate. Who knows if it is, though.

  6. I always thought "normal" was 98.6 but as long as my yemperature isn't 0 or over 100 I'll be fine.

  7. I always felt that taking temperatures was useless, unless it’s a young child or baby. And even then, the doctors act as though a fever is good because it means the body is fighting and doing its job.

  8. I spent a lot of money on a new digital thermometer. Used it once. A few months later needed to use it again and was kaput. Yes, the old mercury ones were definitely the best! Failing that, the Mother Touch Test!

  9. fever or not but "feverish " has hardly left me alone throughout the life but i had first mom then hubby to hold wrist and check if it is fever or not .i went to doc only when water crossed over head and that was 102 or 104 then

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