Winter is here and with it comes illness. The kids at school are dropping like flies in absenteeism. Even us teachers are getting sick. There seems to be no escape from the limitations of our bodies and the ability to fight the onslaught of whatever bugs are going around.
Last Friday I wasn’t feeling well at all but my boss was really sick, so I dragged myself out of bed and went to work. I kept inside most of the time with limited movement and fooled everyone that I was fine. I then went through the grocery shop, packed the stuff away and made supper. All while feeling absolutely awful.
By the next morning I was done. I demanded that Dear Husband give up his normal place in bed and do a switch and make me breakfast. A long time ago when he was courting me he wrote me such a beautiful poem. Anyway one of those lines promised breakfast in bed and I was calling it in. It was time.
And he did it. He made breakfast for all of us. I was so glad. I savoured the moment. And then I made a doctor’s appointment.
The doctor gave me antibiotics, pain tablets and a mouthwash with eight ingredients that was mixed in front of me while I waited. (I was feeling so weak I had to sit down while that was going on). I had a terribly sore throat and over the next few days that mouthwash did the job and healed the pain in my throat.
I got takeaways on the way home and then settled down for a good rest (achieved by putting Nicky in front of the IPad) and getting better.
The next day I noticed that Nicky wasn’t doing too well either. He seemed a bit weak and listless. He is a boy of few words but I could see he wasn’t himself. So off to the doctor we went again.
It turned out that he had a temperature of 38 degrees. When I asked he said his throat was sore too, but at that stage he wasn’t coughing much. It was the sniffy nose that was bothering me (a big sleep disturber) so we got some antibiotics, some stuff for his nose and something else as well.
But both of us were just not doing well at all and, for the first time this year, I missed work on Monday. It was good to rest and recover with Nicky. I forced myself to face a few unpleasant tasks like the dishes which had been piling up since Friday (I just couldn’t wait another day for that) and fighting nausea all the time, I also prepped my lunch food for the week. And then I passed out while Nicky watched one Thomas the Tank Engine YouTube video after another.
That night I got a bit of fright when Nicky urinated blood. His urine had been a bit cloudy over the past day but I did not think much of it. I rushed to phone my mom (the doctor) who said it could wait for the doctor the next day, since he was on antibiotics already.
The next day I went back to work and noticed that the kids in his class were doing a really cool dinosaur theme. They had fun making a scene of dinosaurs, trees and lakes while singing a dinosaur song.
So when we got to the doctor and had the unfortunate task of obtaining a pee sample, I had an idea to get Nicky to co-operate. (He wasn’t keen, despite downing some cooldrink and not having peed since the morning). I told him that unless he peed in the cup, the doctor wouldn’t be able to analyse his pee and make him better so that he could go back to school and learn all about the dinosaurs.
Well, his pee was clear and we were happy. Dr G told us he could even go back to school if he slept and ate well.
So that afternoon I gambled a bit and let him play outside, which, in retrospect, was probably a mistake. Nicky wanted to kick balls and jump on the trampoline. All signs of a boy who was better, but unfortunately that night, he had another bad time coughing and not sleeping well.
He had started puking that evening so I called the maid again to come the next day. (She has been such a star this week)
Wednesday and Thursday he slept a lot during the day and watched a lot of his IPad. He was not well, but he also needed to catch up on sleep when we had bad nights due to a blocked nose. Unblocking a child’s nose when he cannot (or will not) blow his own is a tortuous experience for both mother and child. Especially when you are trying every single spray you have and nothing is helping, even the prescription one. I had the humidifier out too, and the blow heater at different stages.
Thursday night was much better but he was still coughing a lot so I decided to leave him to get better on Friday. (I didn’t think it would be a good idea to be riding around in the cold on his bike for Bike Day, which was our fun activity for that day).
In any case he woke up very very upset that I had left him behind. I could actually feel the emotions, even so far away in my car as I pulled into work. I missed him keenly, and vowed that he would be better for Monday.
I got home and he was playing quite happily on the floor with all his toys. This was definitely a sign of health to me. Yes, he was still coughing a bit, but he was definitely in a better place health wise.
I feel like we have turned a corner and he is definitely a lot better now. Which is good because his birthday is coming up soon and he has to be better for that!
But this whole thing has been its own experience and there are a few things I have noticed after the sickness:
- After spending days in bed watching IPad, he seems to have lost interest in it now and prefers to play. I’m so happy about that, but I don’t expect it to last long. I will enjoy that while it lasts.
- He wants to go to bed earlier. When he was sick I was skipping bath time and just letting him continue to sleep at an early time. Now he gets tired at 5ish so I have to get him in the bath quickly before he passes out. And he is out by 6:30 instead of 7. I’m not sure if this new habit is going to last either but I’d rather have an early bed time than a late afternoon nap.
- Sometimes it is a tough call to decide when your child is too sick to go to school or when they should probably stay home. Perhaps if he was older and writing exams, it would have been a different story, but for now, he is little and we want him to get better as soon as he can and heal this coughing.
- Sometimes just being there is helpful. He stops coughing when I enter the room. I have been sleeping most of the nights with him. My sleep has also been bad but we are on the home straight now.
- Thank God for the maid. She normally comes only twice a week but came the whole week to help us out.
- Thank God for my husband – for the meals and takeaways, that really helped at a time when I just could not cook.
- Thank God for my boss for covering for me when she wasn’t feeling so well herself.
- And mostly thank God for health! I appreciate being better again.
I hope you all have been doing better than us!