Health and wellbeing

When sickness strikes

I’ve been away for a few days.  The more eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed the longer than normal gap since my last post, the silence on twitter, facebook etc.  You see, last Saturday, Saturday 2 June, marked the start of 9 days off work; 9 whole days to devote to my children.  Last Saturday, Saturday 2 June, also ended up being my last ‘healthy’ day for 6 days. 


Sod’s law isn’t it?

Instead of being at the mercy of my children (for which I could not wait), I found myself at the mercy of a nasty virus; a brain-pounding, bone-aching, searingly painful virus.

Awesome.

It had all been going so well.  With my husband at work over the weekend, my children and I had been making the most of our time together.  Although housebound due to the gloomy, wet weather and having no car at our disposal (my husband had needed it for work), we had used every inch of the house to play, draw, paint, cuddle up to watch films…you get the idea.  It was bliss.

But, on Sunday evening, I felt the onset of ‘something’ creeping over me.  Slowly, persistently but increasingly I felt cold and my bones began to ache.  I knew what would be but I didn’t want it to happen.  I wanted to enjoy my time off with my children not mope around the house for a couple of days like a zombie trying to oversee 2 small people with a bucket-load of energy whilst feeling incredibly sorry for myself.  So, I dosed myself up with some appropriate medicine and took myself off for an early night.  I hoped that I’d managed to head whatever it was off at the pass.

Monday morning came.  I opened my eyes tentatively and felt what seemed like a jolt of ten,000 volts slam into the centre of my forehead.  I could hear William awake in his room but I couldn’t focus my eyesight to even see the bedroom door.  With a painfully throbbing head, I swung my aching legs out of bed and stood…but only for a second.  I crashed back onto the bed, light-headed and feeling faint.  I could hear William. I wanted to get to him, take him downstairs for his breakfast, but I could hardly move.  I stood again and, clinging onto the bed, dressing table, wall etc. I made it to the bedroom door.

I decided that the best thing to do next was to try and make my way downstairs (the last thing I wanted to do was scoop William into my arms to then crumble whilst walking down the stairs).  I managed it…just. I started to sweat, becoming ever hotter until I thought I’d pass out from the heat.  I started seeing shapes in front of my still-not-fully-focused eyes and my head began to swim.  So I did the only thing I could do – crawl to the coolest place in the house.  That place happens to be the tile floor in our downstairs bathroom so there I lay for 5 whole minutes, unable to move for fear of fainting.

The thought of William, still awake in his cot, spurred me to move.  I had to give him his breakfast.  I slowly got to my feet and made my way back up the stairs and into William’s bedroom.  He greeted me with a wide, happy smile and I could have cried.  I didn’t want to go near him for fear of giving him what I had but I needed to feed him, change his nappy, get him dressed…

We got downstairs and I found the strength to get him into his highchair and make him his porridge.  I’d done the most difficult part, or so I thought.  I hardly had the strength to lift the spoon to William’s mouth and kept feeling faint.  I didn’t want to wake my husband because he had been working 14 hour days for the last few days and, understandably, he was completely exhausted (he didn’t know I had felt unwell the evening before).

But, I knew I needed help – William deserved his breakfast for crying out loud – so, in desperation, I called my mother-in-law.  In minutes she was at my back door and, no word of a lie, she was my saviour that morning.

She looked after Olivia and William for me until my husband’s alarm went off and he woke up.  He couldn’t quite believe the sight that greeted him – a pale, quivering, shivering, sweating wife – but didn’t have to think twice about re-organising his working day so that he could be at home with me.  I love that man.

For those of you who know me (and I mean really know me like in real life and stuff) will know that I value my independence.  I can do things well enough on my own thank you very much and so I normally struggle through illness, tiredness or anything else that might come my way.  For me to acknowledge that I need help is a big thing indeed and goes to show just how poorly I must have been feeling.

Anyway, that was Monday morning.  By Monday afternoon, William had begun to show signs of a temperature.  By Tuesday, my husband had caught my virus.  By Thursday, Olivia had developed an ear infection.

It’s been one of those weeks.

Thankfully, William’s temperature was successfully managed with Calpol (I love that stuff!) and it came down within 2 days.  He has a lingering cough now which is par for the course but otherwise seems fine.

Yesterday was my first day since last Saturday of feeling fully well and my husband is now back to full health too.  The doctor diagnosed us both with a virus and said all we could do is take paracetamol and ‘wait it out’.  The worst part of it all was an intensely sore throat which made it almost impossible to swallow and got much worse before it got better.  Thank God it got better.

Olivia’s on antibiotics for her ear infection and seems absolutely fine, which is a relief.

It can be one thing caring for a sick child but something totally different when your entire household succumbs to illness.  There are no sick days as a parent, even when we feel like we’ve lain down in the middle of the road and had a huge Range Rover drive over us repeatedly, back and forth.  So, how do you cope when sickness strikes?

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