Belfast Mum – March 18

Belfast Mum – March 18

Belfast Mum – March 18

There is a point in all parents’ lives where everything seems to just fall apart, and that point occurs when a child gets sick and the fragile house of cards we call our ‘routine’ comes crashing down around us, leaving everyone scrambling for air, time, and sleep.

Now I know that many parents are dealing with children who are very seriously ill, and I cannot imagine how they cope. It’s amongst the worst things I can think of, and my heart goes out to them all. For the purposes of this column though, I’m just talking about those relatively minor childhood ailments that require frequent changes of sheets, buckets by the bed, and more Calpol than you can shake a stick at.

Last month, we had a real doozy of a week which started when child 2 got her pre-school jabs. It wasn’t the jabs’ fault – I’m not anti-immunisation, but I wish I’d known that she was going to come down with a stomach bug on the evening of the day she got her injections. The doctor did ask if she was well before administering the immunisations, and the thing was, she was well and hadn’t been sick. But kids can go from absolutely fine to feverish and grouchy in a matter of minutes and that’s what happened to us…

By the evening we were cleaning up sick, taking temperatures, changing bed-linen and facing the grim prospect of little-to-no sleep for the night. And the following night. And the night after that. My husband had to go to work, while I juggled leave and working from home. The poor child barely ate for a week, and was tired and listless as her poor immune system fought to get over the stomach bug whilst trying to create the correct antibodies to respond to the diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus jabs.

And then after all that, just when she seemed to be getting a little better, came the symptoms of threadworms… Is there anything out there that makes you feel more unclean? I felt like we should have someone walking in front of us with a bell… In reality the house had never been cleaner as there was so much disinfectant doing the rounds, and the sheets were seeing much more of the washing machine than usual. But we all took our tablets, boiled the towels and sheets and within a day or two, things got better. She started to sleep through the night again, and one morning got up and chomped her way through 4 bowls of rice crispies for breakfast. Gradually we’ve caught up on sleep, replenished the stock of Calpol, given the washing machine a couple of days off and life has gotten back to its usual humdrum normality.

And then child number 1 started throwing up…

Bloom Admin

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