Last week, we had three different sets of visitors from abroad. It was SO good to see all of these people. I got to spend an amazing weekend with a dear friend, meet two lovely new friends, and talk late into the night with one of my fantastic cousins and her super-nice boyfriend. It was great. It was also pretty full-on - I didn't get nearly enough sleep and had this week down as 'recovery week'. I'm due for some annual leave, so it was all lining up - days off work, no big commitments, some easy food in the slow cooker, lots of rice milk, some time to work on my book. AHHHHHH.
So on Monday night, things start to go south when I have to take Blue to the out-of-hours GP. He'd been unwell all day - coughing and so on - but at bedtime he started breathing rapidly and his pulse went right up. I took him up to the GP at the hospital where they listened to his chest and said 'oh, this doesn't sound good' and nebulised him. Then, they referred him to paediatric A&E. At paediatric A&E they sent him straight up to the children's ward, where the nurse measured his vital signs and gave him oxygen. At this point, about 80% of my brain was really worried for my darling boy, but the other 20% was feeling smug about how right I was to get him checked out. And Jay didn't think we needed to bother! I thought, while he sat there, uncharacteristically subdued, looking like a sad and tiny spaceman in his little-boy-sized oxygen mask.
This is getting boring so I'll summarise. An hour later, we got to see a doctor. Two hours after that - 3.30 am - they found a bed for Blue and he was admitted to the ward. (They had the space for a bed earlier than that, they just couldn't find an actual bed, which seemed kind of like a fundamental thing to have lost. Note to self - do not get surgery at this hospital). An hour after that, they woke him up for more medication, and an hour after that and an hour after that and an hour after that until Tuesday morning.
The whole experience was weird - I had no idea we were going to be staying at the hospital when I left the house with just my purse and my keys. Nobody really told us what to do, either - most of the parents there seemed to be old hands, but nobody was talking and I didn't know the drill. They didn't even explain that we were going to be staying until hours had passed - I know it is all routine for the staff, but it was pretty scary and disorienting for me. I know their job is to look after the children, but I think that taking better care of parents in this situation would probably help the kids in the long run. I know that nobody who makes those kind of decisions is reading this blog - I'm just sayin'. Would it really be so hard to print out a leaflet, people? Anyway. I was also wishing that I had brought a toothbrush and some pyjamas, or at least was wearing some more comfortable underwear. I was telling myself be grateful for free healthcare, Claudia, be grateful for free healthcare. Millions of mothers around the world would love to be able to complain that their free, high-quality hospital service didn't quite communicate effectively with them. Millions of mothers around the world would love to find themselves unexpectedly spending a night in hospital because their child was getting good medical treatment. And all that is true, of course, but I couldn't help also thinking but those millions of mothers are not having their flesh crushed by this stupid bra.
So Tuesday morning came and I had had about two and a half hours of sleep. So had Blue, but the asthma medication they were giving him (frequent, high) doses of has the same sort of effect on the human body as coffee. So at that point I have a tiny, sleep deprived three year old who is off his face on the equivalent of about seventy espressos. Also, I'm discovering that this virus must have about a 24 hour incubation period because my own throat and head and chest are starting to say hey, forget that small kid you're looking after, what about US?
It was a pretty awesome day. It was made yet-awesome-er by the discovery that some nurses are mean. When administering drugs to a tired, hungry, jittery preschooler, it doesn't seem kind (to me) to shout "I do not have time for this silliness! I have lots of other things to do!" That was fun. Also fun - when Jay turned up with a bag of stuff for me, including new underwear that was even more unsuitable than what I was already wearing (because let's face it, men don't pick underwear based on comfort, do they?) and when the doctor said that we couldn't go home and he had to stay another night.
Cue weeping. I was feeling so sick by this point, and so disappointed that we couldn't go home that I pretty much burst into tears in front of a nurse (who didn't care, obviously, because her job is to look after the children). Again, I tried to talk myself into feeling grateful for this first-world-problem of too much medical care, but in the end I told myself to shut up and just let myself feel sick and miserable. Jay came up to swap with me, warning me that Pink was getting sicker and sicker at home.
At this point, it's Tuesday night. I'm so tired that I skip the shower when I get home, even though I'm disgusting. I crawl into bed and sigh with relief. The cat jumps up - he usually sleeps on my pillow - and I tell him how glad I am to see him. Then, for the first time ever, he decides to walk across my face with his claws out, just to say welcome home, I guess. Face bleeding, I fall asleep in about a minute and a half.
Wednesday morning, Pink wakes me up early, crying. I haul her into our bed and give her some baby paracetamol. She throws it straight up. I give her some milk and she throws that up too. My limbs have turned to lead. I put a towel over the vomit patch - mostly- and eventually we both fall back asleep.
Later that day, Blue is discharged from hospital. He comes home, still high as a kite, and immediately starts fighting with his sister. I look after them and try to stop them killing each other while Jay goes back to the hospital to get the prescription for more medicine for Blue. Except... he can't, because... someone has driven past our parked car in a truck and totalled it.
Yes really. On this day, of all days, someone has totalled our car. While it was parked. Fortunately our car was only worth about five hundred pounds, but still.
There's no moral to this story, none at all. It's just a horror show. (So why can't I stop thinking Hmmmm. I wonder if we could handle a week like this if we had three?) We are still up to our ears in it all, and Jay has just tonight started saying 'hey, my throat is really sore'. Quelle nightmare. Please tell me something to cheer me up - just found out there's a way to melt 7lb of belly fat a week with one weird old diet tip? Found something hilarious? Got a cute video of a cat on youtube you're dying to share? Now's the time.
Because next week, next week: On Tuesday, I'm finally going to see the geneticist. And then on Wednesday, in a random medical scheduling collision of horror, I have a root canal. I think it might be a while before things look up around here.
Give me strength.
(Or at least - failing that - give me videos of kittens).