Friday, 26 January 2007

Meningitus, not.

Maybe its a sixth sense which makes me cancel our appearance at the art and craft session today. When I get out of bed I feel as wretched as yesterday, and decide that hanging around in pyjamas drinking coffee is an effective cure. By mid-morning I'm feeling much better. And then find Squirrel curled up on the sofa with a blanket over her head.

'I feel sick' she explains. I equip her with a hot water bottle and cuddles, and back she slides under her blanket.

After midday she's still drowsy and curled up like a snail. I ask again how she feels.
'I don't like the light' she says. 'It hurts my eyes'.
'Have you got any other symptoms?' I ask.
'My neck hurts' comes a tiny answer from under the blanket.

At this point my meningitus drill kicks in and I whip up her tee-shirt to examine her for rashes. She has a fine reddening patch across her tummy, which might be the result of the hot water bottle. Or it might not. I check her temperature, which is normal at 37.C. No matter. Panic is a much better guide than any ear thermometer with an accuracy reading to within a tenth of a centigrade.

Within the minute I'm on the phone to the local heath centre. The receptionist answers, then disappears to come back and say Mr Doc will see her now, but make it snappy because he's the on duty doctor and off duty at 1.00. It's seven minutes to, and a four minute drive.

Perhaps it's the shock of being whisked off the sofa and bundled into the car in under fifteen seconds that does it. As we screech round the corner on two wheels, Squirrel calls out 'My neck feels a bit better now.' This is terrible. I tell her not to say that to Mr Doc. 'My eyes don't hurt either,' offers Squirrel. 'Say nothing,' I command. This is worse. Now I am encouraging my child to fake the symptoms of bacterial meningitus.

Squirrel is gratifyingly droopy in the surgery, but otherwise she's alert and has no problem staring at bright lights or turning her neck 180 degrees. I offer weak explanations about her snail behaviours with the blanket and I do a lot of offering of hideous symptoms so that I don't look like a fussy, over-anxious parent who wants the NHS to jump every time I snap my fingers. Which I probably am, but hey, it was me that diagnosed the choleostasis, and since then I've always been a bit touchy.

An hour later and Squirrel's lying on the sofa, singing rude songs about Tiger.

All in all, it's been a pretty ordinary week. Except for Tiger, everyone's been ill. I'm broke. I've cooked revolting red kidney bean burgers which went straight in the bin. I tried to cancel the theatre workshop I'd booked us in for, only to discover I'd never booked in the first place. It was cancelled anyway. The bloke leading it was ill. We've mucked about with the swimming lessons and got the timings all wrong. Dig's left home till Sunday and I've made myself a Charlie down at the local health centre.

Now can we count the weekend the fresh start to another week?

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Have I ever told you about our visit to casualty with a child with a foot injured the day before (by falling onto metal door catch whilst climbing up wardrobe internal shelves) who could not walk or put any weight on her foot, nor let the triage nurse even touch it, only to run down the corridor towards the play area when the Doctor came to have a look and asked me to put her down to see how far she could manage?

I was so humiliated! Everything I have done since is in revenge.