Thursday, 4 December 2008

It must be Thursday

Ah Thursdays. I've mentioned them, I'm sure. That one most precious day of the week, where Little Fish stays all day in pre-school and I have a whole five hours to myself. Well, apart from the many weeks when Mog is ill, the weeks when we have hospital appointments and visiting therapists and minor surgery and major mayhem. Counting back in my diary I see I've managed a whole three since they started in September. Never mind; I have today, and I have another two before the end of term.

Good in theory, right? Next week I have signed up to a commitment which requires me to be child-free; it's definitely a good use of time but it's not necessarily what I'd choose to do on a lazy Thursday. I picked Little Fish up from preschool yesterday lunchtime and read a note in her book reminding me that she finishes on Wed 17th. That's the next two gone then, better appreciate today, my last chance for a break this year.

Rewind then to yesterday, when Mog's bus arrives home from school. "She's a bit unhappy" commented the escort. A bit unhappy, once Mog has been lowered down in the lift, turns out to be a deeply distressed Mog, A Mog bright red in the face, wheezing, stridor, sixty breaths a minute and roastingly hot to the touch. Note in the school book "She has needed a lot of suctioning today" - no, really? Either she's thrown the speediest fever in the book or she's been heading towards really quite poorly for a few hours now.

I go in search of a thermometer. We have six - one feverscan forehead strip thing, one fancy tympanic one, one more basic tympanic one which tends to be staggeringly inaccurate but which I can't bring myself to throw out until I've used all the shields for it, two digital ones, and a basic and ancient mercury one. I'm not a collector, they just have a tendency to disappear at crucial moments. And now is no exception. Despite using them on a regular basis, the only one I can now locate is the feverscan one, buried in a first aid kit so little used that the first item to surface is an old style ten pence piece to make a phone call. Why yes, I was a Brownie, how do you come to ask?

Deflecting the coin and discarding the leaking antiseptic wipes, making mental notes to restock the first aid kit with some in-date supplies and plasters which haven't lost their elasticity and in fact mutated into alternative life forms, shuddering quietly as I attempt to separate them from the crepe bandage to which they have bonded, I finally make contact with the forehead strip and extract it from its box.

I place it on Mog's forehead. The little lines of colour shoot up from 35, 36, skip 37 and 38 altogether, whizz on past 39 and up to 40 before disappearing altogether. The feverscan rolls itself up at the edges and begins to smoke gently, wimpering in pain at the contact. I flatten it with a smart slap, tell it to sort itself out and earn its keep for once. It points out that its keep has in fact consisited of spending the last several years locked in a box with a packet of mutating plasters. I apologise and put it down before anyone else notices me arguing with a thermometer.

Wrapping the girls up I walk them over to the local chemist shop where we buy another digital thermometer to add to our disappearing collection. Mog shoots fountains of clear dribble as we queue, scaring the pharmacist somewhat, disconcerting the other queue-ers as I slurp it up with the snot hoover, but finally agrees that her breathing could now come back to something a little more normal. We then trudge home.

As we walk home, I am thinking about our missing thermomters. I suspect they may all be on strike for better pay and conditions. The digital ones demanding decent lithium batteries, the tympanic ones pushing for better quality shields, the rectal blue one begging for shields of any kind at all really, the mercury one pleading to be allowed to retire on a decent pension. This brings a worrying thought, if all feverscan one knows where they are, and what I have just been doing, will he round them up and organise a picket line? Will the new one get into trouble for working? Will we be surrounded by a minature thermal army as we re-enter the house? I am in th eprocess of removing Mog's blanket to get a reading before we are in site of the house just in case, when it occurs to me that probably this won't in fact happen, and that I really might benefit from a decent night's sleep.

We get home, no thermometers to be seen, and settle back in. Mog's temp under arm turns out to be 38.8 (102 for the fahrenheiters in my readership), but the walk has shaken things loose and she seems much happier. Paracetamol, ibuprofen, a saline neb to loosen things up further and she settles to a poorly but stable evening.

So that was yesterday. Today is Thursday, and it was obvious from the moment she got off the bus yesterday she would not be in school today. Instead we got to see the doctor, who says she has a "mobile chest infection". Not a term I had heard before, not a term my friend the respiratory nurse had heard either. T suggests it is in fact Walking pneumonia, K suggests a chest infection with a bus pass. I prefer K's theory. If only because I could take Mog to the bus stop tomorrow, make cough in the general direction od the next approaching bus and hopefully it would take the hint and hit the road.

So, more antibiotics. 15 minutes after her first dose, Mog began coughing green, so that was a handy indication that this is in fact the problem. Back to saline nebs, lots of chest pounding, suction, sleeping upright in an armchair, and general "I'll cough and hold my breath if you leave the room". Marvellous. The results aren't back yet from the girls' gastrostomy swabs (they're both looking manky at the moment). We get the results tomorrow. What are the odds on whatever it is actually being sensitive to the antibiotic she's currently taking?

And now she is asleep, so I should be too. Goodnight,


Alesha said...

I pray your sleep is sweet and uninterrupted.

(I realize it's completely unlikely, but I thought I'd pray for it anyway! You just never know...)


Tia said...

It was only interrupted by a cat - and only then because I tried to plump him up like a pillow - his fault entirely for being curled up fluffily at the top of the bed!


Robyn said...

poor Mog....why dont you get a stock of tempadots instead> then if you use one and lose it..its fine:)

Anonymous said...

Been dealing with stuff here. Hope Mog is on the way to feeling better and you have been able to get some sleep inspite of the forces against you. Wish you were next door so I could lend a hand and we could spell each other.
Hugs and prayers,


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