I woke up this morning with that dreaded feeling of a sore throat, swollen glands and blocked ears…. great another cold. I’m not surprised I’m under the weather as all 3 of my children have been on a conveyor belt of illnesses in the past few weeks, it was pretty inevitable with the amount of coughs exploding in my direction that the lurgy would drag me down as its latest victim.
It’s funny how we have our own similar explanations, whichever season, of what is the cause of our cold’s.
Winter: Weather is too cold and that mixed with central heating, it must be causing a breeding ground for germs.
Spring: The onset of hayfever, the pollen count feels higher every year, it must be causing a breeding ground for germs.
Summer: Weather is too hot, dehydration, sunburn, it must be causing a breeding ground for germs.
Autumn: Weather is a bit rainy, ending up wet a lot, temperature changing must be causing a breeding ground for germs.
In the eyes of our children, we are medical experts. I shamelessly use my children’s cold’s to push more fruit and vegetables onto them, “as this is the medicine you need to get better, all Doctors recommend eating broccoli when you’re ill.” My children actually consider our Doctor to be a superhero as his name is Doctor Flash (really).
I overheard an amusing Mum diagnosis in the playground the other school morning between two Mum’s. Mum 1 notices Mum 2 has a child dressed in non-uniform in the playground.
(And for the purposes of non-parent readers, some playground Mum’s either completely ignore each other or find it completely acceptable to ask pertinent questions to a relative stranger.)
Mum 1: “What’s the matter with your little girl?”
Mum 2: “She has a temperature, she was burning up last night, red-hot bless her.”
(And for the purposes of non-parent readers, some playground Mum’s have to use very descriptive explanations when referring to their children.)
Mum 2: “Aw, any other symptoms?”
Mum 1: “Not yet, just the heat.” (holds hand to child’s head for effect)
Mum 2: “That’s the temperature virus. My son had it. Like a furnace he was, illuminous red but no other symptoms.
Mum 1: “That’s strange, must be the same virus.”
Mum 2: ” She’ll be fine in 24 hours.”
Mum 1: “What a relief. Glad I spoke to you.”
It seems it is easier to assign the word ‘virus’ rather than just say it is ‘a cold’ as it sounds more serious. It reminds me of when my children were babies and literally any ailment you complained to a health professional about was blamed on teething. Don’t get me wrong I think Midwives and Health Visitors do an amazing job, but they can’t be expected to know our children and in those paranoid early months when you are searching for answers for any tiny symptoms your precious bundle of joy is showing, you will accept any diagnosis given.
You shouldn’t take chances with your child’s health though as I have found out first hand. Last summer we stretched our holiday budget and took our clan to Spain for the children’s first holiday abroad.
Having re-mortgaged the house to pay for passports, flights and accommodation for the 5 of us, 10 days prior to take-off my twin son went down with Chickenpox. Eldest son has had it, as have I and hubby but my twin daughter hasn’t and with a week’s incubation period she should be right on schedule to have it for the holiday.
So, while painting a second coat of Calamine lotion on my twin son I check out our options. The budget airline we had booked with hold the policy of non-refundable, non-exchangeable and non-helpful regarding our situation. While becoming increasingly concerned about our holiday prospects, sure enough 5 days ahead of take-off the first blistering bump pops up on twin daughter’s back, then front, face, ears, everywhere. She is covered.
Day before take-off, Dr Flash gives our daughter the non-contagious seal of approval as her spots have crusted over but have not, in any way, diminished. Just need to convince the airline and fellow passengers now.
Day of departure, it’s a hot August morning, boys are in shorts and t-shirts, daughter is wrapped up in long trousers, hoodie and hat. I have rehearsed my “she suffers terribly with eczema” back-up speech in case I feel the word Chickenpox is going to incite panic. As expected from a 3-year-old, she removes hat and hoodie at the check-in desk and while I quickly consider caking her in my foundation the check-in staff don’t even look in her direction, although my Sudocream (eczema prop) is confiscated.
It’s the walk through departures that rouses the most suspicion. With my daughter sitting in her buggy, oblivious to the attention her spot-ridden face and arms are receiving, passengers look on with horror expecting some FBI agents to be chasing us before we carry the deadly virus overseas! Still, we made it to Spain and the sun and salty sea water was just the ticket for curing the pox.
I’ll have to hit the Lemsip today and eat my broccoli. I need to keep my strength up as I have heard that the “Temperature Virus” is airborne. Beware!