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The Sick House

Published on: 2016-12-19 11:14:00


sick womanThere are some questions that have been pondered on and there are still no answers; is there life on Mars? How do Santa’s reindeer fly, and where does all the snot come from? This has not been a well house, with everyone at some point being ill; and one fateful day when the planets aligned, we were all ill on the same day. It was not a pretty sight and the unlimited supply of tissues was barely able to cope.

J is a silent sufferer, and as long as it doesn’t interfere with the Star Wars Lego build which has taken over every spare bit of carpet in his room, then he can cope. On his worst day, the Lego remained untouched and I knew he was suffering. The only compensation was the very rare cuddle I got from him on the sofa as we watched a Christmas movie while Hubby made us hot chocolate. M has had the double whammy of Mock GCSE’s and a stinking cold, but I’ve been surprised by her resilience. I’ve been watching the change in M since the new school year in September and been delighted in the absence of phone calls from concerned teachers, and the weekly emails expressing irritation from her head of year have all but stopped. Instead of poring over the celebs daily news on her tablet she’s been going over her revision notes and asking Hubby to test her. On Friday, the day she broke up from school, in place of her kicking about with her friends after the last lesson she came home and went to bed. I had suggested she stay home from school that day but she said she needed to pick up her revision notes.

Again, the cold delivered a back handed gift; I took a hot water bottle into her and a (vegan friendly) hot chocolate, which she appreciated. I sat on the edge of her bed as she told me about the dramas at school, of which she is now mostly an observer, and we planned a New Year shopping trip as a reward for her hard work. I left her room feeling a new closeness to M and promised to bring her a bowl of soup.

Hubby has been struggling on at work with his nose streaming and jam packing his body with cold cures to counter the aches and temperatures. He worked from home the past few days, but after being asked for lifts from both M and J, doing a pre-Christmas shop and putting up the tree, I think he feels he’ll be better off at work! Baby S is also in the throes of her second cold and it’s awful to watch her struggle to breathe. Her little sneezes are very cute and they not only take her by surprise, but also make her smile, although not for long. My days are spent standing in the shower room with her as the steam hopefully eases her congestion, rubbing baby Vicks into her chest, trying to take her temperature and attempting to free her from the gunk in her nose so she can breathe. I’ve been concerned about her eating less as she’s struggling with the combination of a blocked nose and suckling at the bottle. In the end, my local pharmacist suggested a nasal aspirator and if life isn’t diverse enough as a foster carer, I can now add sucking snot out of a baby’s nose to my list of achievements! Never did anything feel like such a triumph as clearing baby S’s blocked nose or showing the evidence to Hubby who has come to look at me like I’m mad.

So Baby S, M, J and Hubby are all ill. As is my sister in law and brother, which means my nearest support network is unable to help. That leaves me, coping with Christmas shopping, doing night feeds, trying to avoid stepping on random pieces of migrating Lego, and making sure Hubby doesn’t fall asleep in his soup. Yesterday I felt sorry for myself as no-one is making me hot chocolate or bringing me warming homemade soup. In fact, I sniffed miserably into my tissues, I’m not sure anyone has even noticed my streaming eyes and nose or my hacking cough, but however nasty my cold has been, I’ve never felt closer to M or J. Once this horrible cold has left our house and J goes back to shrugging off any endearments and M can’t be dragged away from YouTube, I’ll remember the hot chocolate and hot water bottle moments. But until then, I’m knee deep in tissues and cursing that I didn’t book a Sainsbury’s delivery slot earlier!

Nexus Fostering

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