Archive for the ‘health’ Category

No flu, (almost) no fuss

April 8, 2013

This year we all got flu shots.  We trooped along to the doctor’s surgery to see the nurse, and she lined us all up.  Everyone was happy until it was time to start (no surprise there!).

Babess was upset because she had to go first.  I held her in my lap while she tried to wriggle away and sobbed, “No, I don’t want to go first!”

Our Practice Nurse is unflustered by such antics, and talked soothingly to her (to not much avail) while administering the shot.  Babess continued to fuss, then blinked in confusion when I said, “OK, all done!”  She had been fussing so much about going first that she didn’t notice the needle.  A small bag of jellybeans dried the rest of the tears remarkably quickly.

Fainjin was a bit nervous, but the nurse gave him his bag of jellybeans to hold first.  “What colours can you see in there?” she asked him cunningly.

“Red, purple, green, blue…” – and he was done too, none the wiser.

Pearl was a little harder to distract, but certainly wasn’t going to fuss when her younger siblings had survived intact.  Especially if there were jellybeans.

Before long we were on our way again, heading for a restorative cake and fluffy each.  “How’s your arm, Fainjin?” I asked him.  “Fine…” he said vaguely, rubbing his right shoulder.

I grinned.  The injection had been in the left shoulder.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Feeling blah

November 21, 2012

Pearl is still sick.  It’s a weird sort of virus, the symptoms are fatigue and loss of appetite – nothing very definite!  She has had a slight temperature sometimes, and a bit of a headache sometimes.  She dozes a lot, and struggles to find the energy to do much more than sit or lie in a sunny patch of the house.  She’s not even reading!

It’s been five days now, and having talked to another school mum who has had 3 (out of 4) kids plus her husband sick with it, we can expect another couple of days before she is better.  Let’s hope no-one else gets it!

Of course, it could be a lot worse.  Even sticking with viruses, it could be flu, for example, or something gastric.  Just being tired and blah is pretty mild in terms of illness.  But a week is a long time to be tired and blah when you’re used to being active and busy.  This morning Pearl told us “I feel really good!”  She was angling to go to school.  But it was a triumph of hope over reality: she ate two mouthfuls of breakfast cereal and drifted back to bed.

“I’m so bored!   I wish we could do something or go somewhere!” she moaned this morning.  “I know, sweetie,” I agreed, rather wishing the same thing.  Then she ate a couple of grapes, and dozed off on the couch again.

Fingers crossed she bounces back from this soon.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Paying the price

November 17, 2012

You can’t just swan off to Sydney with three kids for a few days and carry on regardless.

Fainjin has struggled at school this week.  He burst into tears one day and begged his teacher to call me, because all he wanted was to be with Mummy.  She gave him lots of cuddles and some time out of the classroom (luckily there was a reliever in the classroom that day and his regular teacher was nearby so she could give him some one-on-one attention), and he was ok.  But he’s tired.  It’s nearly the end of his first year at school.  Boys’ Brigade finished this week, he’s still playing floorball, and he has school swimming lessons each week too.  In my experience, nothing wears kids out like a morning in the pool.

Babess has been slightly clingy, slightly whiney.  Last night she lost the plot, and – completely and utterly overtired – sobbed great hiccupy snotty sobs at the misery of life, until she fell asleep.

I struggled this week too.  On Wednesday I woke up feeling achy for no reason.  I felt dreadful all day, nothing terribly specific but just awful.  I left work early to come home and sit in the sun for a bit and steel myself for the rest of the week.

I’ve improved over the past couple of days, but if it was a virus it seems Pearl has now caught it.  I was called to collect her from school yesterday morning.  She is very tired, hasn’t been sleeping well, and is headachey and feels “yuck”.  Nothing very specific.  Sometimes she has a bit of a temperature, but mostly not.  Today she hardly had the energy to sit on the couch.  You know she’s sick when she’s not even reading!
The Dad says he has a tickly throat, and I can tell he is tired too.

It’s exceedingly tempting to declare a family long weekend and keep everyone home on Monday (at least!) to build our reserves back up.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

One of those days

September 12, 2012

“Have you got a mouse in there?” the doctor asked Babess, her stethescope still on Babess’ chest.  Babess giggled and said no.

“It’s all squeaky!” she was told, just before being prescribed – and immediately dispensed – a little bag of jellybeans.

She still has her ear infection as well, poor babe, so another more traditional prescription was also provided.

In the waiting room just before our appointment, my phone had rung – it was school, calling to say Fainjin had bumped his head.  So on our way home Babess and I went to check him out.  He has a large egg on the back of his head, but hadn’t lost consciousness and wasn’t sick, dizzy or confused.  He was working happily in his classroom when we arrived, but leapt at the offer to come home with us instead.

And so the three of us headed home for a quiet day of lego and children’s tv.  Only to behold a front garden full of someone else’s rubbish: one of our neighbours put out their recycling on the wrong day, and the bag must have blown into our driveway and split open.  With the strong winds we have had, the contents had spread out quite a way.  On the bright side, it was recycling rubbish and not general waste, so there were no old chicken bones or worse!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Selective sickies

September 8, 2012

Babess has had a sore ear this week.  It has been less so since she started her antibiotics, but she has complained about it now and then.

This morning when she got up, I asked her, “How’s your ear this morning?”

She paused, then asked me, “What day is it?”

“It’s Saturday – a home day”.  Home days are not daycare days.

“Then my ear is not sore!” she declared happily.  Little minx.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Hoping for a quiet weekend

September 7, 2012

In the early hours of this morning I was listening to the Reith Lectures and wondering if the house would fly away (or the roof stay intact) in the howling winds, when the burning-hot little boy next to me suddenly said loudly, “Yeah!”  Without opening his eyes, he said, “Do you know who I was talking to, Mum?”


“It was F, he was in my dream.” And then he apparently went back to dreaming, and coughing, and wriggling.

He had appeared in our room at 12:45am, complaining that it was scary in his room because there was invisible lava that looked just like normal but his friends (including F) kept falling in it and he didn’t feel very well.  He had a temperature and a croupy-sounding cough.  I took him to the kitchen for some paracetamol and a drink of water, and then he came back to snuggle next to me.

I’d already had Babess home for two days this week with an ear infection, and am fighting off a bug myself, so it has been a rough week and the doctor’s waiting room is becoming more familiar than our own sitting room.

Tonight Pearl is looking pale and feeling rather non-specifically unwell.  I expect it is the same virus that Fainjin has, and I think we are probably in for a quiet, stay-at-home, rest-with-books sort of weekend.  As the wind is forecast to continue to howl, it’s probably not much different from what we’d have to do anyway.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

I don’t want to go…

August 12, 2012

Babess has been reluctant to go to daycare in recent weeks.  She has a great time when she gets there, but she tells us she doesn’t want to go, she wants to stay with Mummy all the time, and she clings to us when we drop her off.  We’ve been talking to her teachers about it and making sure she is happy there and getting the support she needs, which she is.

Then she got a bug.  On Wednesday just after lunchtime we got the dreaded call, and she came home looking terrible.  “Mummy.  I’m sick,” she declared resentfully when she saw me.  She spent the rest of that day and all of the next tucked up in blankets feeling yuck but wondering why we were so mean as to deprive her of interesting food.

There is a 48-hour stand-down from daycare, so she was home for the rest of the week. Fully recovered on Friday, she quite enjoyed pottering around home with Mummy, helping with the housework by washing down all the kitchen cupboards and vacuuming the kitchen, hallway and lounge.

She clearly figured out she was on to a good thing.  “Mummy, I am going to be sick on Monday.” “But you’re not sick any more, you’re fine.  You just can’t go to daycare today.”  “No, I’m not sick today, and I’m not sick on Saturday and Sunday home-days.  But I’m sick on Mondays and other daycare days.  OK, Mummy?”

This could make Monday morning interesting…

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

On bravery

June 25, 2012

Babess sobbed in my arms.  It wasn’t pretty.  Her red face was tear-streaked & blotchy, and her nose was streaming.  But she turned around to face the other way when she was asked, and let us roll up her sleeve.  When the second of her 4-year-old immunisation shots went into the other arm, she just sobbed harder.

Poor darling.

The nurse and I did our best to comfort her, assuring her it was all over now and the sting would fade, reminding her of the very good reasons for having the shots in the first place.  I gave lots of cuddles, the nurse provided tissues and offered stickers.

She calmed down in a reasonable amount of time, and was quite chirpy – although still a bit blotchy – when we walked out after our twenty-minute safety period was over.  “You did really well!” I congratulated her.

“But I wasn’t brave,” she said sadly.

“Oh yes you were brave!  You knew it would hurt, and you sat still without wriggling for the first injection.  That stung and you still didn’t wriggle or try to climb off my lap.  And you sat so nice and still for the second one, even though your first arm was still hurting.  That is VERY brave.”

“But I cried, and I didn’t like it.”

“Not liking it, even crying, but still doing it – that is what it means to be brave.”

She looked thoughtful, and accepted a jelly-bean.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Looking good

February 27, 2012

Our optometrist is offering free vision checks for children at the moment.  Pearl was due for a check-up in about a month, so I decided this was the perfect time to get her and Fainjin both booked in.

Fainjin enjoyed his test!  He was very proud that he could recognise most of the letters.  For some that he didn’t know, the optometrist asked him to draw them in the air with his finger.  That worked, and was very cute to watch.

His vision is pretty good, but he might be slightly long-sighted.  That could affect his reading in the long-term, so it’s best to pin it down now.  The optometrist gave me some eye-drops to put in his eyes the day before our next appointment next week.  The drops take 30min or so to work, and it was already late afternoon today, so it wasn’t a good time to try them then.

Fainjin enjoyed watching Pearl’s test too – he found it all very interesting.  Pearl’s vision has changed, not a lot but enough to make new glasses worthwhile.  We were going to replace the lenses in her existing frames, but it turned out that for just a few dollars more, we could have new frames – and a two-for-one deal.  So she chose two new frames (super-cute ones, in my totally unbiased opinion), and her glasses will be ready next week. It’s always handy to have a spare pair.

We are so used to her in glasses now that it’s odd to see her without them in older photos!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


December 29, 2011

The Dad is recovering well from his elbow injury.  He didn’t need surgery, was out of plaster after just a week, and now has a hinged brace.  This makes me want to give inappropriate warnings about becoming unhinged, but luckily he is a very tolerant man.

The little ones have been very interested in his bandages (once the tiny sticking plaster which was the source of much concern had disappeared they did notice the big cast on the other arm).  They have dubbed the brace “Daddy’s robot arm”.

Today he caught Babess swinging her arms stiffly, bent at the elbows, and chanting in her deepest voice, “I. Am. A. Robot. I. Am. A Robot.”

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

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