Dire Rear 2

Hairy Farmer Family have been Sick. Both in the British and American senses of the word. This post is All About Sick. You have been warned, although, uncharacteristically, I have taken no photos of it.

Whilst under occupation from a Piddle of visiting babies on Thursday afternoon, I did vaguely hear, in between scurrying to the kitchen for more coffees, that a tummy bug had been doing the rounds. Everyone looked healthy, however, so I assumed it had been a thing of the past.

I had barely finished Pizza Hut’s less-than-special Vanilla Cheesecake on Friday night, when it dawned on me that I felt more peculiar than usual. After a couple more hours, it all became very ugly.

Now, I have heard tell of a phenomenon known as a Hair-Holding Hubby. Apparently they exist. Well, they don’t bloody exist around here. Upon realising that I had departed into the ensuite, Hubby enquires laconically how I am. ‘Bad’ I inform him. ‘I will require a glass of water soon’. ‘Oh dear’ he replies, and nestles comfortably into the duvet. Some minutes later, following a ridiculously prolonged and noisy chundering session, I still await my glass of water. 

‘John!’

‘Whsiffgfh?!’

‘Water!’

‘Uhh.’ Pause. Grumpily: ‘Well, is there a glass up here?’

‘No!’

Hubby departs downstairs for glass of water. Returns. Hands to miserable me, collapsed miserably on the loo, next to my bucket of pepperoni pizza and diet coke. ‘My God, it really stinks of vom in here!’

He is motioned silently out of the door with an imperious wave of my arm. Whilst his conversation usually fascinates and enthralls me beyond measure, I have a strange absence of desire, currently, to listen to him. He returns to bed and sleeps peacefully through the next 6 hours – 6 long hours, that are unhappily punctuated by my distressing episodes of concurrent both-ends fluid leakage. By early morning I demand in a peremptory whisper that John summon the Delightful Doctors Next Door to put me out of my misery. I am quite prepared to be shot. It will be an improvement. Our Hero duly appears, lugging his enormous backpack of doctor goodies drugs and gently prods the intensely nauseous, wobbly sack of lard I term my tummy – and thereby putting himself at immense personal risk. He makes sympathetic noises, but feels that I am not yet moribund enough for prochlorperazine, and should start to feel better by mid-morning. Which I do (if we can agree on an extremely loose definition of ‘better’) – at about the same time, in fact, that Hubby begins to feel queasy.

So I do the clever thing and put in an emergency call to my mother, who arrives, as she so often has to, with a virtual blue flashing light above her head. She entertains Harry for the duration of Saturday afternoon, but it is sadly only after her departure that John makes the progression from nauseous-but-functioning to total wreckage. He manages to get Harry into his evening bath, an hour early, and lift him out again before crawling away to groan alone. I am then left with a lively, naked, wet youngster, who feels that he so does not need a nappy, or a sleepysuit, or a sleeping bag. This presents me with a mighty endurance challenge, as I can barely lift my arms, and he is comically out-distancing me. Lifting his 20 pound weight into the cot is touch and go, and I damn nearly drop him. I listlessly sit and listen to his yells for 25 minutes before heaving him out again to be cuddled. He seems ominously unsettled.

By this time, it is 7.30pm, fully dark, and a wintery storm is blasting Hairy Farmer hill with everything it has. I peer blearily outside and see that the geese are huddled miserably by the gate. Bugger. Bugger. I’m going to have to go out. I wobble into the bedroom and enquire gloomily of the quivering heap under the duvet how to shut the door to the geese hut, as it has beaten me before in the dark. Hubby manfully declares that he will go himself, and staggers outside into the gale’s teeth. It’s most odd. Man-flu invariably reduces him to a truly dismal shell of his normal self, but present him with straightforward discomfort or pain – broken nose, smashed-out teeth, huge lacerations – and he’s tough as old boots. We return to bed and huddle together, dithering, comparing notes on our misery – until 10pm, when the baby-monitor, turned up deafeningly loud for just this eventuality, announces unmistakable vommy-noises. I scurry next door with sinking heart to find the cot a lake of horror, and a protesting child crouched, dripping, in the centre.

Annnnnnnnd so it went on. I am on my third load of washing this morning, and I still haven’t finished the vomit-encrusted items. Harry, poor child, repeatedly imitated a lawn-sprinkler with devastating results. I had thought, given that he was the reflux king for so long, that he was a happy-chucker for life. But no. The little lad had fully fledged and utterly piteous wretch-and-heave sessions, and was exceedingly scared and distressed – as was his hand-wringing mother. Fortunately, his nausea settled quicker than either of ours, and by the early hours he was lying between us in bed on a motley assortment of towels, as all the sheets were officially past their best at that point. He was reasonably chipper, considering, first thing this morning and even managed some breakfast – but ejected it soon afterwards in an absent-minded refluxy-overspill fashion. Since then he has managed on boob – how the hell I am still producing anything at all when all I have drunk for 36 hours is 2 pints of flat coke and half a cup of tea, is totally beyond me – and John is currently trying him with some pear and rusk. We shall see if it sticks to his tummy, or merely our clothing.

The bruise on his forehead, incidentally, is a mystery to all of us. The even bigger one on the cheek you can’t see was from him falling face-first into his wooden storage units. Still not-so-good at this walking business.

Given that I am still shaky on my legs and completely ambivalent about solids (John is fine and Harry seems cheerful and greedy for boob. The bug obviously attenuated itself by mutation from person to person) there is a glimmer, a glimmer, of a silver lining for me. By virtue of my nil-by-mouth diet, I have actually returned to the weight I last left my tonnage-ticker set to, hence I am very close to the scales reading 13 stone-something, as opposed to 14-something. I am very tired with 14-something. Diet? Bring it on.

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