House of Pain

The world was a brighter place on Monday morning. Clear sunshine. Birds trilling. Festive cheer. Tra la la. Tis the season, etc.
By Monday afternoon, it was clouding over in the HFF household. A small cloud labelled Ache had perched above Hubby & I.
By Monday evening, the respective storm clouds of Temperature, Every-Muscle-In-My-Entire-Body-Hit-By-A-Car, and Headache had loomed, in an unmistakable here-to-stay fashion.

I didn’t sleep Monday night, because I was 38 degrees+, and mildly hallucinogenic. I also had time to re-discover a fact I had completely forgotten – at least, since the last time my antibodies gave me a roasting. I get appalling bladder urgency with high temperatures. Like, Run, Wifey, Run! Oh….. too late. Mum! Fresh pajamas! Muuuuummmm! Oh… she’s not here, is she? She’s steering clear of our germs. The omnipotence that is a household Mother is now… me.

Hubby spent virtually the entire of Monday night awake, blaming the caffeine content of cough drops – highly remarkable, considering he is virtually a dormouse in human form – meandering from sofa to bed in desultory fashion. Tuesday eventually dawned, and may have been the longest day in history, ever. I don’t remember a single sodding thing about it, apart from dawn-to-dusk CBeebies, and the fact that Harry was becoming distinctly poorly by the afternoon. Tuesday night – last night, so I’m told – began for me at 5.30pm when I announced to my suffering Husband and child that I must seriously either lie down or fall down, and went to bed, taking my splitting headache with me. I was now a proudly simmering 39.5 degrees, and hallucinogenic enough to chew the entire side of my inner cheek off, under the impression it was… food. Or something. I’m not sure.

A carelessly-clonked woodburner door (Grrrrrr!) awoke youngster and scored him an upgrade to our bed, leaving Hubby to seek shivery solace in the spare room at 10pm – down the Pennine Way that is our upstairs corridor, nicely out of earshot. By 10.45, I was woken by the heat coming from the incandescent radiator that was our child. 40.4 degrees.

Panic. Febrile convulsion territory. If Harry has a convulsion, I will never be the same again, God, do you hear me? Strip child down to (dry) nappy. Yell for Hubby. Yell for Hubby again, hurting my pounding head. Yell so bastard loud that the dogs start barking in sympathy. Stick head out into corridor and yammer at top of voice. Twice. Guuurgghhhhggmmmpphh? Wassamarra? CAAAAALPOOOOOL! Hubby arrives dazed, clutching dosing syringe. Child is re-dosed. Sits under ceiling fan with goosebumps all over his poor little body whilst parents (both 39+ and also shivering in the breeze), watch him in worried fashion for the next hour, whilst his temperature gradually drops to low 39s.

Attempt to doze. Child coughs and wakes. Discovers he still feels as horribly ill as when he went to sleep. Screams hoarsely at high-pitch in protest. Lather, rinse, repeat, until 7am.

Another listless, dry-nappied day in front of CBeebies, taking a few – worryingly few – sips of juice. Pops 40.4 again. Trip to GP. Soothed ref: convulsions, apparently either kids are prone to them – 38 degrees is enough to set them off – or they’re not. Child not currently too dehydrated, but we are urged to push fluids if hospital IV is to be avoided. Cue repeated parental proffering of enticingly-arranged satsumas.

I have bowed to the inevitable and cancelled the drink I was meant to be having this evening. I cancelled the Piddle Fancy Dress Christmas Party that I was hosting tomorrow afternoon. I cancelled the curry I was meant to be having tomorrow night. I cancelled the Baby Christmas party we were supposed to attend on Friday afternoon. I am still holding out hopes for other Baby Christmas party at our house next Monday.

The Piddle have COMPLETELY MADE ME CRY and badly exascerbated my already fucking dreadful head, which no drugs are even touching, by positively refusing to let me leave the house to drop my mince-pies, a pass-the-parcel and a secret santa gift to the new venue. Under no circumstances. No. Apparently they have all decided to hold another Christmas party in January, complete with festive fancy dress, so that Harry does not miss out. Cannot tell you how teary this makes me, because I am still 38+ and therefore, silly.

Which brings us to the here and now. Child is in his cot, wailing sleepily every 20 minutes or so, requiring parental patting, juice-offering, temperature-taking, bed-clothes-adjustment, and mummy-boob. Of which there is precious little to be suctioned, currently. There is now a mattress by the side of his cot, as he overheated far too much sleeping with me, even without bedclothes, last night. I would go to bed now, whilst John watches evening TV and does Harry-duty, and try to get some rest, but my head howls in pain when I lie down. There’s a big dude in there with a whacking great lumphammer, and he hates me.

The oxymoronically loveliest part of the hell that has been the last 3 days, is the way that the Mummy-arms, and only the Mummy-arms, can alleviate child’s misery. He is not normally a particularly affectionate child – far too busy clambering into trouble, generally – but he has barely moved from my lap since Tuesday morning. Except, of course, for when I sneezed HUGELY, and frightened him half to death. At which point, the only thing that could quell the roars of overblown febrile terror and the indignant glares shooting in my direction from the corner of the room to which he had scrambled… was the Daddy lap.

I signed up for this. I totally did. The whole baby/motherhood deal. Nursing sick child. Sleepless nights. Gut-churning anxiety. All of it.

Didn’t expect to be ill myself at the time. With ill spouse. Can I have another look at the rules, please?

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