Thursday, 1 March 2012

Snot, Sweat and Cough Mixture

I have so much to write about at the moment and an abundance of interesting memes to respond to. But the aims of my blog were thwarted this week. I got sick. As my illness lingers on, making my forehead and the palms of my hands uncomfortably clammy, it calls forth my fullest attention. So this seems to be the thing to reflect upon and pay written consideration to. It would appear that my malady has become my muse. This nasty head cold stubbornly refuses to budge, a little like Winter's final grasp on the fresh coat tails of Spring. Or more like the repeated wiping of a cemented mix of dried weetabix, porridge and yogurt off the kitchen table.

There are three things in this world I really don't like;

  • Marmite
  • Patchouli oil
  • Being unwell  

Marmite is akin to meconiam in a jar. Patchouli oil has the effect of burning the insides of my nostrils and an unpleasant reminder of my purple hazed kaftan wearing days. Yes, you read that correctly, I did wear a kaftan. I was a student. I was going through a Doors phase. I was a walking hair dyed cliche. Can we leave it at that?

And ... then there is being ill.

I don't appreciate being unwell. I don't like the way my whole being shuts down. I cant think clearly which just seems like an unfair extension of how I am in normal health. I don't communicate well. I feel grubby and unclean. My already fractured sleep pattern becomes even more splintered. My sense of taste and smell are denied. It ignites my asthma. The contents of the dishwasher is ignored. Clothes pile high in the laundry basket. Scrunched tissues cover table tops, adorn the sofa and fill my pockets. I sweat in unladylike places like behind my knees and the under the deep folds of both the pendulati; my breasts.  But most importantly in my virulent state I'm unable to mother Little A well. I just can't meet her needs or expectations sufficiently. In short I'm a lousy mummy when I'm poorly.

I'm not talking about your bog standard head cold here. A few sachets of lemsip and I can function okay. Little A has her mummy, albeit a snotty, sneezing one. We still make it to the park, if its sunny, and do our usual things.

This time was different. I came down with a temperature over the weekend. This wasn't the end of the world thanks to pain killers and the additional support from Younger Dad. I thought I had seen the unwelcome intruder off by Monday but then like a Jehovah's Witness, it came knocking on my door again comeTuesday. The virus was back. Only this time with more temperature, more snot, more coughing, more sneezing and more sweating. 

On Tuesday morning I found myself staring blankly into space whilst parked on the closed lid of the lavatory seat for almost twenty minutes. Little A rescued me from my stupor with ''are you doing a poo or a wee mummy''. I then had to climb into bed for a fifteen minute lie down with Little A clambering over me and trying to prise my eyes open. I felt so useless as a mum. Its a real challenge taking care of my poorly needs when I have to cater to those of a dependent toddler. Thank goodness for Cbeebies.

I made the meals, put her down for a nap but I was so grumpy and irritable all day. I want someone to look after me when I'm unwell. I feel vulnerable. I don't want to have to look after Little A as well. I felt resentful and then guilty for feeling this way. Fortunately cavalry arrived in the form of Younger Dad when he returned home from work in the evening. Makes me feel in awe of single mums who don't have that extra support from a partner.

Tuesday night I experienced very fit full sleep; nodding off then waking up every hour or so to a delirium of muddled thoughts.

Fortunately Little A went to the childminders on Wednesday giving me a chance to just simply be. When I'm really unwell I take this as a sign I've been over doing it so that I'm forced to rest. So I shivered and sweated under a duvet on the sofa and indulged myself with the moving and beautifully acted, 'The Help'.

After a cocktail of throat lozenges, cough syrup, homoeopathy, ventolin I'm definitely turning a corner. I cannot recommend Covonia cough mixture though. Its the most abhorrent thing I've ever tasted. I could say it looks like gravy. But I'm going to be honest. It uncannily resembles diarrhoea. Also the conflicting tastes of menthol and liquorice do not go together like love and marriage. Given the state of my blocked nose I was amazed I could taste it. I looked at its ingredients. It has the crushed bones of a Tasmanian devil, the tears of a crocodile, the fluff of a dinosaur hamster and some thing called squill tincture. Squill tincture? What is that?  Apparently squill is a plant extract that helps to loosen up the phlegm.



Next time I will use Benylin. So less offending on the taste buds. Why can't they make all medicine taste like Calpol?

How do you cope and what do you do when you are poorly and have small children to look after?

14 comments:

  1. Yep! Recognise this, we've just got over it. For the early, intense phase we all had it, so the little man was quiet and still, then I just felt more able to cope day by day. I forced myself outdoors for a couple of hours in the morning but by 1pm I was shattered so little man got much more TV than he normally would (but at least he'd been out). My sympathies, it really is horrible, whatever it is. Polly x

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    1. I'm on the royal road to recovery now, but still sweating, gross, and apetite missing.

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  2. Good blog. You might enjoy this little poem about mothers. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2011/12/random-quotation-spot.html

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    1. Thank you for swinging by and commenting - will check your blog out.

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  3. Poor you. We've missed you. Cbeebies it is I'm afraid - they love it when we're ill! Wish you better. You still write beautifully even when you're ill. XXX

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    1. Ah thank you, although I am on the mend (ish) at the moment. Its knocked it out of me though.

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  4. It is the pits when you feel so poorly and you have to look after a small child. Glad to hear you're on the mend. I agree with Older Single Mum, you still write beautifully even when you're ill.

    - I've always been quite partial to a bit of Marmite. Only thing is now I think I'm always going to think of the words 'meconium in a jar' as I spread it on my toast. Thanks for that!

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    1. Thank you my dear. On the mend but the cold is still damn lingering! I still cant taste my food. Its still marmite!

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  5. ewww, meconium in a jar!! I feel the same way about Patchouli, make me feel queasy. Have you tried any (other) natural remedies?? Hope you're better soon. I'd like to be looked after too when I'm not well, but when I had a 24 hour sickness bug last year, I still made all the meals in between chucking up :))

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    1. Sickness bugs are the worst! Its such a challenge when you know you have to make the meals regardless of how unwell you are.

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  6. Only you could turn a vile head cold into a colourful piece of prose! And you did it while feeling sick! Feel better soon my dear. You have some serious bicycle riding to catch up on. xo

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    1. Getting better. I've lost count how many times I've had lemsip. Malcolm beckons!

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  7. Well there is one piece of good news - you are a great writer when you're ill so you must be awesome when you're well.
    I am trained as an aromatherapist and I totally agree on the patchouli. That and clary sage are the devil's perfumes ;)

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    1. Thank you Actually Mummy. Trained as an aromatherapist - how interesting! Oh yes, clary sage is rather pungent too.

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