My boys are at the age now where faking a sickness is more than likely. They don’t want to go to school sometimes because they’ve had a bad time with one of the kids the day before, but in most incidents, as boys do, it’s forgiven and forgotten the next day.
But on Wednesday, I heard my little one barking like a seal at 6am. It was that dread croop, the one thing that appears at night but goes away during the day. Something that wouldn’t, or shouldn’t affect him going to school, if he’s ladened with some cough drops and some ibuprofen before he goes. But for some reason, I just felt he wasn’t right to go to school. So I didn’t push him. He mentioned that one of his ears were sore, which hasn’t happened since he was two and he had grommets inserted. And as he has speech and learning difficulties due to loss of hearing in those delicate 12-24 months of his place on this earth, I am more wary than normal if he says something out of the ordinary. So he stayed home.
I had work to do, so after I gave him his ibuprofen around 8.30am, I told him to rest in bed, and I would be home in two and a half hours.
When I came home, he was his bright normal self, playing Wii and had helped himself to his advent calendar chocolate and a glass of milk. I told him that I would be home for about an hour, but he would be coming to my next appointments so that we could go to the doctor afterwards. I just wanted to make sure his ears were OK, as that is his ‘kryptonite’ – if his ears aren’t working all the speech therapists, tutors, audiologists and teachers won’t be able to get through to his powers within.
We had two properties to see – one at frame stage at a building site with a magnificent bay view, the other in a gated community with glistening views of the river. We stopped to get some lunch, the first lot of real food he’d had all day – a blue frosted donut, a jam tart and a party pie. Well his type of ‘real food.’ Yum! Then headed off to the doctor at 2pm. We saw Dr Peter who saw that one of his ears were a little pinkish, but nothing to cause alarm, and his throat was more red. He asked me how he was within himself all day, and I said he’d been fine, but I told him that I dosed him up on ibuprofen. He gave him a prescription for Predmix (croop medicine) and we set off home for me to finish my work.
I did some admin work, my oldest walked home from school by himself, and I had come down with a splitter of a headache. The boys were happy watching TV, so I told them that I was going to have a rest for an hour. An hour and a half later I woke up, realising that the house was decidedly quiet. I saw through my bedroom window that my oldest walked out the front door for a bit and returned. I got up out of bed, went to the living room, only to find my oldest son. I asked him where his brother was, and he said he had no idea – he hadn’t seen him for about an hour.
Instantly I was worried, knowing that the oldest had left the house without asking me, hoping that my little one wouldn’t have done the same and was still out. I checked his room to see if he was quietly playing, but I couldn’t see him. But then I noticed that his bed possibly had something in it, or should I say ‘someone’ ruffled up in his duvet. I checked, and he was sound asleep in it, but his body was burning up. I let him sleep. I checked his temperature, and my dodgy thermometer said he was 98.6F. I checked myself, and I was 98.3F – there is no way we had the same degree of heat coming off our foreheads. Eventually I got a reading of 100.6F for him, but I’m sure he was more than that, but it was enough to say to me that I wasn’t imagining his fever.
I tried to get him to eat some food to take his Predmix, but that was a hard chore. He was struggling to breathe because his nose was so blocked up, and he was crying because he felt completely miserable. I got a few cherry tomatoes and some cucumber slices down his throat and a couple of bites of chicken schnitzel before I gave him his Predmix, and an hour or so later, I gave him some ibuprofen to get some sleep. I was sure that he wouldn’t be going to school in the morning.
The next day, as I was expecting the ibuprofen to wear off at 4.30am, he was back to his normal happy self with a niggly cough, but no fever and he said he wanted to go to school. So I let him… but I’m glad, for once, that my gut feeling about him was right. As there have been so many times I’ve taken my boys to the doctors, only for it to be a false alarm or they haven’t been as sick as they have made out to be.