Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Coughing wars in the Bonkers House
The Bonkers House has been the House of Sick lately. James and I have been engaging in coughing wars – who can hack loudest, longest and make themselves most dizzy? Seriously, it’s been ghastly. Nobody has been able to hold a decent conversation – it’s always interrupted by a volley of coughing. I wouldn’t mind but we don’t even cough in rhythm.
Consequently we have spent inordinate amounts of time at the doctor’s. I really do lament the passing of our old doctor. He may have been a bit of a bad boy (his local nickname was ‘Dr Love’) and his timekeeping was so erratic that you’d go armed with several books, a thermos and a picnic, but he was seriously good. A qualified homeopath and acupuncturist as well as a GP, he would give whatever he thought necessary. As a mother it was hugely comforting – we avoided massive amounts of antibiotics when James was small because he’d prescribe homeopathic remedies (which worked a treat on ear infections). Yet, if he felt James needed antibiotics, he’d prescribe those. Best of both worlds, to my mind, and ‘integrated medicine’ at its best. Nowadays it seems fashionable to bash homeopathy and I suspect many doctors will cautiously steer clear.
Our new doctors are lovely but nobody offers to pop needles in our toes. My cough turned out to be pretty simple – a nasty chest infection that needed banging on the head with antibiotics. James’, however, is mysterious. The doc thinks it is probably asthma, but I don’t quite see that.
‘Could it be the house?’ I asked. Then had a sudden panic that she would think I was going to start talking about ghosts and feng shui. I quickly explained that we have pretty well knocked the whole thing down and rebuilt it. Was James merely suffering from a severe case of dust?
‘Well, you do Hoover, don’t you?’
Um, yes. Sort of. When the sun shines and it shows up.
‘Very unlikely then. Is it damp?’
Is the pope Catholic?
‘Only down in the Area of Doom and we don’t go there.’ Except in pairs to liberate alcohol from the Cellar of Despond.
‘Well, it could be mould.’
Could well be. I reckon we even have rare breeds of lichen lurking down there.
Anyhow, we came home with various potions and puffers and bits of equipment. James is to make a spreadsheet and chart his cough, his air flow, his feelings amid various combinations of drugs. He feels self-important (‘I’ve got TWO puffers – no-one else has got TWO); I feel despondent.
We barely have time to get ready in the morning as it is – add in scientific experimentation and graph-charting and we’ve had it.
I also worry about him having a solid diet of anti-histamines and steroids at age 11. Am I over-reacting? Probably.
But it does feel as though, since we’ve moved here, we have not been a happy healthy bunch. Maybe there really is something nasty in the cellar.