Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Not the best week in the world
Adrian was off to the US to check out the breweries of Vermont – by bus. Well it had seemed like a good idea at the time.
‘Hey, you’ll have a lovely peaceful week without me,’ he said at the breakfast table, clearly expecting a flurry of denial.
‘Good point,’ said James. Poor Adrian headed off with his rucksack, looking forlorn.
That evening James gave me a funny look (as in a very funny look).
‘James, stop pulling faces. You’ll get stuck.’
‘I can’t shut my eye,’ he said gurning like a gargoyle.
‘Oh for heaven’s sake.’ I packed him off to bed.
But the next morning he really did look decidedly uneven.
‘Um, I think we’ll just drop by the surgery,’ I said, trying not to sound alarmed. If he hadn't been eleven, I'd have sworn it was Bell's palsy.
‘I think it's Bell’s palsy,’ said the GP.
‘But he’s only eleven.’
She agreed it was rare and had a chat with the hospital who said we’d better go in ‘to be on the safe side’.
Now that would be fine except, ahem, who was going to look after the soul puppy? My usual stalwarts were all away and of course, Adrian was by now going entirely the wrong way on the interstate out of Boston, so we took him with us.
‘Hey look, it’s gone foggy, isn’t that great? The pup will be fine in the car.’
We barrelled along in thick fog, praying there were no kamikaze sheep around.
‘Mum, he’s been sick,’ said James.
‘Okay, that’s okay,’ I said through gritted teeth. ‘I brought towels and baby wipes. Let’s get him sorted.’
We pulled in, wiped, sluiced and veered out back into the fog.
A mile down the road. ‘He’s been sick again.’
At that precise moment the mobile rang. Could we get to the hospital ASAP for a CT scan? Umm, yes, no problem. Providing, of course, the puppy stopped throwing up and we didn’t plunge headlong into a ditch.
‘Look on the bright side, Mum,’ said James, as the pup hurled up for the fourth time. ‘He wasn’t quite as sick as last time. He’s probably running out of stuff to sick up.’
‘Exactly! It could be much worse. Just think - he could have diarrhoea.’
We spent the next two days at the hospital, making mercy dashes to the car, praying it stayed overcast and gloomy. The tests showed nothing nasty. It was, said the consultant with a rueful shrug, ‘just a virus probably.’
Would it get better?
‘In 80 percent of cases, yes.’
We didn’t talk about the other 20 percent. The temptation to descend into gloom tugged at me but two days at a children’s assessment centre puts everything into perspective. Watching children being wheeled to surgery or seeing parents hunched over babies lying still and stuffed full of tubes, really does make you grateful for small mercies.
‘Hey Mum, it could be worse,’ said James with a lop-sided smile.
‘Yes, my darling,’ I said hugging him tight. ‘It really could.’
'And the puppy has stopped throwing up too.'
We looked at one another. 'Uh oh. Return journey coming up.'
But the pup was all spewed out. So basically we’ve spent the last week curled up on the sofa – me, James, the Soul Puppy and even (on occasions) Asbo Jack. We’ve watched movies and eaten tortilla chips by the bucketload and generally slobbed. Work has had to go hang.
Poor Adrian has been in a frenzy, as you’d imagine – 3000 miles away and without a phone that worked (I did try to warn him). But yesterday he returned (laden with maple syrup, jelly beans and dodgy T-shirts) and James seems a little better. I meanwhile am totally shattered.