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.

‘Of course!’

‘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.


Laura - Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? said...

The Husband has THREE puffers and is proud about it too.

I've had asthma since I was 4 and still do live in a puff of puffers!

Hope all are well again soon x

Humdrum Mum said...

My 4 year old has been called a Happy Wheezer by the nurses - he has a puffer which he uses about once a year. Yes get well soon all! x

Anonymous said...

Better something nasty in the cellar than the woodshed......

Exmoorjane said...

Laura: I didn't know you had a puffer! Your husband is plain greedy!
Humdrum: once a year sound good. I could live with once a year.
Mud: Ooh, I dunno - what about Seth seething with sex?

bradan said...

Puffers rule! Half the kids in the pre-school where I work have them, it's such a pain making sure each has the required number of puffs before being allowed out to play!
Can synpathise re coughs having had one for God knows how long myself, hope all better soon.

Chris Stovell said...

Oh goodness! Maybe you need a shrine with offerings? (Really freaky - daren't say more for fear of id'ing house). Whatever it is, I hope you'll have a healthier and quieter house soon. (God! - word verification thing is 'flabull'which sounds suitably phlegmy).

Sally Townsend said...

After being wildly happy about finally moving somewhere with central heating it seems to be non stop colds this season, as for the dust here, playing complete havoc as I cough and wheeze my way through the day. House renovations, doncha love 'em.

Maggie Christie said...

Golly you both sound as if you need a good bit of tlc. Some nice sunshine probably wouldn't go amiss either. I remember having a similar affliction this time last year and thoroughly annoying it was too. Kids round here don't seem to get asthma for some reason (despite the damp and the mould). I hope you both get better soon. xx

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Hope you are both on the mend. I reckon house renovations are hard on the lungs!
Like the sound of your Dr Love!

Exmoorjane said...

Bradan: lovely to hear from you. Can't get into your blog to see how you're doing.. :(

Chris: was just so fascinated by your house experience.. maybe I do need something here.

Sally: ah, you too? I'm not even warm!

Mags: I SO need somewhere warm. One thing doc said was, 'have you had a holiday?' Er, no.

EM: Dr Love is rather fab...but very very bad. ;)