I thought 2020 and 2021 were challenging, but yoh, 2022 has been like ‘hold my tequila, bitch, I will show you flames!’
Aside: ‘hold my beer’ seemed too mild. 2022 is defs on the hard tack. Also, tequila was the first booze I ever puked on. I still retch slightly when I smell it.
I am writing this, delirious from lack of sleep having spent a large portion of the night at Milpark Hospital where the Lastborn was enjoying a cocktail of various drugs being dripped into her veins after she started with what (after frantic Googling) we surmised could be:
- A stomach bug
- A kidney infection
All I knew was that she was verrrrrrrry poorly. Her stomach had the urge to get rid of its contents and didn’t really care which end she aimed at the loo as long as it got everything out. This was bad enough but it was the writhing in pain from the stomach cramps that had me saying the Rosary.
At this point Dr. Google was not so much helpful as freaking me the hell out. Also, it should be pointed out that the Lastborn does not understand how sick she is until she is basically ready to be hospitalised. As a kid, she used to hurt herself and then walk around with for example, a toe hanging by a thread. She once did a ballet concert with broken fingers. She is that kid.
Long story short. Off we went to Milpark at around 10.30/11ish. They couldn’t have been lovelier although I must say the décor of the waiting room for the Emergency Room needs some cheering up. One man walked in and said in disgusted tones: “This is no better than a public hospital.”
I caught the eye of the Gogo sitting across from me and we both snorted. My guy has clearly never been to a public hospital in SA.
The young doctor eventually saw her and gave her some delish drugs to put in her drip. Unfortunately, she was so dehydrated that her veins were not cooperating and they did have to use her as a pin cushion until they eventually stuck it in her hand. I would’ve been shrieking at this point, she was sanguine.
She said the young doctor reminded her of the Firstborn, if the Firstborn had gone on to become a doctor (he studied health sciences but didn’t want to become a doctor as he doesn’t like sick people.)
I sat with her while the drip worked its magic and tried to gently suggest that perhaps pushing herself so hard that she lands up in the emergency room is not ideal.
- Me: what have we learnt from this experience?
- Lastborn: *eying drip* Drip is forever.
She then laughed so much, she started sort of coughing/retching which had me looking for a bin she could puke into.
We eventually got home at 2ish.
Reader, after I wrote this first bit, the husband then got the dreaded lurgy which meant I got to spend another pleasant evening cleaning up vomit. Also, he was not the most cooperative patient and I had to threaten him with a visit to the hospital before he would take any medicine. After that the power did not come back after our 2-4.30am loadshedding and finally returned at 3pm.
What I did find reassuring through all of this was remembering what was said at Speech Night at the Lastborn’s school. Firstly, I was blown away by all the speeches, the head girl and her deputies spoke beautifully and the guest speaker, Dr. Colleen Lightbody spoke about the brain and how we can change our lives by practising mindfulness and reframing our take on events. Also, there was a whole bit about learning new things, so I shouldn’t say “I can’t sew”, I should say “I can’t sew YET.”
PSA: that was purely an example. I am NEVER taking up sewing.
So, I’m looking at the vomiting attacks in the household and the no power as opportunities to rest and do some reading. I also did some Googling (of course I did) about Noroviruses (the stomach bug). Basically, we are seeing more of these viruses because we use hand sanitizer instead of washing our hands and alcohol doesn’t kill these little f*ckers. So, we will all be washing our hands from now on and singing happy birthday while we do it.
The other speech that night that struck a chord was from the Headmistress and she was quite frank about what a tough time the school staff have had through covid and beyond. As she said, it is always darkest before dawn. I found this comforting because I always feel better when I know other people are having a shit time too. I was concerned, however, to hear about the teachers leaving the profession for various reasons, one of them being due to the abuse they are subjected to by parents.
I was chatting to my beloved sister who told me the story of one nun who terrorised her so much in KG 1 (Grade 0) that she used to go to the loo and cry before school every morning. A lot of us had experiences like that at school back in the day. I still hear Sister Veneranda’s voice in my head and feel those fingernails pinching my ear. May her dear twisted soul RIP.
No, reader, I am not kidding, that really was her name.
My point being that I suspect some of us are bringing our own undealt with stuff to school and taking it out on the teachers now. So, before we lose our shit with a particular teacher and start calling our lawyers because our beloved offspring are not being treated like the gifted geniuses they clearly are, a really good question to ask ourselves is: “is this really about my kid or is this cause Mrs A made me swim a length of breaststroke, and I was so pleased and proud because I thought she did it because my breaststroke was so amazing but really it was to show the whole class how NOT to swim breaststroke and I was so humiliated I spent the afternoon crying and begging my mother to send me to a different school?”
Shame, Mrs A, you didn’t realise I’d become a writer, did you?
What did we learn from this blogpost?
Don’t f*ck with writers.
No, no, no.
It’s always darkest before dawn. We are amazingly resilient. We can do this.
Book recommendations: I am back on track with reading the Lastborn’s matric setworks. We are now on Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The way she ratchets up the tension in the book with the awful father…it’s a masterclass in writing. Plus am lurrrrving all the Catholic bits.
In other bookish news, I have the honour of interviewing bestselling author, Eva Mazza about her latest in the Sex, Lies series called Sex, Lies & Alibis at fave spot Exclusive Books Rosebank Mall on 18th October. Please save the date.
Ps…both my kids turned out to be AMAZING swimmers. Take that, Mrs A. But, yes…I’m still killing you off in a novel.