I was recently struck by illness. We had experienced a period of illness engulfing much of the household, apart from me, for some time. Just when I had reached the bottomless pit that was the laundry basket, and had finally arranged to meet with other adult human beings outside of my own four walls, I was struck with the worst kind of illness… The Mummy illness… Here is a diary chronicling how I was a really, really poorly mum, during what can only be described as the worst week ever….
Day 1: The Early hours of Monday Morning.
Wake frequently with a dark and foreboding feeling that I may be coming down with something… I don’t worry too much, as the feelings are only vague, and may well have cleared by the morning.
Feelings of coming down with something confirmed, by the arrival of shivers, nausea, and what can only be described as a headache involving someone placing an industrial clamp on your head, and squeezing as tightly as possible, in an attempt to smash your head into tiny pieces. Rationalise that all is not lost, salvation can be found in an emergency SOS call to own mother, who will likely promptly drop whatever she is doing to come to the rescue. The call is made to own mother, at 7am sharp, who says that she is unable to offer help, as she has done her back in, and is thus confined to her own house. Promptly burst into tears at the thought of looking after two feral toddlers in this condition.
Laying on the sofa having dropped as much pain relief as the packet allows, but actually thinking that only morphine or complete anaesthetisation will dull the pain from the metaphorical vice gripping at head, and relieve the pain from moving any limb the smallest millimetre. Children are slowly but surely destroying the house, and surviving on cake and anything else they ask for, as can’t deal with any crying or shouting. Wonder if I can survive until bedtime…
Day 2: Early hours of Tuesday morning.
Due to uncontrollable shivers and not being able to get warm, I go to bed with a huge knitted cardigan, granny bed socks, and furry slippers. Following several hours of terrible hallucinations, wonder if I’ve wet myself, as bed feels soaking wet. Stop hallucinating long enough to sniff test own pyjama bottoms, and realise that no urine has leaked, but temperature must be so high that I am laying in a bath of my own sweat, and there aren’t West End performers dancing at the foot of the bed, but these are in fact further high temperature hallucinations. Stumble downstairs to check temperature and attempt to bring it down. Check temperature-freak out that it’s 41 degrees. Search every cupboard for pain relief to lower temperature, but the only packet found is empty. Drink half a bottle of calpol, and return to bed, removing cardigan and slippers despite feeling like I’m naked in the Antarctic.
Make tearful phone call to own mother, to ask if her back is now fully recovered. Of course, her back is no better than yesterday, and despite detailed description of horrendous suffering inflicted on her own daughter, she still maintains she is confined to own house. Slam the phone down and promptly burst into tears. Beg husband not to go to work-strongly advise that there must be compassionate leave for this kind of event. He equally as strongly denies this and leaves for work anyway, with a tear stained outfit which will hopefully remind him of his callousness.
Phone husband and tell him that death will be imminent unless he comes home immediately. Spend a few minutes irrationally fuming at own mother for having a bad back, while waiting for husband to confer with his boss. Husband calls back to say he has been given one hours grace to come home and relieve sick wife from feral toddler taming, and possible imminent death. Argue that this is a crappy amount of grace to be given, and demand a renegotiation. Husband says this is not happening, and hangs up. I spend a couple of hours being irrationally fuming at him, own mother, everyone who is well, and everyone with children at school who become ill, who get to be ill in peace.
Violent joint aches seem to be subsiding, but headache is worse, if that is even humanly possible. Realise there is still no pain relief in the house, and realise that will mean a trip to the chemist. Don’t even bother calling own mother today, her back will inevitably still be selfishly hurting, and husband was sent to work with further tears on his outfit, and extra snot for good measure, also with a reminder that the next time he is ill, I will be booking myself into a spa, so he will have to deal with children all by himself-remind him that karma is a bitch. Dressing myself and the children for the trip to the chemist takes all my effort, and I roll around of the floor moaning for a few minutes while I try and recover from the exertion. The trip to the chemist is excruciating-reminding myself to put one foot in front of the other, and wondering if I can make it. Chemist wants a detailed description of my symptoms-she is greeted with yet more tears from me. I wonder if my tear ducts are faulty, and are set to default mode of constant leaking.
Smallest toddler sleeps for three hours, and the relief is so complete I’m already planning the fun things I will do with him when I’m better, as a celebration of this most wonderful nap. Oldest toddler finally shows some compassion for a poorly mummy, by giving me his favourite blanket, and telling me I can sleep if he can watch the Minions film. He can watch whatever the heck he wants. I wonder what the catch is, as he never lets me rest for one second during the day. He actually sticks to his end of the deal, and watches Minions without making a peep. I sleepily decide that he can bath in chocolate milkshake, and eat ice cream for every meal, for the rest of his life. I decide that when I’m better, my body will be a temple, I will only eat organic fruit and veg, and may possibly become vegetarian-maybe even vegan. I will be so healthy, I will never become ill again…
Husband has the day off work! But is almost too little too late, as inevitably, mum flu has considerably subsided. Realise that I have been terrible daughter to own mother, and phone to apologise. Realise I have been terrible wife to husband, and mainly apologise (but leave the threat of the spa lingering in the air just for good measure.) Realise I have not eaten since Sunday, and realise I am starving. Husband makes macaroni cheese with bacon and croutons, and a side of garlic flatbread. It is the best thing I have ever tasted, and all thoughts of the organic fruit and veg are put to one side, for now…! Husband is now fully forgiven, and poorly mummy is starting to resume normal service!
NB, If you experience any symptoms of mum flu, please do not visit any mum friends until 48 hours clear of symptoms-to pass on mum flu is both dangerous and makes you a bad friend. If you have mum flu and have toddlers, no childcare, and no access to drugs-you’re screwed.