Friday, 25 November 2011

Pneumonia again

Kitty's been diagnosed with microplasma pneumonia or 'walking pneumonia' again. Second time in 6 months. Back on antibiotics and another tablet to help clear her airways quickly, although we may pass on that one as she felt awful and then was sick 40 minutes after taking the first dose... There's apparently a possibility of mild asthma as well - it seems the dodgy chest noises are hard to tell apart.

So, here I am with one child who wants to lie on the sofa and watch DVDs as her most energetic form of exercise, and one child who is bouncing off the walls in his need to run, jump, shout and generally burn off energy and high spirits. And I've hit my one week slump. I seem to do fine while Mr B is away for about a week, and then suddenly I'm exhausted, emotionally at least, and I go into survival mode - surviving the children till bedtime and then burying myself in escapist novels/DVDs till I collapse into bed myself. All my plans for catching up on the 'to do' list go out the window.

Today was hard. I wanted to hide under the bedclothes all day. I chose not to send Kitty to school, partly as she was exhausted from coughing in the night, partly as I would have had to collect her early anyway to get to our doctor's appointment, and also in no small measure because I turned off my alarm at 6.25 and promptly fell back asleep till the kids woke at 7. The Mancub's reverted to wetting the bed most nights and twice some nights (like last night) despite his reluctant encasement in nappies again, so most nights have gone back to being interrupted. So, with a tired grumpy Kitty and a tired grumpy Mama and a bouncing, cheeky, and yet still needy Mancub, it was a long day. And today my closest friends were all rightly busy with their own agendas and I wouldn't really want Kitty coughing all over their kids anyway.

And yet, I write all this and I know full well that to my sister-in-law this is small potatoes. This would be a good night and day! Not that she won't be sympathetic. She will and is. And for most mothers of new babies, this is nothing too. Ah well. Moan over. Here's praying for a better night and more energy tomorrow (for me at any rate, I wouldn't complain if the Mancub had a bit less) and some inspiration for exciting but not too tiring (and preferably independent) activities to fill our day.


  1. I have a husband who travels frequently, and for long periods. Although I don't live in an area as remote as you are in, we have no family nearby. And I've only one child. I think I still might be able to imagine what you might be going through, though. It's HARD to be the only parent. And harder still when our little one is sick (and harder still when the parent is sick, too, but I won't go there for now). I really can sympathize!

    I hope that Kitty recovers very quickly.

    Could you give Mancub some of those school worksheets that Kitty used to make up for him and that he enjoyed working on so much? How about some arts and crafts (ones that don't get as messy - like crayons and a coloring book)? Are there any videos that he gets particularly engrossed in? How is he at counting - could he count, say, all of the buttons in the button jar for you, or the napkins in the pack, or noodles in the box? (Perhaps that's a bit ambitious - too many!) Once when I was ill and my energetic son was not, I sent him out into our back yard (where I had full view of him) and asked him to count the purple flowers. Luckily for me, he seemed to think this was an important thing to do and it kept him busy for several minutes. :-) How about sorting? Dump several items together (out of his view) and ask him to please sort them for you. Could he fold the laundry for you? (Maybe not a perfect result, but something to keep him busy and let him think he's "really helping.") Every once in a while, take him outside and ask him to run as fast as he can up and down the front walk, across the yard, or whatever - ten, fifteen or even twenty times. Next time, hop. After that, skip. Then, walk backwards. And so on. That used to expend some of my son's energy and give him the patience to come back inside and do a quiet activity. Maybe even 'write' some ideas or tasks on little pieces of paper (I would draw a little picture when my son was not yet able to read) and let him pick them out.

    Try to hang in there. It really is hard when you're the only one "on call" all day. I'll keep positive thoughts for you. And, again, hope Kitty gets well SOON!


  2. I hope Kitty gets over this really quickly, how horrible. Does that pneumonia circulate a lot where you live? Little one here has a cold and I've got her wrapped with baby vicks, tissues, etc and you know what I'm like about coughs and sneezes, pneumonia must be a whole different anxiety level for you. Hope you and Mancub don't catch it. Do you think she's getting it at the school? Twice in 6 months is surely a bit much? This wondering about possible asthma must be a worry too, will she be tested properly after the antibiotic course?

    No wonder you are feeling worn out, even if Kitty wasn't ill. On your recent break you went up a mountain! That's some sort of metaphor for how hard you've been working on looking after your family since moving to Africa, that climbing a mountain seemed like a break.


  3. Thanks guys, I appreciate the sympathy and suggestions!! The Mancub LOVES to run to the end of the garden and back and have me time him! When I'm well, I don't mind trying to keep up with him physically. It's mentally/emotionally I struggle with. Has anyone calculated how many times in one day a three year old can say/call/shout/whine "Mama?!" with yet another question or another "look at me!" We've fortunately moved beyond the "why?" stage but we're firmly entrenched in the "what if...?"s. At 5 this morning he woke from a bad dream about the three little pigs and the big bad wolf. "What if the dream comes back Mama?" said a very worried little face. More often it's along the lines of "what if a yellow bus goes past us Mama?" "hmmm - what if indeed?!"

  4. In a few years time, you'll be looking back on these days and you'll probably have forgotten the exhaustion : )
    Sorry to hear you're having a tough time. I know just how you're feeling. Hope it turns round soon. Big hugs xxx

  5. Was trying to email you but for some reason can only email C - which is less use if you're apart!

    Airway tablet - Salbutamol or similar? Which would open the airways but also cause a racing heart which might explain the feeling horrid and sickness? Or else steroid which could also make her feel horrid but certainly helps Mog improve faster...

    Hope the antibiotics help - and that you don't have the same thing.

    If it helps; I've just spent most of the afternoon attempting to sleep, Mog having kindly thrown a party all night long, with smaller child sittig on my feet and insisting on whittering. Think she and the Mancub have a lot in common (Tarzan and Jane perhaps?!) Broken nights are horrid and forcibly active days are horrid, and single parenting is especially horrid when you're outnumbered and not set up for it...

    Feel free to ship either or both of them home on the slow boat! And come with them yourself of course or just enjoy the peace.

    There are times when I really hate being this far away and so tied to home. Would be so nice to be able to just throw the girls in the car and take them off to entertain the cousins. Next year maybe?

  6. Next year we can definitely get together more often and set the cousins on each other, I mean let them play beautifully together, while we put our feet up and have another cup of coffee.

    Yes, it was Salbutanol. To be honest, letting her bounce on a trapoline 30 mins after taking both meds was probably not the best idea either... was trying to wear out the Mancub.