Sick days

Sick Child


It’s horrible when children get sick. Daughter three spent the whole of Saturday sneezing her way round the shops. Daughter three suffers from allergies so it is difficult to tell if she is allergic to something or has a cold. After being dosed up with Piriton, she was still sneezing, however.

I figured she must be sick, but, since she was on a Christmas mission, she was determined to finish her shopping, a true professional. However, as soon as we got home she stopped sneezing. Maybe she was allergic to shopping.

By Sunday night, though, only son was saying he felt sick. Daughter two retired to her room in fear of the norovirus.

Only son went to bed with a bowl by his bed. By 3am he came into our bed with a high temperature.  By Monday he was almost voiceless. “He’s even more sweet without a voice,” said daughter one, who is his biggest fan.

Even daughter two agreed. “He’s much sweeter when he doesn’t speak.” Only son has dubbed her official worst sister. This is because she is the most in your face fun sister, but also the one who doesn’t know when six year olds have had enough fun.

By evening only son had not improved. He had only eaten a Fab all day and he just wanted to cuddle up and watch I’m a Celeb. He dosed off on my lap.

But he was still hot. He had some more medicine, but as he also suffers from a bit of asthma when he gets a cold his breathing was fast and shallow. I consulted the BMA book of children’s health, where all symptoms seem to lead to emergency options when you are already feeling slightly worried. “Are his lips blue?” I asked my partner. Not as far as we could tell. I’d already checked for rashes several times.

We gave him a puff of his inhaler and tucked him into bed. Thirty minutes later daughter three loomed. “He’s whispering strange things and breathing fast,” she said. “I want mummy,” he moaned. I put him in our bed and got him back to sleep, listening to his breathing and dabbing his head with a wet towel.

He was up at around 10am the next day after a restless night. “Can I have a Fab for breakfast, mum?” he croaked. He pronounced himself on the road to recovery because he was able to sort of speak. He fetched a tablet and sat himself beside me ready to do some “work”. He has now stopped speaking altogether, although I suspect his throat is not as sore. Instead he has developed some sort of elaborate signalling system. He may never speak again.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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