There, but for the grace

There is sickness in our house this week: an awful viral lurgy which has flattened my little girl and has left us in a spin.

It started without any warning, a muttered ‘Mummy?’ followed by an ‘Exorcist’ style projectile vomit session whilst at a child’s birthday party. No fever, no ‘I don’t feel well’, just a hell of a lot of yellow matter on the floor. It was a shock, to her and to me, but now I can see a pattern as exactly the same thing happened at exactly the same time last year. Is it August? Have school holidays made her ill? Is she allergic to having fun (or birthday parties)?

Our doctor (Fernando, he looks a bit like ‘Lurch’ from the Adams Family, but much more communicative) examined her and said ‘It’s a virus, it’s very common at this time of year, give her the water from boiled rice, and these powders with more water to keep her hydrated, if she keeps being sick take her to the hospital’.

She’s a tough chicken my daughter, she doesn’t get sick very easily, but this one is nasty. I struggle with her being ill, it’s hard to know what to do for the best, and she struggles too as she is not used to it. She hates taking the rehydration powders, complaining that they are ‘sour’; we have to make deals with her to get her to take them. She sleeps, then she wakes up, throws up, and becomes bored, tearful and grumpy, then she gets tired and wants to sleep again. When you see your own normally healthy, happy (occasionally maddening) child spectacularly ill, it’s important to try to keep things in perspective.

Earlier in the week I was involved in a meeting to do a fundraising event on September 30th for Respiralia (an organisation here in Mallorca which supports children with Cystic Fibrosis). CF is a genetic disease which affects the lungs and ultimately shortens the life expectancy of the sufferer to their early thirties. At the meeting we set a ‘wishful thinking’ target of 10’000€ to raise on the night. It’s possible, only a few months ago I was involved with a benefit dinner for a very sick little girl and her family which raised well over 11’000€. But part of me wonders if we can do it again, it was such a huge effort, can we repeat it?

I also wondered what we would have done if our daughter had needed the help Respiralia, I don’t know. What I do know is you have to count your blessings, knuckle down with the table plan, start begging for raffle prizes and try to help. Dear reader, if you can help, then don’t be shy, please do. Get in touch with the Euro Weekly News.

(first published 17 August 2010)

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