Tuesday 16 February 2010

Screams in the night

15st 4lb, 4.0 units. The Baby spent the night screaming. Mrs H spent the night comforting him. I, shamefully, spent the night sleeping fitfully in our fly-infested and dead-mouse-scented annexe above the garage, except during the all-too-frequent interruptions to relieve myself of scarcely believable quantities of liquid. A sure sign of diabetes, I seem to recall.
I discovered when I finally surfaced in the morning that I had only narrowly escaped an early hours summons to drive mother and Baby to A&E on account of his soaring temperature, until a consultation with NHS Direct and the patient’s subsequent response to the recommended infant-friendly analgesics had put Mrs H’s mind at rest. Since I rarely say anything positive about anyone or anything on these pages, it seems only fair to observe that Mrs H has been consistently impressed with the responsiveness of NHS Direct, and the quality of its staff and of the advice they offer.

It seemed only reasonable to try to assuage my aforementioned feelings of total uselessness by staying at home for the day to assist Mrs H, particularly given that The Baby steadfastly refused to be put down for a second, and this severely restricted her freedom of manoeuvre. We took him to The Doctor, who peered into all The Baby’s reasonably accessible orifices and concluded that his mild fever was consistent with … a cold, or something of the sort. Which seemed a bit hard, given that he has only just got over a cold, or something of the sort, but apparently there is a lot of it about.

Or it could be swine flu, of course, of which there is also a lot about in the area, apparently, though luckily presenting itself in a mild form rather than in the “bring out your dead” mass graves scenario so widely touted in the media last year. Nevertheless, we were advised that we would do well to consider the merits of vaccination if we had not already done so, and not merely because the Government has got millions of doses of vaccine with a diminishing shelf life that it is desperate to pump into people’s arms rather than dump in landfill.

Then again, The Baby’s temperature could be the precursor to something like chickenpox.

It was only after we left the surgery that I began to wonder what exactly we had gained over our previous understanding that The Baby was not very well but we did not really have a clue what was wrong with him.

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