I mean, if you had to choose one or the other. The Man would go for meningitis, possibly because he has no notion of the discomfort (hahahaha, “discomfort”) of feeling like your brain is about to blow your eyeballs out: also, having never had a long needle inserted into his spine, he thinks it would be fun. I’d go for dengue, although concede that the risks of being really sick – as in bleeding-from-orifices-sick - the next time you’re unlucky enough to get it might tip me slightly more towards VM, but then the headache and the spinal tap send me scurrying back to the Aedes mosquito. It’s a tough call.
This conversation was the culmination in awfulness of a really awful week. It started with the Baby having a fever, and so all
parenting-time-killing-activities play-dates were cancelled. And then I started to feel a bit fevery. But of course the day I actually tried to
indulge this, by, you know, taking some pills and going to bed, she said “Me
sick tummy” and promptly threw up all over the place. And again, ten minutes later. Then again, about twenty minutes later. At which point she got into her stride and
threw up, on cue, every two hours for the next twenty-four. (Interesting fact – toddler bile is
yellowy-orange, not green.)
By the time we were out the other side (the vomiting having transformed seamlessly into a hacking cough in the middle of the second Night Of Hell) I was putting my high fever and pretty appalling headache down to no sleep, self-pity, and just something I picked up from her.
Although I did wonder at one point if it was normal to be crouched, standing, with my head between my legs, pressing my temples as hard as I could with my hands, to try to contain my brain. Seriously. I know most normal people would have gone to hospital at that point, but this was a Sunday, which meant the maid was off, and the Boy had a rugby tournament. And frankly I’d rather have to clean up my own brain from the floor than deal with the fall-out of his missing a match. So the Man brought the older kids to rugby, and left the two invalids together for the morning, whereupon one of us (ahem) passed out and the other one pretended that she was watching Ben and Holly on YouTube but as soon as her mother was comatose played around with all those stupid side-bar suggestions until she found something entirely inappropriate for... well really for anyone, but most certainly for a 2 year old. And so it was that I woke up to the Man standing over me wondering why the Baby was watching Spiderman eviscerate My Little Pony.
Anyway. We got to the hospital, which was the least fun car ride ever, mainly because the Baby screamed I DON’T LIKE DADDY the entire way, while the Boy and the Girl screeched at each other over a peanut-butter sandwich or something (I didn’t take in too many of the details, because by now my brain was dripping out my nose) and the Man was insisting on trying to break them up with one hand while driving all over the road with the other. (I do remember however limping into the A&E and still being able to hear the medley of kiddie-screeching from the car as it drove off, which made me laugh, at which point I had to quickly stuff my brain back in through my ear.)
Fast-forward past the Registrar musing ALOUD about possible causes – Brain trauma? Brain mass? Stroke? - to the bit where I’m in a room with the infectious diseases consultant, and he’s calling his neurologist buddy and we are scheduling me in For. A. Spinal. Tap.
Because, you know, MENINGITIS. Then I gave 25 pints of blood, and then, finally, the Man arrived and laughed at the state of me, and we had the above conversation, and I got wheeled off to have the inside of my head looked at.
Oh, and sorry, did I forget to mention this?:
My fingertips are in shreds.
Seriously. It was a really shitty week.
HOWEVER! I am fine. As it turned out the scans showed that my brain was remarkably average (as the neurologist put it), everything pointed towards viral meningitis (Mr Bacterial’s kinder sibling), and so no need for a lumbar puncture. HURRAH. Because honestly, as far as I was concerned, that boat – the one involving needles and my spine - sailed about two and a half years ago. And then I got to stay in hospital, away from the many demands of my many children. And then, even better, when I came home, US Prosecutor friend dropped over a wad of trashy US magazines (at unimaginable expense – thank you sweetheart) and even better, a bag of French pastries. And so I made a cup of tea, hauled my booty into my bedroom, and locked the door for two days.
Actually, now that I think about it, I’d almost recommend it. Almost.