“Does he look sick to you?”
“No. He’s grand. Leave him. He’s just cranky.
“But there’s water coming out of his ears.”
“He’s just had a bath.”
“He’s pulling at his ears. He’s whingey. He’s just not himself. Don’t ask me to explain it. I just know. He’s off form.”
“Leave him for a day or two.”
Twelve hours later we’re in the doctors.
“What can I do for you?”
“You’re probably going to tell me I am imagining things but………….…”
“I’ll stop you right there. You are his mother. If you think there is something wrong, you are most likely right. Let’s have a look, shall we?”
Fifty euros, a prescription and a very, very smug “I told you so” confirmed ear infection later I never doubted myself again. I still miss that GP.
Conversation when your dog is sick.
“Does she look off to you?”
“She’s grand. She’s probably tired.”
“I think she’s depressed.”
“Depressed? She’s a dog. Dogs don’t get depressed.”
“Well, she’s definitely not well. Look how miserable she looks.”
“Bloody dog gets better treatment than I do.”
24 hours later we’re in the vets. Seventy odd euros, a bag of drugs and a very, very smug “I knew it” later following a confirmed kidney infection.
Your child is sick.
You are worried. It is not nice. You feel for them in their miserableness. You are on toast and tepid 7Up duty. You are tired having been up and down all night changing bed linen and pyjamas. Nothing is too much bother. Too tired to walk up the stairs? You carry them. A little accident before they make it to the bathroom? Annoying but not the end of the world. Getting your child to take an anti-biotic might be a bit trickier. All sorts of deviousness is employed. You are confined to the house because no-one wants to go anywhere with the one who has a dodgy plumbing system.
Your dog is sick.
You are worried. It is not nice. You feel for them in their miserableness. You are on water bowl and chopped boiled chicken duty, trying to get them to drink something. You are tired having spent the night listening to the restless movements of the dog downstairs and worrying about the inevitable mess that will await you in the morning.
Everything is very physical. Feel like going for a run? Grand job until she lies down on the road and refuses to move. Any idea how hard it is to lift a two year old lab collie cross? A little accident before they make it outside? Bigger ‘n that. The contents of her stomach (and bowels) deposited all over one of the boys’ bed and the carpet on the landing without anyone hearing a thing. Antibiotics the size of horse tablets pose a real problem. Resort to crushing them between two dessert spoons and sprinkling the dust onto a pancake thinly lined with chocolate spread. You are confined to the house because she is so miserable and you can’t bear to leave her.
Your child is sick.
Lots of TLC and endless tutorials of Minecraft on YouTube. You go to the kitchen for a much needed coffee but only get as far as flicking the switch on the kettle before patient shouts out an enquiry as to your whereabouts. Watching for dodgy bowel movements courtesy of the anti-biotic. Making sure they are kept hydrated and getting decent sleep. Still housebound because it is only day two. Child feeling somewhat better and beginning to milk the situation.
Your dog is sick.
Lots of TLC. You can’t go to the bathroom or kitchen without being shadowed by an animal. The kids are told to get outside and stop bothering the dog who keeps sneaking upstairs for some peace and quiet.
Your child is better.
Appetite returns with a vengeance after a marathon 14 hour sleep. All bed linen is freshly laundered and back on the beds. The bottle of 7Up is empty. There is a dribble of anti-biotic left in the bottle. Squabbles begin again and cabin fever is well and truly rabid. You can’t enjoy a coffee and a biscuit without a face appearing around the corner begging for some. Toilet habits return to normal and once again your bathroom resembles a public latrine after a good night out. You can’t go upstairs for some peace and quiet without them following you and jumping up on you, almost knocking you over. You roar at them.
Your dog is better.
Appetite returns with a vengeance and you can’t open a packet of biscuits without a cold, wet nose being shoved in your face begging for some. There is one large horse tablet left and you debate leaving it but the thoughts of another astronomical vet’s bill if the infection returns has you crushing it between the two spoons. The dog ceases to squat and strain to eliminate and once again the grass is covered in shit. You can’t go under the stairs for the sweeping brush without her thinking she is going for a run and she jumps up on you, almost knocking you over. You roar at her.
Looks like things are back to abnormal again.