27.11.2014. Less than a month till Xmas and the girls’ SECOND birthday.
We have had a really up and down time lately.
Ups? Prague, work, wonderful visitors. I won a wrap (the first one I’ll ever have received as the first owner).
Downs? Very cold, and girls have not been well.
The illness and my friends’ visit coincided as luck would pigging well have it and we are still crossing our fingers that all our visitors got away unscathed.
Trying to think in what order to spill the beans.
fantastic visitors? Ok!
One of my most fab friends in the UK came to see us with her partner and partner’s son. It was AWESOME. We have not caught up for more that 3 years. It was a wonderful weekend, but I wish her first impression of our girls had been better.
Ok- began with fever on Wednesday last. Also noticed smelly breath. Then over weekend, spots on face, spots in mouth and throat. Olive’s mouth did some impressive and freaking hideous swelling. We went to the Dr the first time and the only symptom was fever. As is usually the case we were told not to worry, fever would pass etc. The girls were really grumpy during S, A and U’s visit. They were in pain with sore mouths, and we decided to let up on teeth brushing a little. BAD DECISION. DON’T EVER do that.
After the weekend, Ivy’s spots were not clearing up and this mutant lump in Olive’s mouth was covering her front tooth. Instead of emitting the usual sweet smell of cherry pie, their breath smelled more like something had crawled in and died. I called my work to tell them and we whisked them off to a paediatrician who diagnosed impetigo. He also through no fault of his own had quite bad English, and while I hate to be ‘that expat brat’, when you are panicking about your children, doesn’t help to calm you when you and your Dr struggle to communicate. However, he also looked at Olive’s festering mouth gunge and had the presence of mind to send her through to the clinic’s dentist.
Here was the low point of my week: because we eased up on the brushing over a few days, O had acute gingivitis. Ivy’s, though without swelling, was worse. The dentist was horrified at the dirty state of her teeth and I felt like I had let them down in such a huge and basic way. We cried a lot of tears on Tuesday. Being a mum is soooooo tough sometimes. We try so so hard to raise them healthily, to allow them to learn and flourish… We are both educated and professional women, and we put all our energy into being mummies- we parent right around the clock (still no evenings out had in this amazing city!!) and share everything with our children. But on Tuesday, it felt as though we had almost got to the point (and in only a few days?!) to letting our sweet girls lose all their teeth. With a bright and unforgiving light, the dentist showed me all the dirt on O’s teeth, and let me tell you, that is never going to happen again.
The Dr also wrote us a referral to hospitalise Ivy. Now, you might panic at this (yep, so did we), but later, once we had calmed down, we replayed the conversation and agreed that we thought the referral was in case Ivy refused to drink and stopped urinating. As she is urinating loads as usual and drinking water, we just thought we would pick up the prescription and go home. Ha.
Which brings me to the rest of this unfortunate day. The other thing which made Tuesday terrible was also language-related. The Dr had prescribed an antibiotic ointment which is no longer available/ in trade. In Thailand, where all medicines can be bought over the counter, the smiling, deferent pharmacist will offer you a range of alternatives. The people here are nice. But those working in service rolls don’t waste their smiles. After the 6th (6th, yep) pharmacist shoving the prescription back at us, saying something along the lines of, “No have.” we were told that the hospital could do. At the hospital we were directed to their pharmacy and they told us, finally that it is discontinued, and that we needed a new prescription. No, they could not substitute. Well, at least we are beginning to know exactly where all the clinics are. By the time we’d seen the Dr for the second time, bought the medication and got home, it was 2pm. We left at 8am. In all that time, we had not managed to put a brush to either girl’s fetid gums. We were really upset.
At the weekend, S asked me if I missed anything about Bkk. I definitely miss speaking the language of my host country. My Thai is fluent and my Czech is really poor. I also miss the healthcare system! Things just work very differently here, and unfortunately, where health is concerned, you can be trying to find your way around when you are half blind with nerves (or indeed with some physical ailment).
The final horror of Tuesday was the long awaited teeth cleaning. Oh my god. There can’t be many worse things than forcing your children to suffer (pinning them down to clean their teeth) or the feeling that you caused their suffering in your ignorance. There are far more serious afflictions a child can have, but cleaning Ivy’s teeth on Tuesday was so bloody and such a battle, was nonetheless horrifying.
Work is amazing. They have been so supportive and accommodating. Yesterday and today I am very late to work, because the Teeth Battles cannot be fought alone. I don’t want to take any time off because I like to be here. However, it is the Czech labour force’s bureaucracy which prevents me staying home today: AW has now contracted this bitch and she says, “NO WONDER the girls were GRUMPY!”. She has the sores on her lip and throat, and a nasty headache. So she is just alone with the girls, and I feel guilty. But the girls are getting better, which is the main thing!
I wonder when it will be my turn though? Not looking forward to it!!