Sometimes it feels like I lurch from one disaster to another. Mini commando asked me to look at his head this morning because it itched and it hurt. There was a large red, weeping sore right on his crown, his blonde hair matted through it. Looking at it gave me a clenching feeling in the pit of my stomach. He may be a man now but he’s still my baby and it is somehow harder to see your child injured or in pain than to be that way yourself. He said he felt hot and unwell.
As there are no doctors on Saturday mornings we took him up to the walk in centre at the top of the Big Hill. The place was heaving so we were in for a long wait. To pass the time we played guess the ailment, trying to work out what was wrong with the people waiting with us. Obviously we played this in whispers, we didn’t want to get lynched or thrown out. Mostly the coughing and blowing of noses game the game away, people with colds. “They probably all think I’m bringing you,” Mini Commando said as I coughed and spluttered. “You fit in just fine.”
There was a teenaged couple in the corner, the girl very red eyed, the boy looking worried. “Morning after pill,” I whispered to Mini Commando. A few people limped in. Way too easy. Not long after we arrived a young man came in with a child of about three, pale, limp and struggling to breathe. It seemed to me they should have been rushed through and seen right away but they had to wait their turn just like everyone else.
The whining and grumbling about the length of wait seemed to be inversely proportionate to the severity of the injury or ailment. The snifflers and the apparently healthy (if possibly hung over) made the most fuss, some going up to the reception to loudly ask “how much longer am I going to have to wait here?” Often not very politely. I felt sorry for the poor receptionist.
When our turn came I asked if the man and child could go first, they were next in line anyway and I couldn’t stand to see the poor child’s heaving chest or the man’s worried frown. The man thanked me so profusely I felt embarrassed. Within minutes the man reappeared, the child, now a normal child colour, walking, smiling at his father’s side. It almost seemed like a miracle.
We were spared too much further gratitude because we were called in. Mini Commando has something call impetigo which is highly contagious and usually seen in small children or athletes. Goodness knows where or how he got it but he did have a fever and swollen glands so we came home with a course of antibiotics. It made me feel itchy just thinking about it.
We came home to another disaster. The boiler has broken down so we have no heat and no hot water, except the shower. Commando, had been talked through minor boiler surgery over the phone by Commando Senior who is a bona fide heating engineer. This is not as worrying as it sounds. Commando is actually an engineer, although not that kind, and, as a lad, used to work with his dad so knows his way round a boiler.
The problem was quickly found, something very technical had split or cracked, and the boiler is off limits until Commando Senior can get hold of a new part. Washing up will now involve the boiling of kettles for the foreseeable future. Thank goodness we have an electric shower and it’s not the middle of winter! Every cloud…