Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sapphire's supplies

I may be the one with the seige mentality in this particular household but Sapphire's medical and pharmaceutical collection has become rather large in the past couple of months.

In the early days when we thought it was just gastro and a cold, we had a few boxes. Then, at her doctor's insistence, a thermometer to keep a check on her fever. Beyond two weeks, it was antibiotics. First try, second try, third try.

Then hospital (twice) and a fortnight at home with nurses coming three times a day to deliver a stronger antibiotic via IV.

Getting up forty five minutes before the arrival of the 6am nurse to take the IV fluid out of the fridge is getting old, especially when BBC, CNN and Sky news seem to only have the resources to cover three stories on the entire planet and do so over and over, repeating all three at ten minute intervals. The other alternative is the shopping channel, with the same 'AhhBra' advertisement featuring a woman with enough plastic surgery to resemble Miss Piggy spending over thirty minutes wittering on about what looks like a flimsy crop top.

Sapphire's literally 'on tap' and reckons that she's feeling better. Sort of.

Thanks to prompt 'production' and 'delivery', her stool samples have revealed that the stubborn bacteria has apparently disappeared but the stomach pains remain. She's ventured out twice this week for two hours at a time: once to have dinner with friends and the other to buy a Christmas tree; but the recovery period needed afterwards is twice that amount.

Soon after the above picture was taken she gingerly had a shower (I am required to duck in at the exact moment specified to put a plastic bag on her IV bandage) and was back in her jammies, lying down on the sofa in a tight ball.

The official cause might be gone, but we're told that the swollen intestinal wall and stomach lining is going to give her grief for a while longer yet. Here's hoping that she doesn't need to flex her gut muscles much over the Christmas break when she and I learn how to snow ski for the very first time. Or, at the very least, she has one full day without having to bend over double for any reason other than to fasten her snow shoes.


Elephant's Child said...

I went skiiing. Once. I was faster on my face than I was standing up. And ski boots are vile things. Which is a shame, because it is one of those things which looks magical. I just didn't find it so, being a super-klutz. I am glad, glad, glad that the bugs have left Sapph, and hope that she amazes the doctors with the speed of her recovery.

tracy said...

It's really not what you'd expect from an expat experience in Geneva, is it?

You know, in all of the photos she just seems to be holding up so well, but it must really be getting her down.

Jealous of the snow, I am.

Kath Lockett said...

EC, I'm sort of relieved you mentioned the ski boots because to me they look HUGE and rock hard and therefore vastly uncomfortable. Like wrapping some wrought iron around your chest and calling it a bra.

Tracy, you're correct. However, I'm relieved that she's getting the medical attention she deserves - it took around three weeks for the GP and then the hospital to understand that I wasn't being a pushy diplomatic dunce with an over-inflated sense of entitlement. But yes, Sapphire's sick of being stuck at home and then even more sick of feeling so damn tired all the time.

Snow forecast for Geneva (not just the nearby mountains) this weekend!

Elisabeth said...

It's so hard when our youngsters get sick and the pain is in their gut and we cannot work out how to deal wth it.

I've had something of a saga with my eighteen year old ever since she was fifteen, trying to track down the cause of stomach pains that emerged after an episode of glandular fever. But it's easier for us, however prolonged, because at least, we are in Australia, on home turf.

It must be hellishly hard to be so far from home.

But Sapphire will recover, I'm sure, and this episode will fill her memory banks forevermore with recounts of how she got sick in Geneva, and lived to tell the tale.

no-one said...

Poor Sapph. Hope her recovery is speedy now that the main cause is gone.

River said...

I'm glad to read the bacteria is gone, but it will be quite a while of bland(ish) foods to give her gut time to relax and heal.
I hope the learning to ski goes well, like EC said, it looks magical when done well, (like ice skating), but is probably harder to learn than strapping on the skis and just aiming yourself down the hill.

Kath Lockett said...

Elisabeth, I do wonder sometimes if glandular fever might be part of it now but it's so vague, isn't it? Is your daughter OK now? Any foods that she avoids or knows will set it off again?

Thanks 'no-one' - I hope it's speedy now for her too because I think she's had her fair share of illness for now.

River I am kinda sorta dreading the lessons because any sort of grace or flowing, relaxed movement is a huge ask for me. My brothers are both very good skiiers (being regulars in Vic and NSW ski-fields) but the youngest one will never forget careering wildly down the hill and slamming into the rubbish bins directly in front of the restaurant, entertaining dozens of laughing diners!

Nicole said...

Kath it's terrible she is still sick. I thought she was doing well the last update I read. It's terrible for her to be in so much pain and for you to have to watch it. Here's hoping she recovers fully very soon.

Anonymous said...

Looks like she will be ok for christmas. What a trial.

Vanessa said...

Poor thing, it is draining to be so unwell for so long. My mind has gone blaqnk, but consider the "good bacteria"you can buy from health food store and you keep in the fridge. Restore natural gut bacteria.
My ten year old goes on a school ski camp next year and I am so jealous. White Christmas for you, on my wish list.

Have Myelin? said...

I enjoyed skiing when I went. FYI: Ski boots are not supposed to be uncomfortable. If they are, they don't fit. Most people rent them so that's why they feel so bad.

I'm glad Sapphire is on the mend. She looks good in her photos. =) What an ordeal for both of you!

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Nicole. Luckily (and I mean 'luckily' very loosely), she's only in pain directly after eating, for about an hour or so. The rest of the time she's friendly, chatty, funny and terrific company. I'm in awe of her stamina and attitude because I'd be a sobbing mess by now!

She'll be OK for Christmas, Andrew. Not 100% but at least no longer connected to a tube and hopefully able to get dressed and stay upright for longer than two hours at a time.

Yes Vanessa, we've been told to imbibe the good bacteria, but via as much yoghurt as she can handle which is a 'drink' version in the morning and a pot at night. She's so sick of the stuff that I feel like a right old meanie when I bring it out and say, "OK it's yoghurt time!"

Louise said...

I'm very behind with blog readings, but so glad to see this one. I sure hope she's back to normal soon. It must be so difficult in another country with a health system you don't know. And do be careful with the skiing. IMHO skiing when over 40 is life threatening- well definitely limb threatening- I treasure my tibial plateaus too much to ever try it again- ah but apres skiing now that's fantastic.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

Never been skiing myself - I did try snowboarding on a dry ski slope and almost wiped out a whole load of learner skiers - but that's another story.

I hope Sapphire starts feeling better soon.




Cathy said...

So glad Sapphire is on the mend and that you are soon to have a well-deserved family snow adventure together. I went once in Australia and have never been blacker-and-bluer in all my life - snow looks soft but it really hurts A LOT when you fall over as often and as spectacularly as I did. Still, it was an experience and the apr├Ęs-ski was great! I hope you have a wonderful time.
WV: 'blebre' - sums up how I felt after a day of skiing!

Anonymous said...

Ah skiing! The time I REALLY understood gravity :-)

Glad Sapphires better: hope she feels completely well soon.


nuttynoton said...

enjoy your learning to snow ski hope it is better than my water ski attempts! Make sure you are relaxed otherwise those ankles can be delicate!

One interesting thing in order to repopulate stomaches with good bacteria they are now asking for a poo sample from a relative filtering it then putting it in the stomach, apparently it helps if you have a C. difficile infection?? the mind boggles never mind what stomache wrteching it may want you to do? This is an increasing popular procedure to sort those stomaches that antibiotics fail to!

WV - SWIESE now what could that mean

Jackie K said...

So glad to hear she's on the mend. Must be just awful but as Elisabeth says some interesting memories for her! And a lifelong respect for health which will be beneficial too. Stomach illnesses do take some time to fully recover from from what I hear. My sister had glandular fever as a child (I know that's not the same thing) and took her months to recover fully. Enjoy your ski break. I we t skiing twice and spent most of the time on my bottom, but did enjoy the beginner slopes for the short times I was upright.

Hannah said...

Fingers crossed over and over for days without pain as soon as possible. Surely, surely the end is in sight! Such a brave woman is Sapphire.

Kath Lockett said...

Sorry HaveMyelin - must have put up my last response as you were typing your comment. I guess I'm now wondering how we'll get nicely-fitting boots when the reality is that we'll be hiring them....

Thanks Louise - yes, I'm thinking that 'after 40' skiing might be a trial and that perhaps the 'apres' stuff should just be all day?

Snowboarding scares me more than skiing, Plasman!

Cathy you're not making me feel any more confident you know... *gulp*


Nuttynoton, I hope that it doesn't come to poo donations. Still, I will be very interested to see how Sapphire feels come Friday...

JackieK, I think my bottom will be seeing most of the action too. Good thing it's well padded.

Thanks Hannah. Yep, she's a brave and bright little cookie, considering.

Romana said...

Kath - much love to you and Sapp, no doubt you are all "over it" and ready to just "get better". Sounds as though Sapp has turned the corner somewhat (most likely a long gentle curve, rather than a corner maybe). Good gut bacteria have already been mentioned, but I would definately look into some forms in addition to yoghurt. No doubt the dairy is good at lining the tummy as well as contributing the good guys, but some powders are easily added to other foods/drinks and capsules easy to swallow. Keep it in mind if Sapp decides she is over yoghurt ;)

Elisabeth said...

I'll report back on foods to avoid for my girl once we've finally seen the specialist next Monday, Kath. For now we're still in the dark.

diane b said...

Poor kid I hope she recovers soon.