1) You’re broke
You’ve spent all your money on Calpol, Piriton and internet shopping. You wish you’d spent the money on the vaccine shot instead.
2) None of your clothes fit
You’ve worn nothing but pyjama bottoms and joggers since the first spot appeared. Food has been your only joy. I had the luck/misfortune to be housebound over Christmas so I’ve shovelled in Quality Streets and damson gin at all hours of the day.
3) You’ve not left the house and now have a morbid fear of crowds and noise
We got our first bout on day one of the Christmas holidays and round two on the last day. That’s three weeks of quarantine. I don’t know what the world looks like in 2018.
4) Survivor Solidarity
Parents who’ve been through it just know. They send tips (oat baths, camomile cream, calpol) and sympathetic texts. A friend drove all the way across the county on her day off just to give me a hug. Another risked infection to pop over with flowers and a bag of onion rings and we showed our appreciation by infecting her children.
Sleep is out the window. You’ve bed-hopped more than a student in freshers week. Everyone has slept, sweated, cried and itched in every possible combination of beds. I’ve been so tired that I spent a day aimlessly wandering from room to room wondering who I am and what’s happened to my life.
6) You’ve misused the NHS
Spent an hour on hold to 111? Been to the doctors’ half a dozen times? Googled images of infected spots? Convinced your child has it worse than anyone else because nothing can be this bad and ‘normal’? Yup. I was convinced Alex’s spots had turned in to a flesh-eating disease. I got an emergency appointment to see the nurse.
KindNurse: ‘It’s just normal’
Me: ‘It can’t be normal’
KindNurse: ‘He does look poorly’
Me (bursting in to tears): ‘You’ve been so kind to me! I’ve wasted your time and you’ve been SOB so n n n nice to meeeee’
KindNurse: ‘Are you ok?’
Me: ‘I’m so TIRED’
She gives me a tissue. I blow my nose on it.
KindNurse: ‘That was meant for your son’
Hadn’t even noticed he’d been crying.
7) Cabin fever
I have been stuck at home for 22 days straight. Some at my mum’s but mostly here. I’ve done a lot of paperwork, read books, organised my bookshelves by colour and I’m clawing the walls. I’m snappy. I’m fed up. I’m suffering from cross-traphobia. Nipping out on the school run felt like a prison break.
This post is dedicated to all the lovely people who’ve texted, popped in, sent cards and listened to me tell them how I’ve suffered worse than anybody other Poxy parent. Thank you.