2 June 2016 – Holiday!
Three days before we were due to go on holiday H caught a particularly nasty virus. Lots of coughing, wheezing, crying, sleepless nights and an unlimited amount of snot. The night before we flew she cried all night. I know this because I was up with her, cuddling her, rocking her, wiping her sneezes from my face.
The morning before we flew I started to feel ill. By the time we were on board my nose was blocked and my chest was beginning to burn. To cut a long story short, it was a good thing that we were on holiday that week. The sunshine and the rest meant that I was well enough to fly home, by the end of the week, but it was questionable at one point.
I’m going to remember the highlights of our holiday. The lovely warm thoughts that will float around H’s head when she’s older. Thoughts like the way she loved the park on the hotel grounds and became an accomplished climber and scrambler, getting to the top before any of the other kids. The times she forced Hubby to partake in exercise (at least twice a day) by insisting he climb up the sprawling climbing frame with her and then crawl through a very narrow tunnel to the slide, which he was instructed to slide down, sometimes feet first, others head first and on his back.
The fact that H’s slightly excessive viewing of Dora the Explorer meant that she felt quite happy shouting “Hola como estas” (or something that sounded very similar) to every child she saw and “vámonos” to me when she wanted to go to the pool (four times a day); instantly making me feel better about the number of times I had plonked her in front of the TV in the last year, so I could vacuum the lounge.
I will remember the way H insisted on spraying the same children with her water shooter, which seemed to be the toy of choice at the pool. Sitting on her inflatable crocodile, pink cowboy sunhat on her head, large red water shooter in hand, shouting “I’m going to get you” Ha, I let Hubby supervise that one!
I’m not going to focus on the nightmare of the flight on the way there, the fact that twenty five minutes into the flight I became breathless and wheezy and couldn’t stop coughing. I’m going to erase from my mind the voices of the other passengers making concerned comments, to the extent that a member of staff came over to check that I was OK. I’m not going to re-live the silent panic of not being able to draw enough oxygen into my lungs.
If I do, I will remember the feeling of being trapped in the in the sky on a plane, taking short shallow breaths, my heart beating ridiculously fast and I will probably never go on holiday again.
I’m going to be thankful that the time and effort in putting together the emergency bag of medication was time well spent and be grateful that I was able to speak to the doctors on the CF Ward about my concerns that I may not be well enough to fly home.
I’m going to consider the two days I spent lying on the sun lounger by the side of the pool in a daze, focussing on my breathing and watching Hubby play with H in the water to be a well-earned rest and enjoy the fact that I didn’t give a stuff that my skin was paler than milk or that my swimming costume was tighter than it was back in 2012 (my last holiday outside of Centre Parcs). I felt under no pressure to communicate with those sat around me. I wasn’t able to produce more than a squeak in any event. I’m going to remember those two days as fabulous Daddy/ H bonding days. H was fully recovered. She had improved quickly in the sunshine. Amazingly, Hubby managed to avoid the virus altogether, thank God!
I’m going to focus on day 3, when in the morning I woke up and felt alert and present. When I was able to cough in a way that improved my breathing slightly afterwards (although it sounded like the crack that immediately precedes an avalanche).
I will smile at the thought of days three to seven, which involved effortless potty training. It was sunny, we were in costumes, we didn’t have to go anywhere, and there were no clothes to soil, no plans to spoil. H cracked it.
When we spent the third day by the pool I was able to appreciate how lovely our hotel was. The pool seemed to flow forever, stretching the entire width of the hotel. I started to enjoy the offerings of the pool side bar. In the afternoon a lone trumpeter played for thirty minutes, whilst he slowly walked around the pool. He was later joined by a band for the rest of the afternoon. He sounded like Chris Botti. I closed my eyes and enjoyed being transported back to Brooklyn.
H “Mummy, what’s the man got?”
M: “a trumpet sweetie” [in whisper]
H: “Can I spray him”
M: “That wouldn’t be a good idea”
My voice came back slowly, so I avoided talking, unless it was necessary. Both H and Hubby responded well to this, particularly when H let it slip that Daddy had not only taken her on the ludicrously high bouncy slide in the hotel grounds but that H had climbed the (hundreds!) of steps to the top on her own and slid down the entire slide face first. I took my nebuliser by the pool after that.
H decided that she liked “holiday food” and refused to eat anything other than freshly baked, crusty bread, unusual cheese, serrano ham and thinly sliced cucumber.
We managed two days at the beach to give the other children a chance to enjoy the pool without getting drenched. We managed to get a double four poster sun lounger in front of a beach hut serving amazing food. I ordered food and sangria and the waitress was concerned about how breathless I was so she offered a waitress service to our beach spot for the rest of the day. Result!
H ate freshly made pizza and chips. On the basis that the tomato sauce contained actual tomatoes and chips start out as potatoes, I thought it was a justifiable meal… and then I thought “stuff it, a few days ago I couldn’t breathe!”
I found Sangria to be particularly soothing on my throat – tea and Honey, but cold. Several jugs were of course necessary to achieve the desired effect.
Two jugs of sangria in and a group of trainee solicitors set up camp in the neighbouring four poster, unpacking champagne, making plans for the night out, spraying sun protecting conditioner on their glossy hair and enthusiastically debating current issues. “Cod off !”
We found a sea front bar with a miniature fairground train on the terrace. We spent €5.50 on drinks and €8.00 on train fare.
H:”Can I go on the train?”
H: “Pleeeease can I go on the train”
H: “Mummy, can I have some train money please”
H: ”Again please”
…and on, and on, and on. “Choo choo!!”
The return flight home wasn’t as bad. It wasn’t good, but H slept the entire way. I had my nebuliser on my knee and Hello Dolly on my iPad.