I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg was a difficult child. That’s how I console myself when my children are having their difficult moments.
Yesterday my day was mentally so well planned. Then it all turned south when Arabella woke in the night with vomiting and then in the morning was beside herself from the pain in her tonsils and demanded an urgent tonsillectomy. When I told her they don’t remove tonsils while they’re infected she looked at me like I was deliberately trying to be upset her.
I shone a torch down the back of her throat and was shocked to see so much pus dripping from her tonsils so realised that yes, she probably wasn’t exaggerating about the pain. I dressed quickly and told her I’d take her up to the medical centre so suggested she change out of her pyjamas and off we’d go. She looked beyond me as she passed me in the hallway and headed out to the car in a sweatshirt, no bra, pyjama pants and thongs. It must be serious.
At the medical centre the nurse at the desk looked alarmed at seeing her and immediately took her through to a room where she could lie down. Arabella asked for pain killers and told the nurse the ones she was taking weren’t working.
‘What have you been taking?’
‘And how many of those have you had?’
‘I took three at one and I took five a few minutes ago.’
‘You took five?’ I asked. Must have been when I was in the shower. Shouldn’t have left my watch.
The nurse was staring at her and started talking to her slowly and deliberately and loudly like Arabella was old, deaf and senile. ‘It’s really important honey that you tell me how many you’ve taken. Now try hard to remember and tell me when you started taking them and how many you took.’
Arabella went through her overdosing and the nurse scrawled it all down on her clipboard. She said, ‘I think we might be dealing with something else here, I’d better get the doctor’, and she scuttled off looking all excited about having a patient arrive with a potential overdose.
The doctor arrived and after going through the queried paracetamol overdose said she’d need some blood taken to test her liver function. He examined her and found that as her spleen is enlarged and as her glands are swollen and as her tonsils have not responded to antibiotics, it is most likely she has glandular fever. A blood test would confirm the diagnosis.
Arabella said she wasn’t having any blood taken. I said, ‘You don’t have a choice’. Then she started sobbing and I don’t know if it was the glandular fever or the poisoned liver that was making her fragile but she kept saying blood tests hurt too much. I said, ‘Arabella, you just went and voluntarily had your nose pierced; that would hurt a lot more than a blood test’. While I held her down the blood was taken and later that day we found out her liver is fine but she has glandular fever.
It’s Day Two of ‘glange’ and I am wearing my nurse’s cap and being run off my feet. She thinks she’s better. She thought today she might go out with a friend and shop for shoes to wear with The Dress. The Formal is in 10 days. I’m not sure she’ll even be going. I’m saving up strength for that conversation. I think I went 40 rounds today on why she won’t be going shoe shopping with her friend.
‘What difference does it make, mum? How much more tiring is it for me to be at the shops than be at home?’
‘But your contagious. You can’t go anywhere.’
‘It’s not that easy to catch.’
‘It doesn’t matter. The doctor said last night you have to have seven to 10 days of bed rest.’
‘What sort of a person stays in bed for 10 days, mum. That doctor’s mad. And if I can’t go out and get shoes, when will I get them. You’ve left it too late. I told you we should have got them weeks ago.’
‘I’ll take you. We’ll go out one day when you’re feeling better, after I’ve dropped Alfie at school.’
‘I don’t want to go with you.’
‘Who’s paying for these shoes?’
‘You’, she screams.
‘Then don’t you think I should be allowed on this excursion?’
‘You don’t have the patience. Have you seen the colour of my dress, mum? Do you know how difficult it’s going to be to find shoes in that colour?’
‘We’ll get some silver shoes’.
‘Silver shoes are tacky.’
And on and on and on she went until she came out of her room wearing a brand new dress that was delivered yesterday and is incredibly short and about the size of two hankies. ‘Do you think this would be good for the races?’
In a couple of weeks Arabella is going with friends to the races in a country town. I’m not sure she’ll be going now. I told her how lovely she looked in the dress but I’ll leave the conversation about the races for another day.
Then she went to bed and I was pleased about that but she soon yelled out, ‘Can I buy some snow shoes on-line?’ Arabella has a skiing holiday organised for the end of June. She’s very excited about it. I’m not sure she’ll be going. I’ll save that conversation for another day.
I’m also her chef. I made something I thought would be easy to digest, soft on the palate and full of nutrition. It’s vegetarian with a little bacon and that’s exactly the sort of vegetarian Arabella likes. She didn’t eat it but the rest of us did and we enjoyed it.
Serves: 8 (I make this amount so the leftovers can be divided into individual portions and stored in containers in the freezer)
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: This is dinner on the table for eight people for around $20.00.
- 2 tbspns olive oil
- 2 brown onions, finely chopped
- 4 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 rashers of bacon, rind removed and cut into matchsticks (can be omitted to make this vegetarian)
- 2 tbspns tomato paste
- 800g tinned crushed tomatoes
- 1 ltr vegetable stock
- 1 heaped tspn sugar
- 4 desiree potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 400gm can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 400gm can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 400gm can borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, celery, garlic and bacon and cook until onions have softened and fat has rendered from the bacon, about 5 mins.
Add tomato paste and stir to combine.
Add crushed tomatoes, stock, sugar and potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft. About 10 mins.
Add beans and cook until heated through. About 3 mins.
Stir through parsley.
Serve in warmed bowls.
Do you have a special recipe you cook for the infirm?
This recipe has been adapted from a recipe I found on Taste.
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