Saturday, April 29, 2017

Faraway Friends

One of my dearest friends, the sister-of-my-heart, with whom I share a name and a birthdate, has long lived on the other side of the world. For the past decade, at least. She has made her home there with a husband and two beautiful children.

Where we once spent many hours a week in each other's actual or over-the-telephone company, these days if we can manage to view each other's Instagram posts within the week of actual posting, that's a big win.

Still, I promised to visit her in wintry Helsinki, home of Moomins and wonderful design, and this year that promise came true.

Big A and his boy posse embark on a guy tour of Scottish golf courses and European racetracks in July, so I figured I deserved a trip as well. The timing couldn't have been better, as another dear, single, girlfriend decided this would be the year she finally visited London.

We spent a week in each other's company, seeing London, Berlin, and Budapest. Then I flew to Helsinki for three more days with my best friend (one of three, it must be said).

It was a wonderful trip, but I did miss my boys, and took comfort in knowing they were both safe at home, with each other.

That said, this isn't going to be my only trip to Finland, as another friend has moved there as well. With or without Big and Little A, I am determined to visit Scandinavia again. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Broken Ear

In about 7 weeks, Little A will be 10. In his lifetime thus far, he has never had to drink antibiotics, something I consider a huge win since a) he has so many other challenges already that we are extremely thankful that he generally enjoys good health, and b) as a perpetually sick child myself, I had taken numerous nasty medications too many times to count before I hit the double digits in age and hated each and every dose so was even more grateful not to have to subject my child to those same traumatic experiences.

But then a perforated eardrum came along. A cold combined with one too many swims must have done it. One afternoon when I collected him from school, Little A kept poking at his ear. At home he picked up the plastic tub of cotton buds and asked me to clean his ear, something we have never done in his life before.

Thinking he might, heaven forbid, have stuffed something in there, I gave the ear canal a very shallow swipe, and the cotton bud came away dark grey. I swiped again until the dirt was gone. The other ear yielded nothing. Apart from the poking, Little A showed no other signs of discomfort. 

I asked Big A if it might be an ear infection, something he and his brother suffered in quantity during their young years as national swimmers. He replied that with no fever and no indication off pain, it was unlikely. We kept an eye on him, but our son otherwise behaved as normal.

Two days later, Little A had a swim class. That evening, while I was at a meeting, Big A reported that Little A had fallen asleep on the couch at 7pm and seemed listless. Maybe it was his ear. That night, he woke up crying several times with a low grade fever and indicating his ear hurt.

The next morning his ear was red, swollen, and weeping liquid. The fever and listlessness continued, and Little A even typed "Doctor ears", showing he wanted medical attention. But Doctor Ears had no clinic hours on Wednesdays so we had to wait until Thursday morning to get him checked out. By this time, after constant applications of immune boosting essential oils, the fever was gone and the ear less red, and no longer weeping.

Doctor Ears confirmed a small perforation in Little A's right eardrum and prescribed drops and oral antibiotics to be administered twice daily for a week, followed by another visit. 

So just shy of his 10th birthday, we embark on his first antibiotic journey. May it be his last as well.