Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


It’s Not Easy Being Fred

Today Fred is in recovery. Nothing too much, he’s just had a throat infection all week and he hasn’t had much of an appetite.  Last night the two of us discussed what he might have for breakfast but when he sat down to his favourite of rasher, beans and egg all he could do was shake his head. The eyes were willing but the stomach was saying no. Right now he ate a pear and said he was stuffed afterwards. It’s been a week since his bout of seizures but that combined with the infection means he’s eaten very little in the last seven days.

Sunday night was when I first noticed his high temperature. There was a time when high temperature would bring on a seizure but we think that time has passed. In bed that night he was roasting but not sweating nor were his hands cold to touch. I rolled him over and a few minutes later he’d cooled down so I thought little of it. But Monday he was bad all day and we kept him home from school. With this he was delighted but not so happy when Ms O’Se came around in the afternoon. For his temperature we had him on Ibruprofen and it seemed to take control. That afternoon the two of us went for a drive in the car, collected a parcel for Mummy and did some food shopping. It looked like he was on the mend. Tuesday morning though and he was very down, not eating and still running a temperature so we made a doctor’s appointment. 5pm was the earliest they could fit in the man.

At the doctors surgery Fred was very lethargic and feeling sorry for himself. Funnily enough, though we’ve been patients at the surgery since last summer this was the first time Dr Glancy was meeting Fred. At the Dingle Surgery Fred was on first name terms with all the staff; just shows how much things have improved. As Dr Glancy said...

“Nice to finally meet you Fred even though I feel I know you quite well. I’ve written you quite a few prescriptions in the last while.”

“Thank you,” Fred said through the pain.

“What’s the matter?” the doctor continued.

“My skin is roasted,” was Fred’s honest reply, “I have a temperature.”

Sure enough she checked him over and found his throat was blistered. In good sensible doctoring she didn’t prescribe anti-biotics and recommended we continue with the Ibruprofen. A lot of kids were presenting with bad throats and she continued that the best thing to do was keep an eye on him.

There isn’t a second in every day that we don’t...

As the week went on we kept Fred off school. He was very tired and took every chance he could to take a nap. Ms O’Se came around for his teaching hour but I don’t know if she got much out of him. His temperature evened out but his appetite didn’t return. Some days he might pick at something but by and large he’s been on starvation rations.

The sleeping did concern us and when he started complaining of a pain in his chest Lisa got very concerned. Fred said he could feel the battery coming on and it was hurting him. Unfortunately maybe the double jump last week was just too much. Possibly too, as his throat was sore, the extra pulse was making it worse. We talked about switching it back down a level and, even though that would entail a trip to Dublin, it would have to be done. Lisa spoke with Suzanne the VNS nurse, but she didn’t think his symptoms were related to the jump. By Thursday though Fred was very upset by the VNS pulse but after a good sleep that night he seemed to have put it behind him. I think that, maybe as he was now becoming aware of the sensation, with the higher pulse, the initial discomfort was just a side-effect, as was his Marlon Brando voice when it was first turned on.

We don’t know but the pain hasn’t been mentioned now in two days...

Yesterday for lunch I made him a white bread sandwich of rasher with lashings of mayonnaise and butter. The heart attack on a plate wouldn’t be his usual but I just wanted to get something into him. He looked surprised when I brought it in but devoured it saying “Don’t tell Mummy.” Of course Fred couldn’t keep it in and when Mummy came home the guilt got the better of him and he blurted out...

“Daddy gave me a white bread sandwich,”

Somehow I don’t think Fred has a career in espionage...

That was all he ate though for the rest of the day. For dinner I made his favourite creamy mushroom pasta but he turned his nose up at it...

“Maybe later,” he said.

Ruby had come home from school with four friends and Fred bucked up when he saw them. He was on strict instruction not to bother them, not that he was up for it anyway. The girls ate a big lunch and Fred hovered in the background, getting the odd stare from Ruby. For the rest of the evening they were in Ruby’s room getting ready for dinner. The ladies were celebrating mid-term by going out to a restaurant, very grown up of them. Fred was delighted to see them all dressed up before going out and approved of how they looked. With great pride I drove the five beauties to the door of the eatery and went home waiting for the text to come collect them. By nine they were all home, giggling and full of stories, Hannah, as always, worried about something. The days of boys taking preference for dates probably isn’t too far off but they’d want to be on top of their game to even get noticed by that gang of five. Proper order too, as Lisa would say.

This morning the girls came down for breakfast and Fred was delighted to hear they are staying another night. The comfort of having them around is great for him, even if he’s not allowed join in the fun. Jaden is due over this afternoon and that will be just perfect for the man. It’s been a tough week for him, no school, no appetite, no friends, sore throat, sore chest and being constantly tired.

It’s not easy being Fred.



Posted by John Verling

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