Friday, April 15, 2011

There's a new club I'd like you to join,

I'm officially on autopilot except that it looks more like the blow up doll on 'Airplane!' than a real autopilot. I don't even know how I can manage to string two words together together (see!). We are exhausted. I know I keep banging on about it but we are really not used to broken nights anymore. And it's been a week now.
We have had broken nights because of fever and 3am Nurofen calls. We have had difficult bedtimes because of over tiredness. Noelie had been crying for nearly 4 hours solid, full on cries, snots, tears and souvenirs and eventually around 10 pm, she just lied down and within half a second, she was snoring loudly which led Mr Foodie and I to laugh hysterically after the tension of dealing with her. One minute, she was a screaming, wriggling, crying, refusing to do anything toddler, the next, she was sound asleep on the bed, snoring away as if nothing had happened. The only problem was that she was lying sideways on OUR bed which meant that neither of us could really lie down properly to go asleep.

Yesterday, things were getting back to normal(ish). We had gone for our walks and Noelie had gone from a 15 minutes nap on Tuesday to 45 minutes on Wednesday to just over an hour yesterday.  The only thing was that she had quite bad nappies all throughout the day. Every dirty nappy was cause for a lot of distress, tugging at the nappy, even tears and eventually panic before every poo. We know that this was brought on by the antibiotics she takes to treat her UTI. They are playing havoc with her digestive system. Towards the end of the day, we were lulled into a false sense of security that things were really getting back to normal. Her appetite had returned and she was happily eating grapes and spaghetti puttanesca (made all from scratch, where I got the will and energy from I will never know!) and asking for yoghurt for dessert. Once she finished her dinner, she asked to go to bed and made a beeline for her cot, a scene that we hadn't witnessed for nearly a week now. So there she was nicely tucked up in bed, Mr Foodie and Marie were clearing the table and I was giving my daily update to my mum when she started screaming. Real screams of distress and discomfort. I thought that it was just another poo so we took her down to change her. Indeed, it was a dirty nappy, she was a little red down there but not as bad as some of the rashes she had gotten from previous antibiotics. And then it started. She started screaming and crying in discomfort, calling me, telling me she had a 'caca' (poo in french) when she clearly had done nothing. And tugging at her nappy,wriggling around while she was sitting down, trying obviously to relieve a terribly annoying itch. It then dawned on me. We (when I say we, I mean women) all know what it is. I don't know one woman who hasn't had it. That terrible urge to scratch, the irritating itch in that particular area, the discomfort: thrush. The antibiotics had brought on a bad case of thrush.  She was quite distraught, trying to scratch herself and I had nothing in the house I could put on to relieve the itch. We have never really had to use barrier creams with her and I can't remember the last time we did. I sent a text to my neighbour to see if she had anything. She came around with Sudocrem and, upon seeing Noelie's behaviour confirmed what I thought, thrush. Itching that drives you up the walls.  Mr Foodie decided to go to the pharmacy to see if they could give us anything for her and the neighbour went back to her house to get me some probiotics she uses for her son who has to use antibiotics regularly.

In the meantime, Mr Foodie found an open pharmacy (not an easy thing to do at 8.00pm in rural Ireland) and was explaining the problem to the chemist. To say that he is not a prude would be the understatement of the century (if not the millennium). He can discuss anything using any words to describe any body part you can think off (and he has greatly enhanced my English vocabulary in that way!). We all know most men are not quite comfortable when it comes to buying sanitary towels and tampons and things like that, but he couldn't care less (thank goodness for that, otherwise I would still be waiting for those maternity towels I sent him around for when I was in hospital after giving birth to Noelie!). But discussing thrush on a toddler with a female chemist is bringing it to another level and for the first time in probably forever, he found himself lost for words to describe the problem. Luckily, the chemist was 'really nice' and gave him some Canesten cream, a powder and even some probiotics. He came home quite proud of himself having been able to discuss female ailments with an unknown female chemist.

In the meantime, the neighbour was happily entertaining Noelie dancing with her in the middle of our sitting room to In the Night Garden. As soon as Mr Foodie came home, on went the cream and the powder and Noelie seemed to be instantly relieved and happily went back to bed. It was only 9pm by that time and both Mr Foodie and myself were fit for bed already. We struggled on for another hour before giving in and going to bed.

And then, around 12am, cries, winges, screams woke me up. It was not to be a good night again. Noelie was again itching like mad. So badly that it woke her up. So I went in to get her, triggering a bit of sciatica so bad that I couldn't put her down on my own bed, I could hardly walk, let alone get back into bed. We took her in, on went more cream and powder. But this time, there seemed to be no way of relieving her. She kept on wriggling, trying to scratch, wingeing, crying my name. And there was nothing I could do, just try and calm her down with words and cuddles. She was exhausted too and wanted to fall asleep but the itching was so uncomfortable for her that she just couldn't. Mr Foodie, being a man who never had the pleasure of knowning what thrush feels like, was struggling to understand why she couldn't just go back asleep and why I wasn't doing much to help her. So I found myself explaining what thrush was like at 1.30am to a sleep deprived Mr Foodie while trying to distract an itchy toddler by putting on a play with Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy and putting In the Night Garden on the DVD player in the bedroom.. Eventually she settled... Around 3.30 am... Mr Foodie's alarm going off at 5.30 am was not a welcome sound by any of us, least of all Mr Foodie who knew he had to get up.

This morning, she seems to be a bit better. We walked to school. She has complained a little bit but not half as much as yesterday. She is not as red as she was either. She took her probiotics and had breakfast. She was so tired that she fell asleep in my arms at 10.30. Now, that hasn't happened since she was a baby! We walked back to school to collect Noelie who is now on her Easter holidays and spent a bit of time in the garden. Hopefully, she will be able to catch another nap and I'll be able to go asleep a bit too. Because I am on autopilot and it doesn't feel nice. People in work commented on Mr Foodie's looks today, asking if he'd been drinking all night. I am sure he'd rather have been drinking all night than having to deal with an itching mad toddler. Mr Foodie has been talking about it with female colleagues (told you he wasn't a prude) and all of them have nodded in compassion and offered advice. They have decided to create the 'Itchy Fanny' club (their title not mine!). Care to join?

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