It happens every time my kids are ill. I’m not exactly aware of it, but I’m operating on a different level to usual. Running on adrenaline. Everything inside me is racing while I try to maintain a semblance of calm.
Caring. Worrying. Cleaning.
Administering medicines. Phoning the doctor. Wiping the door handles, the toilet and the taps. Cajoling them to drink.
And there’s still the other kids to think about. The house to run. Work to do.
And there’s the lack of fresh air and exercise. I need those things to survive. I go stir crazy if I haven’t been outdoors by 9.30am every day. You can’t do that when you’ve got an ill child at home.
Then, at some point on about day five, I will start to feel a bit strange myself. Oh my goodness! Am I getting ill?! It’s so slight I probably wouldn’t even notice it if I wasn’t running on hyperdrive.
But I’m not getting ill. I’m just post-viral.
I may not have been ill myself, but I have lived every second of that illness. I have worried about them, wanted to make it better and take the pain away, fretted over being unable to help them. Worried that other people would get ill. Changed bedding and pyjamas. Supported them as they walked slowly and carefully or carried them through the house.
And as they start to get better, my body slows down. It tells me it’s OK to stop worrying, OK to relax.
And I get a headache. I feel tired. I feel grumpy. I’m overwhelmed by the last few days. I need to recover too.
This has been me for three weeks already this year and we’re barely a quarter of the way through 2017.
I haven’t been ill, but I’m every bit as post-viral as my kids.
Is this just me? Does this happen to you too?