To Connie, being ill means getting an ‘apple pie bed’. She gets to be on the sofa surrounded by duvets and blankets (and of course pillow!) and spends the day lazing about watching CBeebies. An apple pie bed is one of the many things we do for Connie when she is ill – her face lights up just at the mention of one!
Calpol is another staple when Connie isn’t well. It is the only thing she will take to make her feel better… even though it is for ages 6+ and she is 20! It is another thing that Connie associates with beig ill and she normally takes it quite happily by us feeding it to her on a spoon although if she is really ill we use the syringe to squirt it into her mouth. Connie can’t take powders or pills and when we tried her on a different medicine she was sick straight away so we rely heavily on the saviour that is Calpol!
You might have seen some of our Facebook videos of Connie saying in the morning that she is ‘no well’ and often says it to try and stay off college but we can always tell when she is really ill. When she is, it really highlights her vulnerability because she relies so heavily on us to do things for her. She needs even higher input and constant supervision.
One of the main things being ill means to Connie is that she can’t go out and her normal routine changes. This upsets her more than anything. Cabin fever sets in and she asks us constantly where and when she can go out too. Her illness takes over everything in our home and ‘normal’ life has to pause for a while until she is better. She sleeps in her mum and dads bed so that she can be checked throughout the night which means dad sleeps in her single bed and mum is on night duty. She loves being in there but it is a nightmare for us because we know how much of a struggle it is going to be to get her back into her own bed when she is feeling better!
Normally, Connie eats a high calorie diet with lots of dairy to help her put on as much weight as possible as she is so thin. When she is ill we have to watch her diet even more carefully because her calorie intake drops massively and she becomes very weak. Then starts the massive mission to find something that she might like to eat – McDonalds, Subway, wraps, crisps – anything! When she eventually gets better we start the cycle again of helping her gain weight … it is never ending!
This week hasn’t been fun at all in the Halpin Household and Connie is still suffering badly from the flu. She has extreme temperatures, a constant runny nose, headaches, body aches, a tummy bug and a bad cough … all of which she can’t actually tell us about apart from saying ‘something hurting’. In a way, whoever is looking after Connie becomes a prisoner in the house because they cannot leave her to go out. We are stuck in a world of cabin fever and apple pie beds until she is well enough to head back out into the big wide world!
We are hoping that we are on the better side of this flu bug now and Connie will start to feel better soon ready for a big trip at the weekend to see her cousin which we would love to blog about … please keep all fingers and toes crossed that we can go ! 🙂