The phone rang yesterday morning and I was surprised to hear daughter, Olivia on the end of the line. As it was early in the day for her to call, I sensed that all was not well. She mentioned that she'd been feeling poorly for a while and her condition had deteriorated overnight. She was having difficulty breathing and also burning up. And it's times like these that render you helpless as a parent when you're 250 miles from your daughter at uni and wish that she hadn't ventured quite so far from home. I suggested she take some Ibuprofen and make an urgent appointment to see her GP.
Had she been to the GP surgery in her uni hometown since starting back in September 2013? Nope. Did she even know where the practice was? Nope again. I told her to call a taxi and promised to call her back at 12 pm.
Olivia might as well have been a million miles from home for all the help I could offer. I'm still fiercely protective where my daughters are concerned and yes, I know they're all grown up - it doesn't make it any easier. I warned my husband that I may be gone by the time he arrived home from work and distracted myself with mundane tasks in the house to kill time while I waited to call her back.
Fortunately her GP was brilliant. She prescribed antibiotics and steroids and dished out great advice about telling her housemates that she was unwell. She was also instructed to go straight back to the surgery if she had any concerns whatsoever. And I am so grateful for the excellent care Olivia received. It's reassuring to know there's help available, especially as this was the first time she'd been to the surgery and she's so far from home.
Later in the day we Skyped and had a longer chat. Olivia was planning to take a nap having slept badly the night before. She'd taken 40g of Prednisolone, her first antibiotic and a couple more Ibuprofen to keep her temperature down. She still looked poorly though and I offered to drive down. "Mum, I'll be fine," she said.
Does maternal instinct ever disappear I wonder? I guess not as my daughters are now 20 years of age and I still revert to type whenever there's a problem. We'd previously done a frantic dash to see Sophia just 6 weeks after she left home for uni. How I turned my back on my youngest daughter and left to return home after sorting out her problems I'll never know. By the time we arrived home I was an emotional wreck.
In my eyes when my daughters are sick they might as well be 4 years old. Us mums do stuff - ferrying to doctors appointments, dishing out meds and hugs as required, making food to tantalise them with and anything else necessary to help our offspring recover. That I can't do this makes me feel useless. Having said that, Olivia's shown that she's more than capable of sorting herself out in a crisis and I guess that means she's growing up.
I have just rung my daughter again and I'm happy to report she's feeling slightly better today. Yesterday, she confessed to watching CBeebies on BBC iPlayer and curling up on the sofa while her housemates were at uni. I only wish I was there to give her a hug. It's what we do. For the record, it doesn't matter whether they're 4 or 20 years of age.
Get well soon hun x
Until next time...
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