Thursday, May 29, 2014

Coping with sickness in Copenhagen

Have you ever been travelling and come down with a sickness? If you have been travelling more than 3 months, then usually you will come down with something. Just make sure that when you do, you do what's necessary to recover quickly.

The first time Cam went by himself to Nepal he came down with the stomach flu. He was too proud to immediately take the pills that he brought from Canada and spent about a week hugging the toilet before he finally started taking them (although you can't really hug a squat toilet, yikes!). After taking the pills he immediately started getting better. The moral of this story: Take the pills!! When we returned to Nepal two years later we both fell sick with similar stomach ailments and found ourselves better after 3 days because we took the pills immediately. Being sick abroad is not a pretty sight, especially if it is in the stomach.

Now it was our time to deal with stomach sickness.... abroad...... with a baby..... Read on: for tips? for coping mechanisms? to bask in our misery? I'm not really sure what this post is, but just thought it was a story worth telling.

Plan for obstacles
It was Saturday night and we had spent the day at Tivoli. Sunday we were planning to get all packed up, clean our place and leave on Monday morning. Doing all of that is tricky enough and we really should know by now that doing everything takes 3x as long with a baby in tow. I really don't know how we thought we could accomplish it all. Well, Saturday night our world came crashing down straight into the toilet with Cam surrounded by bathroom walls. I did not know then that we were NOT going to leave by Monday morning.

Multi-tasking Extraordinaire
The next day when Etta wakes up at 6:30 am Cam is in the fetal position glued to the bed. This is where my ability to multi-task came in. I was looking after Etta and Cam along with cleaning and packing our whole apartment up. For the first 4 hours, I still had hope that we would be able to leave the next day...
Giving Etta a little outdoor play time. Her pants ended up being her bandanna. 

Watching a nearby danish soccer game

Keep Baby Healthy
The last thing you want to add to the mess is a baby who is throwing up everywhere because they have no idea you want them to aim for the bucket or toilet. I kept Etta as far away from Cam as possible (which was really not that far as she is always most interested in things we try to keep her away from!). Maybe her shot against the rotavirus saved her as she has yet to get sick. (I hope!)

No Canadian Comforts
After Etta's first nap it took me about 2 hours to go to 4 different grocery stores trying to find Gatorade and Ginger ale that Cam swore he saw there the other day. This involved bus taking and lots and lots of walking. Did I find either of them?.... NO!!! The search was in vain and instead I came home with organic orange juice and some sort of Danish vitamin drink.

Don't get both spouses sick
I failed to keep myself healthy and by the evening when Cam was feeling a touch better it was my turn to make some long distance calls to Ralph on the old porcelain telephone (i.e. barf in Uncle Matt Mang slang).That is when we switched duties. Cam took care of Etta and I was in the fetal position on the bed.

Take advantage of the moments you feel good
Although Cam started to help out with Etta he was not completely better so it was a dance. Cam hugs the toilet and I look after Etta. I hug the toilet and Cam looks after Etta.
Cam looking after Etta. I was sleeping when this was taken. When I saw this photo I laughed. It's Cam's first EVER selfie!!! It is now documented for May 28th, 2014

Skype with Family Members
We have a regular Sunday night Skype chat with Mamma and Papa Mang. This was a huge relief. Etta was preoccupied with Gran and Gramps for the hour before her 6:30 pm bedtime.

Sleep when baby sleeps
Cam and I went to sleep as soon as Etta went to bed for the night. Luckily Cam felt mostly better the next day and looked after Etta while I got to rest in bed. We delayed our departure to Tuesday and are now settled in at the Elsass Centre for two nights before heading to Stockholm (blog post to come).

You will survive
Even though it seems that you won't survive, you do! It is quite amazing really because you actually do survive!! There were many times we were calling out to our mothers in Canada wishing that they were there to rub our backs, make us soup and help look after Etta. I had to settle with sending my mother an email whining about being sick to which she gave me loving motherly words of encouragement.
The best part is that Etta was amazing all day. She really looked after her parents. 

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