I am the size of a world
But I balance on a pin
My parents never loved me
I hear horses on the stairs
Coming to get me
There is something on my face
I need to get it off
flu, aged 7
So I’m sick. But this is adult sick. Not scary, I’m gonna die, I need to see the doctor sick. Just aching bones and an inability to do anything sick. But that’s the thing. Being sick when you are an adult is nothing like being sick when you are a kid.
When I was sick as a kid, I got a day off school, bundled up on the sofa watching daytime telly that made no sense to my ill, seven year old mind. My mum nourished me on hot Ribena and semolina and hugs (because contrary to my delirious rantings, my parents loved very much!) Even now when I start to feel a scratch in my throat, I reach straight for the Ribena.
I’ve got to go to work
I’ve got the keys to the shop
I’ve got to open up
I’ve got to cash the tills
I’m the only one who can do it
I’ve got to go to work
flu, aged 22
When you are sick as an adult, you have adulting to do. Work. Kids. Home. Food. This sucks.
My Moo-Child has just recovered from a nasty bout of chicken-pox. Her blisters looked excruciating. She couldn’t even sit on the toilet because they hurt her so much. This is the worst, most heart-wrenching, exhausting and head-fucking part of being a parent.
It seems like everyone’s kids are sick. And as much as you want to be a nurturing and comforting parent, providing unconditional love to your sick child, you find yourself screaming at them when they have climbed out of their oat-bath for the fifth time, when all you are trying to do is help them and you haven’t had any sleep and you are coming down with something yourself.
I am only existing from pill to pill
tonsillitis, age 35
Being sick when you are an adult, kids or not, is awful, because all you want is your mum to come and look after you.
Thank you Mum, for all the times you looked after me when I was sick x
To all the adults out there who are really sick, not self-pitying, my glands are swollen and I’ve got razor-blades in my throat sick, but really, really sick, whether in body or mind, you are amazing, how you keep getting up every morning, doing what needs to be done x
And finally, to all the mums with kids that are life or death sick, coping everyday with a precarious reality those on the outside cannot begin to understand. I don’t know how you do it, and probably, neither do you x