Sunday, October 22, 2006

Holiday, take 2 (how not to have a good one)

If you are going to have a bad holiday, you might as well have the Best Bad Holiday Ever, apparently.

In case anyone didn't know, we were in Greece for Matilda's Christening, and to see family and friends we hadn't seen in two years. We'd stay in Thessaloniki for a week, with my cousin Katerina (Matilda's godmother,) then go back to Athens. Peter would come back after a week and I'd follow with Matilda two weeks later. After not having been home for two years, I was hugely looking forward to the trip.

The Christening went very well, with the highlights involving Matilda dancing to the chanting of the priest blessing the water she was to be baptised in, and Marilena saying the priest looked like one of the Paparokades (greek priests who have formed a rock band. Don't ask.) We spent a blissful four days seeing relatives, and on the day before we were due to go back to Athens, Matilda woke up with a minor temperature -so minor, I was thinking it was probably teething, as she seemed to be in very good spirits otherwise. The temperature stayed reasonably stable, until the late afternoon, when Matilda stopped breathing and passed out (or so we thought;) After what seemed like ages she started breathing again, we called an ambulance (I was so panicked I could only remember the emergency numbers for England, luckily my cousin was there,) we rushed to hospital and we were told that what Matilda had was a febrile seizure episode. I had them as a child, my father had them too, and I was watching out for them, but when it happened to Matilda, I really had no clue that's what it was; what seemed to happen was that she went all limp, and apparently lost consciousness (her eyes rolled back too, and according to my cousin she was rigid for a very short time too, but I didn't feel that because I was doing my headless chicken impersonation at the time.) There was no twitching or shaking, anything that I would associate with a seizure. We were admitted to hospital and stayed for three days for observation (more about the hospital later.) On the third day, Matilda's temperature was down, and we were discharged with instructions to go back a couple of days later for an EEG.

A couple of days later, Matilda's temperature came back with a vengeance and was not responding to medication especially well. After trying to control it for several hours, still shaken from the seizure episode, we drove her to the overnighting hospital at 3:00 in the morning. The doctor on call there was impressively unimpressed by our plight ("Well, if she's going to have a seizure she's going to have a seizure. Give her ibuprofen and warm baths, and bring her back if she has one." - MIGHT have been sound medical advice -I couldn't tell you- but really not what we wanted to hear in our panicked state.) We drove back home, and called the hospital in the morning to tell them what had happened and ask if we should still bring her in for the EEG. To our great surprise, after the blase attitude of the doctor on call, Matilda ended up being admitted again for more monitoring, to determine the cause of the fever (We now think the doctors were worried about liability, because they had discharged her two days ago.) More blood tests and an EEG later, they decided that she had picked up a second virus from her first stay at the hospital. At that point we signed our own discharge form and left, for fear that we'd spend the next month in hospital, sampling the local viri.

Then, after a day and a bit that she didn't have a temperature, we took the train to Athens, where I promptly managed to scald my hand with boiling water. It was quite a bad burn, and because I didn't want to expose Spud to prophylactic antibiotics, I had to go to (you guessed it) the hospital for dressing changes every day, until the doctor was satisfied I wouldn't get an infection.

We are now taking names for our "How to have a crappy holiday" weekend course.

On the up side, Matilda amazingly decided to wean herself during the holiday. I breastfed her for the last time on the plane to Greece, and one week later, that was it. We went through a brief period where I wouldn't mention the b-o-o-b word or let her see me without a shirt on, to avoid reminding her of what she's missing, but now she's apparently forgotten all about it and is happy just lifting my shrit, finding my nipple and going "Beep! Beep! Beep!" on it. Sends her to paroxysms of laughter, and you should see the looks Peter gives us when he walks in and finds her doing that. At least I won't have to pack so many(other) toys to keep her happy on the next trip (or don't you think that's a good idea?)

Matilda with her Godmother:
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Matilda with my brother and his girlfriend, Gianna:
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Matilda with Gianna again:
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Matilda with Evi (Yes, that Dark Figure apparently getting ready to choke the baby IS my best friend:)
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Matilda having a friendly chat with Marilena:
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