On Tuesday after school, Third-and-final Son complained of a headache. He took a paracetamol and it went away.

He came home from school on Wednesday with the same complaint. The paracetamol had no impact. I went out to teach that evening, and came back to a son with headache, sickness and chills. My heart sank. What if it’s swine flu? I’m an antenatal teacher – I’ll have to stop working! I’m self-employed – I’ll be down at least £500 before I’m out of quarantine! Panic! Horror!

I went online to the NHS swine flu symptoms checker. It wasn’t working.

I phoned NHS Direct. I got a recorded message saying they were very busy with swine flu. You don’t say!

I fretted and panicked all night. In the morning I phoned my GP surgery and the receptionist said to take his temperature – over 38C. Aargh! “The doctor will phone you after surgery,” said the receptionist. “Don’t go anywhere.” Aargh, aargh, aaaaaargh!

At lunchtime the doctor phoned. He spoke calmly – good job one of us could. “No cough? Then I think it’s just a stomach bug. Plenty of fluids, no solids until things have settled down, and come and pick up a bottle for a stool sample.” Oh, yuk, yuk, yuk, but also tremendous relief.

poorly jul09

So Third-and-final and I spent a relatively pleasant few hours together, him watching a Harry Potter DVD and me reading my book. That doesn’t happen too often these days. After that he snuggled down on the sofa with Sparky and Mort the black cat and slept for several hours. He’s nearly better now. Panic over.