It’s official – my son, the Obnoxious One, has terrible luck. He’s the kind of kid that if he and nine of his friends do something stupid, he’s the one, he’s the only one, out of the ten that gets caught. And punished. He’s been there. He’s done that. Way too many times unfortunately.
But recently the last six weeks of his second year at university involved one unfortunate event after another.
- his dog had to be put down and his sister insisted he Skype in
- his girlfriend dumped him…only to want him back 24 hours later
- his Mac laptop was stolen from the university library while he was taking a half hour break.
He later admitted during “that break” he’d popped home for a quick game of FIFA with his buddies. Not a great decision, especially since the laptop was never recovered. What really sucked it that he still had three exams left to write and hadn’t backed up any of his notes or files.
Nevertheless somehow he managed to survive the end of the school year and arrived home in one piece, more or less. Of course, his luck didn’t improve at home as drama after drama unfolded. I’d divulge the sordid details, but he’d kill me. Really!
However he had the opportunity to go to Spain for three weeks this month to study Spanish History. (see Queen’s-Blyth Worldwide) The accredited course would take a small number of fortunate university students and their professor from Madrid to Seville to Barcelona, an amazing educational experience. For the Obnoxious One it was the chance to smash his bad luck streak and indulge in his love of travel, food and history.
Except there was one little problem: in Madrid on the second day he became violently ill. Despite numerous trips to the pharmacy, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and a high fever persisted. A doctor who spoke some limited English examined him and prescribed antibiotics. I checked in with my baby every morning and night to see if he was still alive; of course his dad was out of the country on business, and his sister was newly broken up with her boyfriend. (She did the breaking up, but regardless, it was brutal at home – one wrong word or look and POW!!!) After a week of no improvement (for him not her), a week of missed classes, and a week of missed excursions, it was time to man up; either my son had to go to the hospital in Madrid or come home and go to the hospital in Vancouver. And did I mention he lost more than ten pounds?!
Not surprisingly he chose to fly home, despite everything.
I picked the Obnoxious One up at the airport and took him straight to the Emergency Room at St Paul’s Hospital. Of course he wasn’t so obnoxious right then, my poor baby. As you might imagine, since St Paul’s is a downtown inner-city hospital it attracts all kinds of interesting people, particularly on a Saturday evening. The staff, however, are incredibly kind, incredibly patient and incredibly competent. Still, there are others places I’d rather be, especially considering it was my wedding anniversary. Twenty-eight years, but who’s counting?! After examining my son and taking samples of his blood and stool they sent us home.
He’s been home for five days now, and seems to be gradually improving on a steady diet of sleep, chicken broth and plain Greek yogurt. And no alcohol. The test results from the hospital came back negative for nasty bacteria or parasites. So either the antibiotics eventually did their business or he has a more serious underlying condition. Good thing we have a great family doctor who’s very, very thorough since my son will be spending a lot of time with him trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
Perhaps deep in his subconsciousness the Obnoxious One just doesn’t want to travel anywhere without his mommy. Because after all, every single time during the past year he’s ventured too far away without me ( Dominican Republic in February 2012, aborted trip to Montreal in October, and Madrid in early May 2013 ), he’s had serious gastrointestinal issues.
Guess I’ll just have to follow him wherever he goes…I know he’ll love that. And as a writer I can write anywhere, anytime, so he won’t cramp my style. Really!