Monday, 14 May 2012

You don't have to put up with gastric bugs in Spain

You may recall that just before we were due to go on our holiday, the 1 year old came down with a nasty gastric bug which caused sickness and diarrhoea.  Well, hers was beginning to clear up then the day before we were due to fly, the 3 year old also came down with it.  As you can imagine, we thought our holiday was well and truly scuppered :(

I took the 3 year old to the docs on the Friday and doc said that she really shouldn't fly due to the diarrhoea, even though the bug itself was past the 'catching' stage.  It was more a case of it could get very messy - literally - on the flight. Doc said she would be happy to sign any insurance documents to say she advised us not to travel.  I didn't expect that I have to say.

I came home feeling quite concerned and low. What should we do?  Everyone, including the girls, had been really looking forward to the holiday but it seemed it was now going to be cancelled.  That in mind, hubby and I also considered that given a couple of days, the 3 year old would be well over it and back to her normal, bouncy self and we'd be stuck in this country in the rain.  What a dilema.

I headed off to pick up the teen and break the news to her that we may not be going on holiday after all. She was very upset.  I was feeling it too watching her when she came to the car with her suitcase and big smile, to have that shattered by the fact that we possibly weren't going.

Hubby and I had a good deal of thinking to do...

Early on the Saturday morning (the day of departure) we made the decision to head off for the holiday, and play it by ear as to how the 3 year old was at the airport.  If she was poorly or had a bad run of it (pardon the pun there), we would simply turn around and head home.

The household became very excited.  Cases had been packed 'just in case' the night before (basically because we had laid everything out on our bed and had no room to sleep otherwise!) so we were ready to go.

The taxi arrived and off we went to the airport.  Things went fine there so we boarded the plane.  Two hours later, we'd arrived in Spain with the 3 year old having slept the entire flight.  She was a little groggy still and we had an early night having arrived at our villa (at least we weren't stuck in a hotel or apartment complex).

The following day she had some niggly tummy ache and as we sat down in a restaurant for lunch, there was a cry from her and a mad dash for the toilet.  Her diarrhoea was still pretty bad.  I sat her back down and left hubby with all of the girls and headed to the pharmacy to see if they had something to help.  You may well know that in good old Blighty, kids are given Dioralyte and nought else for stomach upsets so despite having that, it wasn't plugging up the other end so not much use getting the salts in if they all came straight back out again!

Knowing how good Spain is for its hospitals and medicines, I was quietly confident. I was right to be. The pharmacist immediately gave me some powder suitable for babies and children for this very problem.  It wasn't nice and had to be mixed with water and taken 4-6 times a day.  The 3 year old was a star taking it and within 24 hours, was well on the mend and her stomach and runs had settled down.  At the end of the 2nd day, her body was back to normal. 

We had a fantastic holiday.  You can see how happy she is in the photo - cool shades huh?

My question here is, why couldn't we get something like this in the UK?  It was freely available over the counter in Spain and is pretty much ok from birth.  In the UK we are stuck with children 'riding it out' and being unwell for up to a week (as the 1 year old was).  It seems crazy to me that we could have made the decision to cancel a much longed for holiday when something so simple and easy to take could have been given to our children.  I have brought some of this magic powder back with me!

Food for thought about the drugs available to us in the UK isn't it.

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