WE’RE BACK!! Back from Fiji, back from the dead. Well, that’s a bit dramatic, but to be fair, we felt as if we were zombies dragging our weak, disheveled bodies through Paradise, green faced, red eyed, spewing, shitting, terrifying the guests.
So, where do I start with this comedy of eras? Where do I begin with this Griswold adventure about customs writing us warnings, head injuries, eye injuries, grass rashes, poo, vomit, sleeping, cramping, temperatures, doctors, paramedics, air hostesses threatening to land a plane if we can’t get a temperature down, more poo, more vomit, crying and a whole lot of sleeplessness??
At the moment I’m struggling to decide if we are cursed or blessed. It’s a fine line between the two when you have so many lucky things in your life and yet these little one-in-a-million low blows keep happening.
First of all we felt so excited and lucky that we got to go on a holiday!!! To Fiji of all places!!! A trip we planned in order to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect as a family. For eight days. We love Fiji and now we were able to take our kids to one of our favourite places. Wow, how lucky were we!
The kids were AMAZINGLY well behaved on the plane on the way there. Arriving in Fiji we were greeted by Fijian singers and the beautiful, perfect sunny, humid weather embraced us like a big warm hug. Ahhh Fiji, I hadn’t been here since my honeymoon. This place was paradise.
But the nostalgia soon ended, and not just because we had three kids in tow this time, but things started to go “pear” shaped at the airport. I forgot about the fruit in my backpack. Over to customs for a bag search, some frowning, and a written warning. Hubby had previously asked me if there was any fruit in my bag, I had waved him off nonchalantly. Luckily we didn’t get a fine and were cleared for entry.
We got to Denarau Island just in time for dinner, our room was gorgeous, beach front view, close to the bar, close to the water slide. Our first full day was bliss. Until the afternoon hit.
Annabelle fell off the Hammock, landed on her head. Tears. Many tears. She was fine but sore, tired and grumpy for the rest of the night. And then later, as we watched the fire throwers perform on the beach, she stood too close and got kerosene flicked in her eye. A mad dramatic dash for the pool to wash it out ensued.
Then things just went from bad to far far far far worse…
A gastro bug hit Penny that night, she threw up EVERYWHERE (hence the zombie analogy earlier!). She did not stop… every half an hour… for the next 12 hours. I managed to get a hold of a plastic Bounty beer jug for her to be sick into, which was way better than the bed… the floor, the pillow, a towel, her hands, the bath, the basin, an ice bucket.
The poor lamb was so unwell, she had stomach cramps for another full day, then another spew the following night before we called the doc and he gave us a prescription for nausea wafers. Brilliant! It would be over in no time! Or so we thought…
Would you believe our luck, it was a Friday public holiday in Fiji and the pharmacies were closed that day and on the weekend. Imodium was available at the resort… but for 50 freaking dollars a packet!!! I bought it out of sheer desperation but turns out you can’t give it to kids. Awesome!
The bug then hit Jacob, both ends… and his went on for four days. Blow outs, nappy rash. Poo, poo and more poo. Then, the inevitable happened… I went down. Like a tone of bricks. Both ends, I was out for two more days (not the captain of the ship I hear you scream!) Yes, the captain, and on top of that, Aunty Flo decided to arrive early. So there I sat, on the toilet, beer jug full of vomit in my hands, poo tap flowing out my bottom and a teeny tiny mouse tail dangling down between my legs; oh I thought, could this seriously get any worse?
Well yes, it could. Bella was next to visit Spewnami. I was reminded of that movie Outbreak. You know the one with all the little monkeys that spread that horrible deadly airborne disease? Of course, we were the only people out of 400 guests at the resort who were sick. Go figure. That beer jug certainly got a work out. I even dreamt about the word Bounty one night. Didn’t put Hubby off beer, in fact, he thinks the only reason he didn’t get the bug was because his body got preventative beer maintenance daily!
A little perk of it all thus far though; a little button on our phone called “housekeeping”, we could press it every time one of us vommed all over the bed sheets or the towels. A lovely housekeeper would come and take all the linen away and replace it with more fresh linen, mop the floors, change the bins and bring us another round of bottled water. You don’t get that kind of service at home!! Vinaka!
The food was incredible! We had paid for all of our meals in an all inclusive package so we didn’t need to get our wallets out once (except to buy expensive medications!). Mmmm, however, no-one wants a buffet of seafood when you’ve already got what looks like chewed up marinara coming out of your mouth and rear end. We were so shattered to have to skip a couple of meals each while we felt blurgh!
On the final day we all felt reasonably well (Jacob a little unwell still but not too bad) so we ventured out and about. We were on the beach, flying a kite Annabelle had made, watching a wedding take place when I spotted four woman, wearing matching kaftans, sipping on cocktails, laughing and jeering. I watched them longingly. Turns out they were on a “Mum-vacay” (so jelly!!). They spotted me, sitting under a tree, pale and tired, kids in tow and bought me a Pina Colada – did I look that longingly?!
It was DELISH! But while I was yabbering away telling them my story… the cocktail sitting next to me on the ledge, was quietly being sipped by someone else. Four-year-old Penny had her first taste of alcohol 12 years too early… “Mmmm it was yummy pineapple juice mum, can I have more?”… Gahhhh!!! How about Hell no!!
Before we knew it, it was time to go home but first we did a round of the resort saying goodbye and tipping our favourite staff members, also gave one lady, who had a one year old son named Jacob too, half of Jacob’s clothes from his suitcase as a gift. It felt good to give back something back to the beautiful staff other than soiled towels and bed linen…
So, we arrived at the airport only to discover Jacob felt like he had a little temperature. Of course I had already packed the Panadol in our checked in luggage so I had to buy another bottle… $40 later! On the plane he still didn’t seem well and then that’s where everything, including Jacob, started to go down hill… again!
An air hostess checked his temp… 39.5. “We have to make sure it stays below 40…”, she warned. We stripped him off and Hubby took him down the back of the plane. Every hour after that she checked his temp. It went down and up again and at 39.6, she decided to call paramedics to meet us at the other end. Talk abou drama central!
It was the longest 2402 miles we had ever flown. Lucky for me I happened to sit behind a woman who had 20 years experience in pharmaceuticals. Not only did she provide us with medical knowledge and advice, we also chatted about my anxiety levels and what drugs I should be taking for my GAD – took my mind of Jacob and his climbing temp!
Finally, after six hours (flight back to Melbs is longer thanks to a head wind) we landed. And of course, Jacob perked up and was waving at me from the back of the plane while I waited with the girls. The quarantine guy had to come on board to ask us questions, all the while the other passengers were told they couldn’t get off the plane until we were thoroughly checked. The captain announcing; “Sorry folks, unfortunately we had a medical “emergency” during the flight, to which is still going on (Jacob at this stage is laughing and jumping up and down on his daddy’s lap) so we will have to ask you to remain seated until further notice.” EM-BARR-ASS-ING.
Five minutes later we got cleared and off the plane we got to be greeted by paramedics on the tarmac (dramatic yes but apparently it was protocol). So, thanks to an elevated heart rate (his and mine!) off Jacob and I went via ambulance to the Royal Children’s Hospital at midnight while the girls and Hubby, collected our luggage and the car. At the hospital his temperature had dropped back down, along with his heart rate so they let us go home to get some much needed sleep. But sleep we did not until 4am, thanks to a couple more Jacob poonami’s…. Oh when will it end, this cesspool of shit!!!
The next day Jacob’s temp spiked again to 40.5 and he decided he didn’t want to drink or eat anything, so off to hospital we went again, this time to Frankston where we stayed for the night so they could rehydrate him via nasal tube! Oh fun times!
I especially enjoyed the part where I had to hold him on my body with his arms strapped down while the nurse held his head and a doctor shoved a plastic tube up his nose and fed it through to his stomach. The bit when he pulled it out again in a tantrum was fun too! Not to mention the part where he had to be fed through it every hour on the hour with the lights turned on full ball. Thankfully he’s on the mend (slight rash from the fever but generally much better) and my only woe is to wean him off his dummy he enjoyed for 23 hours a day for a week.
How we survived without a dummy with the other two, I’ll never know…
So, anyway, there you have it. That was our Fiji trip. A trip that reads like a Hamish and Andy ‘True Stories’ episode! That was our moment to relax and reconnect… and now it’s gone, never to be returned (well at least not for another 10 years because that’s how long it will take to a. pay this one off and b. get the spew and shit out of my head).
As I said earlier, I can’t work out if we are blessed or cursed. Things could have gone worse but they could have gone much much better. Glass half empty or half full? I’m really not sure, all I know is I’ll never ever again drink from a plastic beer jug that says Bounty on it, not for my whole entire life…
Signed, the Living Dead Lisa x
(P.S. Another proper travel blog will come soon about tips for travelling with kids and what we love about Fiji! Stay tuned in the coming weeks – no poo stories I promise!!)