Sabbatical, Day 17

He may not have vomited again today, but Mark remains far from well. He was awake most of last night, complaining of painful legs and stomach. I took him to the doctor today. She said it was potassium depletion, caused by the sickness. He needed Dioralyte and potassium-rich food. Just one problem: when Mark is ill, he won’t eat. Only back in December did he start eating healthily again for the first time in two years, a spate that began with – yes, an illness. Tonight he wouldn’t even eat his favourite sausages and broccoli. I couldn’t convince his four-year-old brain that eating would help take away the pain of which he was complaining. All he wanted was his bed. We’re hoping and praying we’re not into another protracted spell of refusing food. 

First thing this morning, Rebekah twice thought she was going to be sick, too. And since the doctor later in the morning told me that every GP in the practice was seeing two or three children every day with this virus, we wouldn’t have been surprised. She was distraught, because today she was due to travel to Kent for a sleepover with her old childminder. By late morning, nothing untoward had happened and so we relented. However, we’ve spoken to Pat the childminder this evening and she says Rebekah is unusually quiet. We wonder whether she is brewing the bug, and has been putting a brave face on things today, just to get her sleepover. 

With all these family concerns, then, today has not been a day for much progress with the sabbatical. I did manage to read sixty pages of Goldsmith and Wharton’s book that I mentioned yesterday. I used to think I was sure which Myers Briggs type Debbie was, now I’m not so sure after reading the pen portraits. I’m only certain she’s extraverted, but you wouldn’t need a psychologist to tell you that!

I did, however, think it might be worth emailing Trinity College, Bristol, where I am due to be next week to look at this question of ministry and personality type within a wider course entitled ‘Management, Leadership and Professional Practice’. It’s a good job I did. They had forgotten to book me in. That’s all corrected now, and it’s all systems go. 

Time to sign off for today, I don’t fancy being late to bed after last night’s disturbances with poor little Mark.


  1. I, too, hope that Mark will get better soon and that Rebekah doesn’t follow suit. As regards Mark’s eating problem, I just wonder if the foods I’m forbidden because of too much potassium in my blood might tempt him – namely, bananas and citrus juice? I don’t see many children refusing orange juice, do you? If you Google to find a list of foods high in potassium, you’ll find such a huge list that there must be something you can tempt him to eat without him realising that it’s ‘for his good’. I hope this helps!


  2. Olive,

    Thank you. We Googled about potassium yesterday and I then walked round to the local supermarket – who were right out of bananas! I’ll say a bit more in tonight’s post, but it’s still a battle.


  3. Sally,

    Thanks for your prayers. Thankfully, none of the rest of us is showing any untoward signs at this stage, so I hope we’ll be OK. It hasn’t been much of a half term for the kids, especially Mark.

    You’re still in our prayers, BTW.


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