Give ’em a Break

That poor family down the road – they’ve really been through the wringer lately. Six months ago, their back unit burnt down. A couple of months after that, the whole family came down with the flu. Then, just last week, they had a leak in their gas system and their eight year-old got carbon monoxide poisoning.

I was really horrified when I heard that last one, as it seemed about the worst of the lot, so I was relieved to get update on it from a mutual neighbour this morning. According to Karen, the poisoning was caught early and has been declared a relatively mild case, and the kid is responding really well to treatment. She’s receiving something called hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It involves being exposed to higher air pressure than normal and, from what I understand, is delivered via a sit-in chamber or tank.

I’ve never heard of it before, but apparently it’s been available for a while now in Melbourne. Hyperbaric oxygen therapies, says Karen, are an emerging area of treatment for conditions where oxygen supply to the body’s tissues has been limited – like in gangrene and whatnot. I’m not actually sure how this relates to carbon monoxide poisoning – all I really know about that is that you don’t want your kids to get it (nor yourself, for that matter), and that you should get your gas appliances checked for leaks.

Anyway, I’m hoping that this is the end of that family’s string of bad luck. It always comes in threes, right? Well, let’s hope it does for their sake; they’re overdue for a break. Still, by the sounds of it, this incident could have been so much worse on the medical front, so in a sense they did get a break there.

I don’t know why these things always seem worse when there are kids involved. Maybe it’s because a family with four kids is most likely already under pressure in one way or another.