Limerick, Ireland – August 2008

Day 2 – Limerick

Monday 4th August

I slept uneasily through the night. My sore throat was causing me no end of grief. By morning, Jennifer had developed a severe case of constipation and was breaking out into consistent fits of inconsolable screaming every five minutes or so. As this was no way to spend a holiday, we decided that medical attention was going to be needed for both Jennifer and myself and so I booked ourselves in to see the local doctor. The staff on the reception desk was again fantastic. They showed genuine compassion and did all they could to get phone numbers and route the phone calls accordingly.

The local doctor’s surgery was in nearby Shannon, which is just ten minutes up the road. Shannon itself is a nice little town but was, predictably, quite dead given that it’s now Sunday morning. There were no other patients there at the surgery that I could see and we went straight in to see the doctor on duty. Jennifer by this time seemed to be over the worst of her problems and, rather embarrassingly, presented a picture of near perfect health to the doctor. She also did extremely well to tolerate the doctor’s rather thorough prodding and poking. She received a prescription for something to soften her stool and for my part, I was diagnosed with tonsillitis – again! With a couple of scripts for stool softeners and penicillin, we were seen on our way again. Since the pharmacy didn’t open for another couple of hours, we went back to the house for a nap.

My nap apparently lasted some four hours altogether and it was mid-afternoon before we all set off again in the car to pick up the medicine. Although there was no fee at the doctor’s office (there’s a reciprocal health-care agreement between the UK and Ireland) we did have to pay around €30 for the three prescription items. The pharmacist told Sandy that this might be refundable back in the UK.

Dosed up on penicillin, we set off towards the University of Limerick to meet with Ree-Ree and Shalina. Shalina is competing in the World Baton Twirling Championships this coming Friday and this is the trigger for our visit to Ireland this week. Whilst here, Ree-Ree and Shalina are staying on-campus in some rather nice student accommodation facilities. After spending some time with them there, we treated them to dinner at a steak house in Limerick town centre. It was a lovely meal and rather reasonable at €88 altogether for the four adults and two kids – even if the waiter didn’t quite get everything right.

Perhaps still somewhat knocked out from yesterday’s driving, or the tonsillitis, or both, tonight’s routine consisted of little more than putting the kids to bed, watching a bit of TV and writing up the first two day’s worth of blog entries. Tomorrow we’re going to King John’s Castle in Limerick with Shalina and two of her friends. Having done this already four years ago, we’re predicting that the kids will enjoy this.