So I’ve already mentioned that Joel has been a bit ill over the weekend. He seemed to perk up on monday, he ate a little scrambled egg, and a strawberry, and even managed to play with his toys. So I was fooled into thinking we were over the worse. But little did I know how much worse it was going to get.
On Tuesday I rang work to say I wasn’t comfortable leaving Joel as he had gone a bit floppy again, and had a slight temperature, but he was really clingy and just wanted cuddles with me and ‘Beebies’ so I took a days leave to stay with him.
By lunchtime I was more concerned that he wasn’t eating at all or even drinking much today. He’d not eaten for four days, and was very listless and floppy again today. His temperature was coming in at just over 38 and I thought it was worth having him looked over by a dr, so rang and managed to get an emergency appointment right at the end of the day.
At 5.30 I put him in a thick woollen cardigan and his slippers (he was still in pyjamas) and off we went. And we sat in the hot waiting room for over 20 minutes, and in that time he seemed to just get worse and worse all of a sudden. He got less and less responsive, his temperature seemed to shoot up and I ended up taking his pyjama top off him and his slippers.
Finally we were called through to the doctors so I staggered along with Joel flopped on my shoulder giving feeble moans and hacking coughs and a laden down nappy bag.
Straight away the dr was concerned, as his temperature had gone over 40. She lifted his vest and commented that his breathing was struggling and said she would call the hospital as he needed to be seen there. I was a bit freaked out at this, as I’d left him till the end of the day to see a doctor, and felt terrible that it had got to this point but it really seemed so sudden. She sent me to a nurses office where they got a nebulizer out and suddenly there were two doctors, a couple of nurses and a receptionist all milling about. Joel did not like the nebulizer to start with, and cried but as it took effect he just zoned out and relaxed as the drug allowed his breathing to be better. I felt awful as he’d refused his inhalers whilst being under the weather and I’d not pushed it not realising something like this could happen. He hadn’t shown any chest infection signs like previously with heavy wheezing and deep coughing.
Next thing I knew I had a letter to take to the children’s ward, another doctor was carrying my bags to my car and I was on my way, trying not cry and keep myself together. I gave my mum a call once there to say where we were and burst into tears. She said she’d come and sit with me as hospitals really are a waiting game.
Once we were sat in the waiting room a student nurse came to check his temperature, and other bits and bobs, and my Mum showed up. I then rang Steve who was driving back from Leeds so I didn’t want him to rush and do anything silly but I don’t think I worried him too much. And Joel was being so good, he let all the examinations take place without a fuss, and didn’t mind strange people pinning things to his thumbs and toes.
Steve turned up about 40 minutes later, just as the doctor was ready to examine Joel. We went and sat in a curtained area and I explained how he’d started being floppy on Saturday, had a temperature and was sick on Sunday, seemed better on Monday, but Tuesday afternoon had suddenly deteriorated. He then sent us for a chest x-ray and as we went along another couple with a toddler Joel’s age seemed to be in for the exact same thing.
The x-ray meant Joel had to sit in a pushchair on his own whilst Steve wore a lead coat and pinned his arms to his sides for the picture. He howled a bit at this but it was over in an instant and he got a sticker saying he was a brave boy for his x-ray. He then cried ‘Mama’ and buried himself back in my shoulder to be carried back.
Then it was another hour or so wait. Joel dropped off to sleep first in my arms, then we swapped to steve’s as he’s so heavy! Oh, and we were meant to get a urine sample which meant he had to sit with nothing on his bottom with a plastic cup under his willy. Once he was asleep it was easier, but there was nothing coming out. Considering the amount he had drunk since being there I was surprised but the nurses said that it was normal for the body to reserve liquids when fighting infections.
By 11pm they decided to admit us without the urine sample and start him on antibiotics The chest x-ray had shown mucus on his lungs and they said he was full of infection in his throat and head, so an upper respiratory infection too. Joel had a cot whilst I had a camp bed next to him. I sent Steve home with instructions of what to bring back. He wanted to stay but there wasn’t any point both of us being there and I wasn’t about to leave.
I dozed off about 12 midnight, and Joel slept most of the night through, bar his coughing fits. At 3am I was woken when they came to do tests on him, and his oxygen levels weren’t good. They got a mask which he wouldn’t put on, so as he slept again I held it over his nose but without it touching him for about half an hour. Then I dozed off again and must have been in a very deep sleep as I couldn’t hear him crying right beside me at 6.30. I finally came round to realise he’d had a massive snot attack and his face was covered in the thickest, muckiest snot I’d ever seen. I cleaned what I could and then noticed dried blood all under his nose too. The Dr said this was normal in children, as the snot explosion likely burst some capillaries up there too and it was nothing to worry about.
Steve came back at 7am so I could go home for an hour to shower and change. I made some sandwiches, walked the dog and hurried back. Joel was fast asleep again but had eaten a bit of toast and had a good drink. Once again, the elusive urine was being sought so he was naked with his willy pot again. And it took 6 hours to get it. And when it came, there was no pot, but as he was on a mat, we managed to scoop some up which sufficed.
AT noon, the doctor said he could come home once discharged with medication, and by 2 it all came through and we were off. He was still very floppy but once home, insisted on walking in the front door on his own. He wouldn’t even accept a hand over the steps. He was very wobbley from lack of food and promptly fell asleep again.
The highlight of my day was cooking a pasta dish and having him eat about 12 pieces of fusilli! Then he had about half a mango I cut up. This was the most he’d eaten in four days.
Work have been good, and said I could take crisis leave to keep my annual leave and be paid for at least today, so whether I have to take leave tomorrow I’m not sure. I’m not thinking about the work I’ll have to do next week, it’s all a bit stressful as I had a bladder infection last week and all this drama this week means I’ll be quite behind on Tuesday.
But work is not as important as Joel, and this was the most stressful time I’ve had with him yet, and we did ok. There’s still a bit of a way to go yet, but having him at home is the main thing, and once the anti-biotics kick in he should be his happy, cheery self again. And Steve and I survived the drama too and were a good team!