So after our initial visit to the doctors Thea seemed a little better. She spent Tuesday at her childminders, still stuffy and refusing to eat but certainly more cheerful than before.
Then on Wednesday she nose dived! She woke up sobbing and boiling hot and refused to be put down. I thought she’d get better as the day went on and with a bit of Calpol she was temporarily happier but as the day wore on she just got worse and worse.
Her poor little eyes and nose were streaming and she was so sleepy and unhappy. Eventually I rang the doctors again. I didn’t think our GP had got it right at all on Monday.
Fortunately they fitted us in at the end of the day and the new GP checked her ears and throat which were both “pink” – i.e. inflammed, and then listened to her chest and was concerned it sounded unlike normal bronchitis and was possibly pneumonia. Thea’s temperature was 38.5 now too.
The doctor phoned the A&E paediatrician and x-ray department and sent us down to the hospital with a letter. It was 7pm by this point so Chuck joined us when he got home from work.
We spent the next four hours in hospital. Thea was seen by a churlish foreign nurse in the special A&E paediatrician unit and we were told to wait for the paediatrician.
When we came out our neighbours were in the waiting room with their 2yr old – she’d used the top of a slug repellent container as a cup and they were terrified she’d poisoned herself!!
Half an hour later we saw a lovely doctor. We went through what had happened a third time and Thea was checked from head to chest again, which she violently objected to.
We were told it was probably nothing to worry about but as a precaution the consultant was called. They asked for a blood test to be done to rule out malaria.
Thea’s toe was pricked and two vials of blood where taken and sent off for testing. Amazingly Thea took the blood test in her stride and allowed her toe to be “milked” without complaint. It reminded me of all the blood testing she had done when we were “held prisoner” in hospital when she was born. I really had hated that – I knew she was fine back then. This time I felt it was justified and I was really glad they were making sure.
We were then packed off to the X-ray department and spent twenty minutes pacing about with a now exhausted Thea strapped to me in the sling. Fortunately it was a quiet night so we got seen quite quickly and it took literally seconds for the radiographer to take the image.
Back to the A&E paediatrician’s waiting room and another hours wait with no information.
It’s not that I object to waiting – I know the NHS is stretched and they’re super busy – but it’s the lack of information and common curtesy the staff show. We know we have to wait but they could make it so much more bearable by just saying “I’m sorry for the wait, the doctor is on her way” or “we apologise that we don’t have the exact waiting time but we hope to see you within an hour” – anything really! It’s just soooo frustrating to be ignored and left on your own when you are panicking that your child might have a life threatening illness.
Our poor neighbours had fared even worse. The churlish nurse had (apparently) pursed her lips and said “well she looks alright to me” when they’d explained what happened.
Seriously! I find that appalling. The poor mum was in floods of tears.
The same nurse reappeared after half an hour and offered a dose of antibiotics and when I asked her for help administering it (Thea was spitting anything I put in her mouth straight out again!!) she actually sighed. She acted like I’d asked her to clean the loos. Like it was a MASSIVE inconvenience to her.
Another half hour went by and a new doctor appeared. I explained the situation for a fourth time and she checked the X-rays. She didn’t have the blood test but she thought it looked like a chest infection as Thea’s little lungs appeared cloudy and mucussy on the x-ray.
We were prescribed antibiotics to alleviate the bacterial infection and Calpol and Baby Neurofen given on rotation to tackle the fever.
The doctor said she would call us back if the blood test results came back with anything to worry about.
The Morning After
Chuck stayed home with Thea in the morning the following day and she had already improved by morning.
We had a temporary panic when I realised he’d given her two doses of antibiotics in three hours instead of the prescribed eight!!! Fortunately NHS direct told us as long as she hadn’t had over the recommended amount within a 24-hour period she should be fine. Eeek. I spent the rest of the day watching her like a hawk just in case.
Two days later she was still coughing but it sounded less like a death rattle and her mood at returned to normal.
She’d lost almost a kilo thanks to her hunger strike but fortunately her appetite improved with her mood.
She was back to causing havoc around the house, emptying cupboards and redecorating with flung food stuffs. It’s so good to have my little chop back!