Just Not right

This has been somewhat of a difficult week. We buried my Grandmother on Monday, just a few weeks after we buried her husband of 54 years. My family are left broken in the grieving from this. My son was not feeling tip top at the funeral but he was teething, getting over another cold and picking up on our sadness.

As the week went on my son cheered up a bit around Wednesday but on Friday pretty much slept out the day. I put the first unexpectedly long nap down to a rubbish night’s sleep and the following nap 30 minutes later to the fact we were on a bus.

When after a further 3 hours of naps I could not rouse him to full awakeness, he had yet to flash a smile and could not be bothered to crawl, I knew something wasn’t quite right. I phoned NHS Direct who said to take him to a walk-in centre in North Finchley, a good bus journey away in the cold. I decided to wait until my husband came home and he could drive us there.

Before that happened my son’s temperature shot up to 39 degrees, he had a rash, a whiny cry and was just ‘not right’. I scooped him up and charged down to A&E knowing that these were signs I could not ignore. I would rather sit for hours to find he has a simple cold and I over-react than for not wait and something untoward be wrong.

There I was at 7pm on Friday night, sat with my sleeping son half naked on my lap in paediatric A&E waiting to catch a urine sample in a container I struggle to use on myself. The doctor has checked all his other signs and he seemed to just have a cold. I was willing him to pee so we could go home and get ready for our day out today. Calpol had brought down his temperature and he seemed more alert given the time of night.

We caught the sample and covered most of my legs in the process and it was free from any infection. Great, we can bundle him into the pram and off home. Only the doctor just wanted to get us signed out by the registrar.

The registrar came in, pressed and prodded on the rash, checked my son’s throat and asked if anyone else in the house had been ill. Not really. Two minutes later there were two doctors in the room, examining and swabbing. My son had spots that did not disappear under pressure. That with all the other signs pointed in the worst case to meningitis.

I held down panic as they talked us through how they were going to treat for meningitis while they tested for it in case it was the worst case scenario and we were to be in hospital overnight.

I sat outside the treatment room at midnight and cried as my husband sat in there holding our son while he had a canula placed into his arm. I held him throughout the night while he had antibiotics given, tests taken, temperature monitored. We tried to not think about worst case scenario.

My husband had gone home to sleep after the canula was placed in and I stayed the night. At 2.30am the doctor appeared to tell me that one of my son’s blood tests had come back with a high white cell count and they needed another test. This meant his body was fighting something off even if we didn’t know what just yet. This was a good thing but they needed to know if they can do more.

At 6am with very little sleep, a confused little boy not knowing where he was waking up, the doctor came back to explain the plan. The lead doctor would be around in the morning, that my son had improved in the night meant we could go home between more treatments and his body was showing that whatever he has, would have been caught early enough.

We are now at home feeling somewhat relieved. We have to head back to the hospital this evening and tomorrow, have more needles and such but my son is healing. He has tonisilitis at the very least and is a tired little boy right now. On Monday we find out for certain if it was meningitis or just a virus.

We acted fast and when our son stopped normal behaviour we took him off to the hospital regardless of what it might be. I am so thankful for my frist aid training to know that ‘if in doubt, ship them out’ and for trusting my mother’s instinct that something was ‘just not right.’


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