Around valentines day Ciaran went down with Bronchiolitis, nothing too serious, we got seen by a locum doctor and dosed him up with calpol and baby ibuprofen to bring his fever down while we waited for the cough to ease up.
A couple of weeks ago my Mum said that Ciaran was really struggling; sad and clingy and still coughing badly at her house and, bowing to her years of parenting Ciaran and I popped into the doctors the next morning to see a practice nurse. A post viral wheeze was diagonsed on Tuesday and we were sent off to keep an eye on him and come back in a few weeks if no better.
On Wednesday he was sent home from nursery for bringing up his breakfast, the staff were worried that he had seemed glassy eyed, I picked him up and worked from home whilst he slept his fever off, it seemed like he was going down with another cold. He spent the Thursday at my Mum’s while Ben went to Nursery alone and seemed better.
Saturday afternoon came around and I decided that I wasn’t happy. There was nothing specific, he was just so pooped and lethargic and he was making a straining grunting noise on most breathes. I figured that as this straining grunt had been what sent me running to the locum 6 weeks ago I should get him checked over, I had a nightmare week coming up at work and wouldn’t be able to take him to the surgery and decided that I was unsettled enough to get some prompt attention.
I took him to a walk in centre (fantastic, they are a GP’s that operates like an A&E, you turn up without being registered at the clinic and get seen between the hours of 8am and 8pm) in Bedford. During the hour and half wait I managed to arrange for our evening do to put back by half an hour and hoped that I would be given some antibiotics or at least a puffer for Ciaran who was now really lethargic and hot.
When we saw a GP he barely listened to Ciaran’s chest, he’d seen the way his chest muscles were pulling, manged to get an oxygen saturation monitor attached to Ciaran who barely fussed at having this clipped over his toe. His oxygen levels were in the low 70’s so the GP started giving him oxygen immeadiately while he called an ambulance. I was suprisingly calm. I assumed that it wasn’t so big a deal and that he was probably getting an ambulance to make sure I didn’t panic and cause an accident on the roads. I called home and arranged with my other half for him to cancel with our friends who were coming around and to talk to my parents about getting my car from Putnoe to Bedford hospital.
The ambulance came and commented on how his chest was moving and got us in. I’d never ridden an ambulance before and kept calm as they strapped me in while I held onto Ciaran and his oxygen mask, they called ahead to the hospital and kindly told me that they would put the sirens on to get through the traffic as Ciaran was so young. In the six minutes it took to get to the hospital a team of doctors and nurses had assembled with a room just for Ciaran, his oxygen levels were dangerously low and he had a fever.
It was at this point that as I sat on the bed in the treatment room holding Ciaran in one arm and the nebuliser in the other that I realised how serious things were, I tried to hold myself together as until my husband could join me I had to stay calm for Ciaran’s sake. By the time my husband arrived I was light headed (maybe stress, or maybe being in the line of the oxygen and salbutamol Ciaran was getting through the nebuliser under his chin) and relieved to no longer cope alone while Ciaran had a chest X-Ray.
We were admitted to the children’s ward, I stayed at the hospital on Saturday night while Ciaran managed to rip the canula out of his hand and have it painfully re-inserted to his foot. The excitement, over-exhaustion and drugs had picked Ciaran up to hyper levels, he shot from one end of the cot to the other, shaking his head in time with the Oxygen Sat warning on his monitor (every time he dipped below 88 it sounded and he danced) and it was gone midnight before he (and I) fell asleep.
My parent’s took Ben all day on Sunday while Chris came to the hospital to be with me and Ciaran, he was picking up and holding his oxygen levels around 90 between nubuliser treatments. We agreed to alternate nights at the hospital and home to allow each to get some work done and to minimise the impact on Ben.
On Sunday evening I drove home, picked Ben up from my parents and came into my house without my baby. It was then that it hit me, Ciaran had been seriously ill he was in Bedford while I was at home and I just wanted to hold my little baby in my arms. Both children needed me and I couldn’t physically be there for each child, it was at this point that I burst into tears and couldn’t stop. Once Ben was in bed my Mum came to baby sit while I drive back to the hospital with some more bits for hubby and a sandwich for his dinner.
On Monday I made it to work, ready to clerk my meeting and then ask for the rest of the week off as unpaid parental leave, but burst into tears within 10 minutes of getting into the office and was promptly sent to the hospital where I was able to get my longed for cuddle with Ciaran.
He was discharged on Monday afternoon, he had pulled the canula out of his foot the previous night and since then had coped with oral antibiotics and a spacer rather than a nebuliser. We spent the rest of the week quietly getting ready for our holiday (we were travelling to Devon for the pre-Easter week) and cleaning up vomit.
I decided on Thursday that I wanted a doctors help again, luckily the GP agreed with me that the anti-biotics were probably making him sick and that there was no point taking them if he was bringing them straight up, so we stopped taking the antibiotics, crossed our fingers and set off on holiday on Friday.
By Satursday afternoon (again) I decided to seek advice, nothing stayed down and he was simply too weak to cope with the D&V that had hit him hard in the last 24 hours. We were fortunate enough to get seen at Honiton community hospital, where my husband and I spent a terse six hours waiting for Ciaran to pee to analyse whether there was a urinary tract infection and how badly dehydrated he was. His skin hung in folds where he had lost so much weight and he seemed so frail and fragile, we faced the prospect of him being seriously ill and spending a few days ripping out more canulas.
Eventually our prayers were answered and a doctor agreed that as he hadn’t deteriorated further and had held down water and milk we could go home and bring in a pee sample on Sunday.
After a few dodgy days as his tummy recovered and got ready to eat again he has made an excellent recovery, we have reduced his inhalers to twice a day (6 puffs of salbutamol, 2 of atroven, 1 beclomesthasone) and he is now eating well and starting to fill out again – he is also full of beans and mischief so I think he is well and truly on the road to recovery.