Prior to being a stay at home, home educating mummy I had another life in a dedicated, fulfilling and respected profession - I was a R.G.N (Registered General Nurse). I enjoyed my job and found working in I.T.U (Intensive Care) very rewarding, highly challenging and very fast pace dealing with life and death situations minute by minute at times. You would think that with this background I would be brilliant at dealing with my own children's health needs. How wrong you could be!
Approximately a year and a half ago while on holiday Little Boy Blue took ill with what seemed like a typical cold, he was labouring in his breathing a bit so I took him to the Out Of Hours GP where they gave him a nebuliser, said it was probably brochiolitis and sent us off saying "If it gets worse just head to the hospital". He seemed to improve but still have cold symptoms so we happily finished our holiday and headed home.
With in two weeks his cold was back but it was winter and he was run down and it was 'just a cold' you can't really take anything for a cold, Doctors normally find parents going to them for a cold - time wasters! I did as always for a cold the 'nurse' thing - steam inhalations, infant paracetamol and menthol rub. During the night my sons breathing became more laboured, his colour poor and he was lethargic but who wouldn't be sleepy it was the middle of the night! I tried sleeping sitting upright with him on my chest. Nothing seemed to work so I called NHS 24 who sent an ambulance for us and took him in to hospital. They gave him nebulisers and oral steroids and as he improved they prescribed him an inhaler. Two days later we were sent home and told if he is disturbed by coughing in the night or is wheezy when running around to give him the inhaler.
He still hadn't shaken this cold so we went to the GP who told us he didn't think our son needed an inhaler at his age anyway. My husband and I went out on a 'date night' and left Granny to babysit, again Little Boy Blue had a cold (two weeks since leaving the hospital) but it's 'just a cold'. The sight of my mother on return was one I won't forget she was pacing at the front door, child in arms and the phone hand set in hand. She had been trying to contact us and again I did the 'nurse' thing - steam inhalation, paracetamol, menthol rub and sleeping up right with Little Boy Blue on my chest and gave him his inhaler. By 2.30am (2 1/2 hrs later) he was getting worse and we were using his inhaler every hour so we called NHS 24 and they sent out an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance Little Boy Blue went limp, his eyes literally rolled in his head and had long gaps in his breathing!!!
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I tried to wake him, pumped his inhaler into him like there was no tomorrow and hubby dialled 999! For the next 12hrs I sat in the hospital with a nebulizer and oxygen mask over his face, they gave him oral steroids, when that wasn't working they tried to find a vein and couldn't! I melted down, then he needed an x-ray and a drip for medication if that didn't work then they were going to intubate! Thankfully the drip medication worked and Little Boy Blue slowly bounced back, after a few days we got home with an inhaler plan (plus a daily inhaler) and we had a clear plan of what to do, when to do it and signs to look for.
We have had a few instances since then like our trip to hospital on Sunday but I now focus on my 'mummy' instincts instead of the 'NHS nurse' I once was. Mother really does know best and I embrace my motherhood more and more thats why we didn't need to stay in overnight and we are managing his condition. It is very difficult at times to give inhalers to young children, if Little Boy Blue decides not to co operate then we do have to make him take it, I'm sure the neighbours think he's being tortured but I would do anything not to redo that awful night. Sometimes needs must!
|Little Boy Blue being co operative, this time!|