Nothing Worse Than a Sick Kid

This literally breaks my heart.
This literally breaks my heart.

Last week we had a stint at Kings with Woody, who had Bronchiolitis. Thankfully he was well enough to be discharged the next day, but the recovery has been sloooooow.

I am writing this from the sofa, on my phone, whilst he sleeps on me. My arm is dead, I’ve got a hundred things to do, but right now I’m focusing on him.

Here’s what this episode has taught me:

  • Bronchiolitis is really common. But anything that makes your child struggle to breathe is horrendous and worrying. Divorce is really common, doesn’t mean you’d wish it on any one.

  • Bronchiolitis is impossible to spell. Especially if you are dyslexic (yes I am dyslexic, that combined with being a rushed mum is the explanation for the millions of typos/missed words in every post).

    Back to Woody and his illness..

  • The stress levels are almost overwhelming. You can feel them with every cell of your body. Is it possible to get dehydrated from stress? I always get insanely thirsty in stressful situations.

  • And The Guilt. I sent him to nursery knowing he was under the weather because I had a crazy day at work. That night we ended up in hospital. I can not explain HOW GUILTY I FEEL. I keep telling myself that I had to make a judgement. If you had a day off every time your child had a snotty nose you’d never work. But oh god that guilt.

  • Adrenalin/exhaustion makes you do weird stuff. I took it upon myself to write some scripts for work whilst perched on a hospital bed. Like the time I went into the office 48 hrs after losing one of my closet family friends. I think it’s a way of coping. But it is bonkers.

  • Why are there always people in A&E complaining about the ‘slow service’?! – have a word with yourself folks. If you or your kid were ill enough to require being seen quickly, you’d get seen quickly. Otherwise wait your turn.

  • Unless its a blue-lights job. It’s worth taking an extra 5 minutes to pack a proper bag for an A&E. Pretty much a version of your labour bag.  I previously wrote a handy list about it hereVitals include:

  • -Comfy trousers. I was wearing a pretty awesome high-waisted pair of American Apparel Disco Pants. Which are a) high-waisted b) skin-tight c) vastly inappropriate for an all night vigil on a chair.

  • snacks.

  • a towel.

  • clean knickers.

  • phone-charger.

  • water (see above point about thirst).

  •  formula. Important to keep them drinking. Even for predominantly breastfeed babies, a bottle is good, because you can see how much they have had to drink.

  • Insult to Injury. Please tell me other families injure themselves whilst in a&e?!? – falling face first off the buggy, almost choking on a balloon made out of a blue glove.

  • Don’t introduce a toddler to the water cooler to pass time. Cue lots of spilling, excessive water drinking. Inevitable pissing of pants.

  • Those beeping machines are a nightmare. Beep beep beep beep. Impossible not to stare at those numbers obsessively.

  • Miniature medical equipment: a cot gurney, a tiny gown, a tiny cannula in a padded foot. Gut wrench.

  • You never feel more of an adult when you do holding your child in a hospital room. The responsibility weighs heavy.

  • Trust your instinct. They are medical experts, but you are the expert on your child. Together you are a Dream Team. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions or ideas.

  • Maybe its because I am British, but I felt absolutely mortified having to repeatedly press that red help button to call the nurses. Like clicking your fingers and expecting someone to come – cringe.

  • Power of your voice. Holding a mask to Woody’s face was a horrendous experience.  Speak words of reassurance immediately calmed him and helped me too.

  • Sleep is the best remedy. The more you can make that happen the better. We pulled out the newborn tricks – lying on the sofa with him, pushing the buggy in the house, co-sleeping. Forget bad habits: THE KIP IS KING.

  • School dinners food. In the face of a crisis hubby still ‘managed’ to eat a apple crumble and custard.

  • The NHS are incredible. It constantly astounds me that we have all those experts and wonderful people on hand to help us 24/7.

  • Not just doctors and nurses but the dinner ladies and porters too (even the one who moved us up on to the ward and was frankly a terrible driver) – they are all vital and amazing and make such a difference.

  • There’s nothing like a stint on a children’s ward to make you feel grateful. Even short spells in hospital are heartbreaking – those parents and kids who go through it for longer and more often. They are heroes. 

  • What on earth do people in other countries do without tea in these dark moments? Really. I’d be lost.


4 thoughts on “Nothing Worse Than a Sick Kid

  1. I have total respect for doctors and nurses, it’s such a honest and fulfilling job – unlike ours. Alfie had to spend 5 days in hospital when he was 13months with celulitus. I had also just returned back to work and felt incredibly GUILTY. It’s crazy that I felt guilty when work had survived perfectly fine without me for over a year.


  2. So glad he’s better Clem. What an ordeal. fairly gut-wrenching just to read about it. Much love x


  3. How awful for you! Hope he has made a full recovery. I ended up in hospital in J’Burg with my son when he was around that age. Your pic brings it all back, such a worrying time.x


  4. So much of this resonated with me. I’m sorry your little fella wa so poorly and glad he’s better now. We’ve been in and out of hozza with our little-un a lot over the past year and the Drs and Nurses we’ve encountered have been utterly wonderful. Where we’d be without the NHS. I dread to think.
    Thanks for sharing x


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