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.

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  • Reply Jo October 21, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    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.

  • Reply Holly October 21, 2015 at 8:13 pm

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

  • Reply Natasha Geary - Writer October 21, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    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

  • Reply mamabeokay October 23, 2015 at 10:18 am

    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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