A week later, I finally feel like I’m in the right head space (and caught up on enough sleep) to write about this. On Thursday last week we had an overnight stay at the hospital.
Poor wee mite with his splinted little IV mitten
We’ve been blessed with having a very healthy wee button of a child. Despite going out frequently, often sharing toys (and spit, let’s be real here) and food with other kids he doesn’t seem to contract his “fair share” of colds – something I was particularly concerned about especially when giving up breast feeding. Upon arriving home from a tutoring client last Thursday around 9:30pm, I could tell that something wasn’t right. CJ started running a fever and getting what we referred to as very grunty. Stripping him down didn’t seem to help and the panadol had done absolutely nothing so we bundled him in the car to take him to the 24 hour clinic, about 45 minutes drive from home.
We were very lucky to have a great doctor there who advised us that due to his very high heart rate (at time as high as 190 bpm) and the fact that we lived so far away from the hospital facilities, he wanted us to head into the hospital. He was great in that he wasn’t alarmist about it, just very calm and stated the facts. We drove the fifteen minute drive to the hospital and waited to be seen by the staff registrars. They were concerned enough by his heart rate to admit him to pediatric short stay. Papa M headed home to get some rest and CJ and I settled in for the night.
I have to take this moment as an aside to say that I HATE this hospital usually. I had a cruddy experience in their adult ED department at 19 and more recently this is the hospital that my mother died in and my sister lay in when she broke her back. I have nothing but praise for their pediatric ED, however, they were fantastic and seeing everyone as quickly as they could.
Urine tests (so much fun on an infant – if you want details on how this is actually managed on someone who isn’t yet potty-trained, let me know below) came back clear, ruling out a UTI so they wanted to observe him for a couple of hours before doing blood tests. CJ wasn’t a big fan of the squeaky sided metal cots and he probably got about 45 minutes sleep, me about 20 minutes (my only sleep of the night) before observations had to be completed again. His temperature being persistently high, the decision was made to do blood tests to eliminate anything more sinister.
After a ghastly few minutes as they inserted a line (keeping it in there in case they needed to deliver anything intravenously), they left us to it. CJ wasn’t having a bar of going back in the cot so he drifted off in his stroller. As I looked at him? I felt lucky. Weird right?
I am lucky though, because what for us was just one night of worry and uncomfortable hospital chairs and beds is a long-term reality for some families. I’m lucky because CJ doesn’t have a chronic health condition that requires consistent monitoring. I’m lucky that I live in a country where hospital care is not limited to those with excellent health insurance or large wallets. I’m lucky that educated health professionals are only a 45 minute drive away, even in the middle of the night and I’m lucky that I have the car to drive my son there and get him medical help. I’m lucky to not be doing this on my own and have my husband come pick us up when we’re discharged and I’m so damn tired I feel drunk.
As it turned out, the luckiest thing was that it appears that all it amounted to was one of those pesky childhood viruses and that’s just the way that his body deals with it. A couple of days of misery (not helped at all by the fact he is also teething) with lots of rest and fluids and he’s back to his usual self. We’re definitely counting our blessings here.