Last week I went in an ambulance for the first time, lights flashing, sirens wailing. I was fine, it was my most precious person that was being rushed into hospital. In just a nappy, strapped to a bed car seat with oxygen being pumped into him to help his breathing until we got to the hospital.
I was so frightened. My mini man had a cold and it had become bronchiolitis
I have mentioned in previous blogs how lucky I feel to have the national health service in our country. I had my faith and love for it reaffirmed last week. I didn’t call for an ambulance. I called the NHS direct line to ask advice as my doctor’s surgery was so busy that the line was permanently engaged. I described symptoms to a very efficient and reassuring man, before our conversation had finished an ambulance was already at my door.
The ambulance crew were calm and friendly and made a scary situation as easy for me as they could.
The drivers of Southampton however, sucked total ass. At one point, even with lights and sirens blaring, we still had to sit in traffic as people did not move out of the way. We live on the opposite side of Southampton to the hospital so even in the ambulance it still took nearly half an hour to get there. To each one of you that didn’t try to move, I hope that you or your loved ones are never in a life threatening state in an ambulance with drivers who behave like you around. I wanted to punch you all, very hard, in the balls.
We received great treatment in the hospital. The staff were all lovely and did everything that they could to sort my little man out without causing him too much stress or panic. It turns out that he is terrified of stethoscopes. He is fine with being poked with needles and having masks on, but the most harmless listen to his chest, was awful in his opinion. The same nurses without a stethoscope got smiles and waves, as soon as they arrived with the offending item they were the worst people ever.
This has made me wonder if he can still remember his first week of life in the hospital? As we get older our early years vanish from our memories but it would be logical to think that things that happened just over a year ago might still be fresh in his mind. This made me feel so sad for him. He did not have a great first week of life.
After being told that we would be in hospital for at least one night, that the treatment would make him grumpy, tired and lose his appetite I was surprised that after six hours and six nebulisers my little boy seemed to be (if a little wheezy and coughy) back to normal.
Have you ever noticed how much medical equipment lines the corridors in hospital? I never had. Did you know how much of it was kept on trolleys with wheels? It is most of it.
My happy little dribble face had the best time, running up and down the corridor trying to push/scatter all of it that he could. He discovered lots of exciting drawers and desks with keyboards and computers, he loved trying to open, grab, throw all of the above. He went into every ward, smiling and waving at everyone, trying to walk off with things that he shouldn’t.
I was so glad to see him being his normal mischief filled self that I followed him only to repair the carnage left in his wake. Maybe not the most awesome parenting tactic, but at that moment I wasn’t thinking about anything other than how relieved I was that he was seeming to be more healthy.
My happy chap then ate his own body weight in fruit, vegetables and yoghurt. Apparently the medicine has raised his heart rate and so they decided to stop giving it to him for four hours and monitor the results. He responded well and his heart calmed down so at eleven at night they discharged us. I think in the hope that he would sleep at home and stop harassing them.
I know how long the fourteen hours that we spent in there felt to me. My heart goes out to every parent who is having to be with a poorly child in there for days, weeks and months. I am so grateful that this service is available to my family. The people who helped us were all great, I couldn’t do their jobs, I would not be able to maintain a smile when every patient was a sick child, and most of my patients cried at me every time that they saw me.
I haven’t slept properly since we came home. I am awake making sure that my mini one is still breathing all of the time. I am hoping that I can calm down soon. He is obviously fine and after such a late night has just been going to bed an hour after bedtime ever since. I am shaken though. How do you calm down after such a scary thing happens? Friends have said that next time (apparently children are always doing things that mean you are rushing to hospital) I will be a pro and not freak out (nope, I can’t see that myself).
Both times that my son has been in emergency situations I maintain a very calm outward appearance that was commented on both times by medical staff. Inside I fall apart, but nobody sees it. As I have an internal breakdown, I look like I take it all in my stride. That seems to be my default setting. I will be fine I am sure, it just takes a while to put everything back to normal under the surface.