Monday, December 18, 2006

Oliver is in hospital again

For the second time in his life Oliver is spending the night in the Children's Unit at Stepping Hill Hospital. At the age of 6 months it was a reaction to egg that caused it. This time he seems to have a virus that has left him with breathing difficulties.

As I sat in hospital tonight looking at his toe lit up by the device that measures his blood's oxygen levels, it crossed my mind that he had been reading Dan's blog over my shoulder and wasn't about to be outdone by a mere babe in arms on the illness front. In reality, it seems that as with most viruses he could have picked this up anywhere and there's little we could have done about it.

Last night he went to bed sounding chesty with a rasping quality to his breathing. He had a restless night with us checking on him often. At 5.30am I didn't like the sound of him at all. He sounded like it was an effort to breath and his whole abdomen seemed to be moving.

We brought him into bed with us and rang NHS Direct. In the half-light he woke and seemed dosile but content. The advice from NHS Direct didn't entirely re-assure me and when Calpol, Iburpofen and two hours waiting hadn't shown improvement, Hayley took him to the doctor, who recommended he go to hospital.

At the hospital this afternoon he was given a steroid-based medicine and also up to 10 shots of a salbutamol inhaler every couple of hours. We have to hold a mask to his face while the shots are released into it. Understandably he isn't too keen on this but has been a brave little chap, if a little unhappy. After the shots the improvement in him is visible. I had to chase after him down the corridor this evening! But within 2-3 hours he becomes distressed and in need of another set of shots.

The nurse allocated to him (who has been very helpful) told us that if he can go 4 hours between doses he can go home. That will hopefully be tomorrow. But tonight he and Hayley are in hosiptal and I am in our new home alone (which feels very wrong).

By the time I left them this evening he had tried to go to sleep and dosed intermittently for half an hour or so, but it was rather bright in there on the ward compared to the darkness of his room at home and he was not very comfortable with his breathing.

A few minutes ago Hayley said that he was waking every ten minutes and that she has let him get up to watch TV with her. Whatever makes him happy at the moment. The rule book goes as far out of the window as we can throw it at times like this.

On the bright side, he had a celebrity visitor today. World boxing champion and local boy Ricky Hatton paid a visit to the children's ward and gave Oliver a Christmas selection box. The visit was filmed and although it was on all the local news reports, sadly there were no pictures of Oliver.

Also on the bright side, he is in a ward with just one other much older boy and the noise levels are very low. Having walked through the other wards I can say with certainty that we could have done worse on that score.

As I go to bed tonight, thinking of my loved ones in that unit and all the other families there, I am left with one overriding thought. It echoes those of Dan when his son recently suffered a similar condition. How the nurses are able to work so cheerfully and professionally in wards of sick and suffering babies and children is something I can only wonder at and admire in equal measure.

2 comments:

Dan said...

Moving house, Christmas, and a child in hospital. Stressed much?

We weren't too impressed with NHS direct either. I don't understand why they don't just say go to A&E when they here the words "young child" and "breathing difficulties".

Heres hoping he's home soon.

Reservoir Mog said...

Agree with you about the nurses! Hope Oliver gets to demolish his new home... sorry, I MEANT gets to enjoy Xmas in his new home soon... :)

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