Monday, July 15, 2013

Adventures in Croup

Sometimes being rather laissez-faire about potentially serious health issues can have drawbacks.  I am always impressed by the ability of human and other animal bodies to heal themselves.  It's rare that I resort to medical attention and usually work through the minor blips and major viruses on our own, at home.  In fact to be honest, as a family we don't really deal with much illness.

But sometimes I may err a little on the side of too relaxed.

On Friday Ted, Harriet and I went for a gorgeous sun-kissed romp in a local playground with some families from Ted's school class.  As we arrived I noticed Ted sounded croaky, as if he was starting to lose his voice, but he was otherwise fine and dandy.  On the drive home however he started going downhill and by the time we'd been at home long enough to unpack and settle down, he was not in a good way.  Pale, weak and with audible respiratory difficulty (stridor, for those in the know), he laid on the lounge and asked to "watch something".  Poor poppet.

Two episodes of Play School later (thank you iview!) he kept falling in and out of a light sleep but refused to go to bed.  His breathing was getting much more laboured and rattly, and when James came home later than usual he remarked on how bad he sounded.

When he woke up from breathing issues at around 9pm I was worried I was being slightly over-anxious by telling James he should drive me to Emergency.  But as with Harriet's seizures in the past, you know you've done the right thing when you enter triage and they don't even let you sit down.

Off they slipped us into the ED with the delightful aromas of someone next door.  Ted was totally out of it, completely complacent, docile and glazed-eyed.  After discussing some issues with the doctor (honestly, some of the things they think of...don't get me started...) we reached a compromise on a course of action.  Honestly, don't look at me like only doctors are taught the words 'cyanosis', 'tachypnea' and 'stridor'.  It's hardly a secret.   Lordy...

We scored an awesome nurse who (no surprise) was more knowledgeable than the doctor and wonderful with Ted.  After he popped the mask on (I knew his O2 saturation must have been terrible since he eagerly used the mask), received the adrenalin and popped the dex in himself (the nurse was quite impressed by that!), he perked up a little.

In fact Grandad and I were having a little text conversation about the cricket and Ted was most anxious to convey his own message to him too.  By the time we'd moved to the paediatric ED Ted was up, walking around and very excited to be permitted some apple juice.  In fact from then on he was on a steep curve back to normalcy.

We slept upstairs in the paediatric ward (again, gorgeous nurses) from about 1am.  Well, sleep is of course a relative term and I hope Andre across the curtain from us is able to speak sometime this week after the poor little guy screamed in abject and blood curdling terror at his eye drops being administered.  I have never wanted to calm and hold another person's child so much in all my life.

Anyway...Ted woke to find that his stats had all been normal overnight, he just needed one more dose of dex to go and they brought you food TO YOUR BED!  Well...if you could call it food.  Ted was most disappointed to finally be presented with all of these bright food packages that he sees in the supermarket and try them.  Only to discover that they tasted terrible.  He (unsurprisingly) did like the white bread though.  How are people meant to heal themselves when their nutrition is so bereft in hospital?  If I am ever in hospital for any length of time please, for the love of god, smuggle in some decent food for me.  I beseech you in advance.

Moral of this story?  Leave for an ED visit only when you really have to.  Question doctors.  And always factor in a wait of two and a half hours after you've been 'discharged' for the discharge letter to be written.  *sigh*

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