It’s the early hours of the morning, whilst the world and everybody around me sleeps. I lay on a hospital bed awake next to one of my four year old twin girls, M. It has made me reflect on the experiences of the last few days.
What these days have taught me is that no matter where you are, your children can be so very fragile. We don’t see this when they are healthy and full of energy. However it becomes more obvious when they’re lying on a hospital bed. It has also taught me to value every single moment with your children. I know that sometimes that’s easier said than done, but I have never been so frightened in my life at the rapid deterioration of M’s health and it has really made think about those moments when they test your patience and it’s where I need to be more understanding and not to be frustrated by their moments of bad behaviour or meltdowns and to learn to take it more in my stride.
We entered hospital five days ago with a very sick child and of course you think of the worst possible outcome as it’s human nature after all.
The last night that M stayed in hospital I stayed with her. She had definitely improved so much during the day and was beginning to walk around a little and having a little smile, but she was still very weak.
My wife and M’s twin sister R left the hospital at about 4pm so it was just me and M. After her tea, which she ate very little of, I could see she was getting very tired. Unfortunately her sleep was very disturbed.
M was due her last dose of antibiotics via IV at 8.30pm. I was not holding my breath. The one most noticeable thing I saw over the days we had been in hospital was the dramatic shortage of staff and I felt for them as it’s a very tough job and not having enough doctors and nurses puts a huge pressure on all the staff, as I was about to find out for myself, exactly what that would mean for M’s wellbeing
The nurse finally got to do M’s antibiotics at 9.15pm and this takes an hour to go through, so it was a little bit annoying as she had already gone to sleep, but needs must and M needed her antibiotics. The nurse also did her obs at this time and said she wouldnt do them again until morning. I was ok with this as she had improved dramatically, but I realised she simply didn’t have time to look after all her patients.
At around 10.15pm a doctor I hadn’t met before came in and asked how M was etc, and then said do you want to go home? I replied yes not realising he actually meant, go home now at 10.15, so when I realised what he was saying, well I said no, tomorrow is fine. He then proceeded to try and convince me your own bed will be more comfortable etc.
This is the interesting bit he said we won’t be discharging you. I later found out it’s illegal to discharge patients after 10pm so really he was trying convince me to go home with M, but knowing it had to be my decisio,n very underhanded. Anyways I said I have no transport and tomorrow will be fine, goodnight.
What was it all about? It’s the NHS under severe pressure with no beds and no nurses and doctors. It’s very sad state of affairs. I feel for them as it’s a tough job made even tougher by the lack of funding. I also think it’s vitally important to stand your ground to what you want for your child.
In the morning the doctor came around at about 11am and checked M out and we had a chat about everything although no conclusions were made about what had made her so unwell. All we knew was that her infection marker was 237 when she arrived four days ago, which I might add the the normal marker is 5 which shows how severe the infection was. We were none the wiser we don’t know if it was viral or bacterial. How it started? What part of her body it affected. Very vague diagnosis to be honest, but that’s it.
We finally got home at midday and M is improving hourly. But it will be a while before she is back to her normal self.
For my wife and myself it has been one of most worrying experiences of our twin girls lives and I never want to repeat it.
I have learnt a lot from this and should either of the girls be needing hospital treatment again I know exactly how I will be dealing with it.