This morning, my day had a lovely plan to it. A visit from my little brother to play with his niece and nephew, and a spot of baking this afternoon after lunch with my babies.
How plans change……
Right now, I’m currently sat at the side of my son’s hospital bed, in the middle of a children’s ward, in my local hospital.
After waking late this morning (which we knew meant something wasn’t right as he never sleeps in), I went up to find him all teary, with what seemed to be the start of a migraine. As no stranger to him having migraines, I got him some medicine, ice water and put his tv on to give him something to focus on.
At 9:30, he came downstairs and sat with me and seemed so much better. Within half an hour he started complaining of the same headache, but this time, he had dizziness and his whole body kept shaking-not symptoms we associate with his migraine headaches.
I served lunch up at 11:30, at which point he was pale, sleepy, and shivery alongside the other original symptoms. He attempted to eat but it became clear shortly after he wasn’t right at all.
I asked him to look at me while I checked his skin with my phone torch for rashes, and he couldn’t keep his eyes open when the light was on. That made me ask him to touch his chin to his chest, which he couldn’t do. Panic set in, but the fake happy mummy, smiled and asked him to rest where he was, while I called the local doctors surgery. I knew I couldn’t get him there so I asked to speak to a doctor and listed his symptoms. Within five minutes of the phone call ending, the doctors receptionist called me back and said there was no question on what we needed to do-take him to hospital.
Hubs was working so called him to get him to come home, and after finding out he was going to be the best part of an hour, I started getting bags and clothes ready to go.
It’s not until you have to take your 6 year old to the hospital, with his 3 year old sister in tow, you realise just how much you’re going to need for both of them. I packed so much, tablets, colouring, stickers, snacks-to the point when I lifted the bag it hurt my back!
The husband came home, and off we set in the car. 3 minutes up the road, the boy throws up into the emergency sick bowl we keep in the car, and we have to stop the little lady throwing up in some sort of disgust/sympathy and pull over to pour the sick down the drain (I love being a mum, did I mention that?!)
We get to the hospital at 12:30, and the sight that greets us was nothing short of ridiculous.
People. People everywhere. Not a free chair in sight on first glance. I send the hubs off with the boy and stay with our girl at reception.
It soon becomes clear the people waiting are mainly in twos, bringing a friend or family member with them for support. That doesn’t free up any chairs though, so in the end we had a child each on our laps, in a temperature that can only be described of, as something similar to the Bahamas.
An hour in, I send the hubs to ask how much longer it’s going to be (something I later realise has become his main role). We’re in the next couple to be seen.
Eventually he gets taken to triage and they send us straight through to children’s a&e. We settle him on a bed, and he has some obs taken, and I send the hubs with our daughter home until there’s more news.
For the next few hours, we’re either moved around from bed to chair to bed, to make way for what they called “people who needed them”, while I was shown to one lone chair in the middle of the room, to balance my not-so-light child on my lap while he dozed in and out of sleep.
When finally seen by a doctor who had to be moaned at to come and see us, we were told how serious the symptoms were and they were going to be testing his blood for signs of meningitis (which sounds pretty major, except that information was given by a different doctor who also stated he would bet his mortgage on the fact it wasn’t meningitis).
Magic cream on, bloods done, on a very brave boy, in record time.
We then wait 2 and a half hours for the results, which were available prior to that time, but not looked at by doctors.
A doctor comes and says that she’s heard we were worried about the results so just to tell us it’s all clear (and they’re diagnosing as a viral infection-shock), but now we have to wait for a registrar to come and sign it all off, and discharge him.
So that brings us to now. To me, sat on the end of a hospital bed (I moved half way through the blog writing as my bum had gone numb on the side chair), iPad on my lap, and so far, an hour and a half of waiting for the famous registrar to appear.
I’m not writing this to have a dig at anyone we’ve seen (or not seen) today. I’m mainly writing because I’m bored out of my mind, but also to highlight how desperately understaffed and overworked the staff of NHS services really are. We are waiting for one registrar who needs to come from one end of the hospital to the other, to sign a piece of paper to say we can take our son home.
I have been here for 8 and a half hours, waiting mainly for things that could be done in half that time, had the NHS been given the staff they needed.
Government funding certain aspects of the NHS is fine. But I can’t see how nothing/not enough is going to the parts that really need it.
I suppose we can only look upon today as a positive outcome. No major illnesses diagnosed, and all tests carried out professionally and kindly. I just can’t help thinking it’s tainted by the negatives I’ve outlined.
Change is most definitely needed.