Vacationing at the Hospital…


…jeez that was NOT fun!

So, I’ve been M.I.A. again for a while but wow have things been crazy!

My ‘partner-in-crime’ in the department we run at work had a major car accident beginning of September, when some tool of a driver side swiped her on the freeway and then fled the scene – some people hey!.  She’s getting better but was off work for 6 weeks due to her back injury.  This meant that I needed to take the reigns and assist her clients with ongoing and new work, as well as maintain my own workload, and was a bit more chaotic than normal but I am on top of things…sort-of.

Then, 4 weeks ago today, Paige started with a mild fever and some Captain Cranky Pants antics in the afternoon, but she had been teething again so we put it down to that.  She ate some dinner and went to bed without too much fuss so we thought all was well…All was NOT well by around 23h30, when her distressed screaming woke us up. Raging temperatures, shivering and a cough that sounded like a barking seal.  We gave her some fever meds and tried cooling her down slowly with a damp cloth.  After about an hour of this Terry sent me to bed saying that I had to get some sleep and take care of the bean in my tummy, and he would stay up with Paige until she settled.  She eventually did…and then started up all over again…and then settled…and this continued through the night.

By the time the sun came up I had already emailed the office saying I wasn’t going to work as I had to take Paige to the doctor.   I got her and I dressed, packed her bag with a change of clothes and her teddy and went to my mom’s place at 7h30 to wait for 9h30 to roll around when our doctor’s rooms open.  By 8h00 Paige’s coughing was worse and she had started wheezing terribly so I decided that we were not waiting for the doctor’s rooms to open, we were going straight to the Hospital.

My mom dropped us at the emergency entrance so I could run it with Paige while she parked the car.  At this point all of my emotions had built up to boiling point and I took one look at the nurse and just burst into tears.  Through my blubbering I explained what had taken place, what meds we had given Paige and asked them to please ignore my sobbing but I was pregnant, exhausted and overly emotional.  The nurse smiled and told me to come through.

The nurse tested blood pressure and heart rate, all while Paige was screaming at the strangers poking and prodding her.  A doctor came to examine her but between her fidgety screams and my blubbering he simply put his hand on my shoulder and made the call to admit her.  He said her breathing was laboured, he suspected Croup and infection in both ears and he did not want to upset her further or stress me out in my condition.   We waited for admissions to sort themselves out and about an hour later we were taken to a room in Paedeatrics.  The only nice thing about all of this was that we had been put in a private room so that I (the blubbering pregnant lady) did not get exposed to any other illnesses that the other kids were carrying.

The Paed came an hour or so later and gave Paige a once over.  She confirmed what the doc in casualty had said and we would have to stay the night so that they could give her a course of anti-antibiotics and nebuliser treatments every 4 hours.  My mom stayed with us until Terry was able to get to the hospital from work and then we just sat around in the room, waiting.  Terry stayed over the first 2 nights, with me staying with her during the days, and I sent him home on the Saturday night to catch up on some much needed sleep.

On the Friday morning they insisted in hooking up a drip but with Paige being such a fighter and so strong, we strongly suggested that they give her something to calm her down.  She slept for 6 hrs.

We hoped that we would be released on the Saturday morning but the doc came and said that her ear infections were clearing nicely but she was still coughing and they wanted her to have a few more nebuliser treatments.  She had started moving around more and wanted to play so we asked if the drip could be taken out as trying to keep a toddler still is like trying to count the raindrops.  Thankfully she was hydrated and the antibiotics were done so they agreed.

I woke up with butterflies on Sunday morning.  Terry arrived with breakfast and then we waited for the doctor.  At around 11h00 she said Paige was well enough to go home. YAY.  I don’t think she had left the ward yet and we were already packed and waiting for the discharge papers.

Toddlers and hospitals do not go hand in hand.  You are confined to a small place, with no where for them to play, and are expected to some how keep them still while medication is being administered.  Have you ever tried to explain to a 19 month old little tot why they cannot go and play with the other kids in the rooms next to them – HA!  The nurses were all very friendly and they tried to be friendly with Paige but she pretty much cried every time one of them walked into the room, so there were no long lasting friendships being forged there.  The one really stupid thing that happened EVERY DAY was that they would bring Paige her meals and then literally, as she started eating, the doctor would come in for a check up, or a nurse would come in to take temperature or something.  Paige would get all upset again and then wouldn’t want to eat when they left.  That’s what little kids do!  Surely the staff would know this, dealing with kids every day, and would time their visits a bit better.  On the 3rd day I literally told the nurse to get out before she even got through the door.  Paige’s lunch had just arrived and she was nibbling on her chicken, and then guess what, the nurse wants to come and hook Paige up to the nebuliser – which makes her cry…I DON’T THINK SO!!  I sent her on her way and told her to come back in half an hour.  She hesitated but obeyed, and Paige ate her first whole meal since being admitted.  WIN!

Being in hospital with your little terror is horrible, but it has to be done sometimes so you just need to make the best of it.  We brought her home comforts to make the room her own – her pillow, blanket, teddies, toys and books.  I filled a carry-on size bag with stuff to entertain her with – which seems like absolute overkill – but it works (to a certain degree).

4 days, 3 nights and a lekker hospital bill later (that medical aid will hopefully cover completely).  Fingers crossed that we don’t need to go through that again any time soon (or ever again).