Thursday, 29 November 2012

"It's Viral"

It's been one of THOSE weeks.

They seem to be happening on a regular basis at the moment.

Mini Cheddar has been ill.


I know I shouldn't moan as there are people who have children with long-term illness or special needs etc. but I need to vent a minor frustration.

Also, before I start, I would just like to point out that I have every respect for the NHS and it's staff. I think it's fantastic and, as a country we should celebrate it.

I also want to say that I totally respect working mums and how difficult it must be to cope with a sick child when you have to work etc. I really don't know how I would cope if I wasn't able to work from home when I choose.

But here goes...

MC was ill with a severe cough the other weekend. I kept her away from ballet class and off school for the Monday as she hadn't slept well the night before and, even though she wasn't running a fever, I knew a day off would do her good. She seemed to fight it off quickly and was back at school the next day and all that week. She went to ballet and a birthday party and everything was fine. At ballet class there was a little girl who was clearly very poorly. She looked so ill. She actually looked like she would pass out. She had a streaming cold and was coughing badly every 20 seconds. It was awful. She was coughing all over the other children and I cringed every time they were all holding hands.

2 days later MC suddenly started coughing severely. She was running a fever, looked dreadful and was off her food - not like her!


Her cough became so bad so quickly that Matt took her straight to the out of hours GP.

"It's viral", the doctor said after a quick check over "There's a lot of it about at the moment".

Those two words. IT'S VIRAL. Urgh!

A very pale MC in the doctors surgery
We knew that this is what we would be told as we've been here before. Knowing that there was nothing the doctor would do or prescribe for her we just did our best to 'cope' at home. Coping is difficult when you have a child that coughs every 10 seconds (and that is no exaggeration!). Coughing so badly she was screaming in agony and being sick.

She was off school and Matt was heading up to Durham overnight leaving me to cope with MC and TC. Thankfully TC is still (teething aside) the most chilled out and laziest baby ever *crosses EVERYTHING and touches wood a million times*.

A second night of no sleep followed but this time it was without a husband to split the nursing hours.

The next day MC didn't seem so bad as she managed to get a decent block of sleep early on in the morning while I was up giving TC his breakfast. She was still coughing badly but she showed glimmers of her normal happy self between the coughing fits.

That afternoon we tried to get a nap when TC went for his usual sleep. MC couldn't stop coughing. It got worse. She started being sick again and went downhill fast. Matt returned home mid-afternoon and I rang the GP to book an emergency appointment at our usual surgery.

The doctor had heard MC coughing from his room.

The problem with emergency appointments is you have to wait a long time and by the time we were seen she was burning up again.

He said "It sounds a bit like whooping cough and there's a lot of that around at the moment. An awful lot" and raised his eyebrows.

"But she was vaccinated against that as a baby" I replied.

He checked her records "Yup, you're right, she was".

Looking in her throat he said it looked swollen and nasty. Her tonsils were swollen too (although no white spots).

"She needs a dose of antibiotics" he said "I'll prescribe her Erythromycin which is what we would prescribe for whooping cough. She needs to take it every 6 hours".

23 hours after her first dose she started to come back to life.

I'm so glad because that night, just after that very first dose she was in a state. So much so that Matt started to say we should take her to A&E.

She's still coughing now but not anywhere near as often and she was able to sleep much better last night. Today she's been happily playing and her appetite has started to return too.

I know that dishing out antibiotics isn't healthy and people are building up resistances to them but sometimes they are needed. I seriously believe that sometimes doctors hold back unnecessarily because they don't want to be seen to be giving out drugs willy nilly. Having a severe cough when you are an adult is bad enough, nevermind when you're only 3 years old!

Also, to the little girl who was at ballet. I have a question for her parents. Why didn't you keep her at home? I get that she probably wanted to go to ballet. The other week MC was poorly. She still wanted to go to class but we kept her home. There were a few tears but it was for the best.

Only last week I was stood in the school yard waiting for the nursery door to open at 8.30am and the amount of children that were coughing constantly was terrible. There's so much of it about.

Due to someone not keeping their infectious child at home I've had to suffer having just 6 hours sleep in 60 and a daughter so poorly it's been heartbreaking at times. She's also been off school for the week missing out on her singing practice for her school nativity.

As Matt and I were poorly last Christmas I'm determined to have a happy and healthy one this year. If I could lock my children away for the next month to keep them germ free, I would but I fear this isn't the last time we'll be told "It's viral".


Honestmum said...

Oh no, really feel for you all and truly don't understand why that little girl was taken to ballet so ill. Sending you lots of hugs x

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I felt your fear and exhaustion on twitter and I'm really glad that MC is on the mend now: here GPs charge a fee to most families (about £50 per visit) so some of them will give you a prescription for antibiotics "just in case" if they think you are responsible enough to only use them as necessary. *looks at pile in the medicine chest* Hope this is the last time you hear those dreaded words "it's viral", this side of Christmas at least xx

HELEN said...

ahh poor MC, I'm glad she's on the mend now. I don't understand why anyone would send a child to attend something that would require any amount of exertion if they're unwell - that alone would start the cough off & a sure way to spread germs...ewwww all that hand holding! x

PhotoPuddle said...

You can't keep your children home with every sniffle and sneeze but this little girl sounded far too sick to be out and about. Very irrisponsible of her parents. Sorry MC had to suffer so much xxx

Christina E said...

I often ask that question about other parents (especially as mum of a child with weak lungs), but then I think unfortunately viruses are often contagious before the symptoms show. Doesn't make it any less frustrating though. We've had a pretty bad time of it of late in that respect too with lots of missed swimming lessons and play sessions, and it's so frustrating. And whilst I understand the financial pressures that make parents dose their kids up and send them when they know they are too ill, it really isn't fair on other kids they will come into contact with who may have weakened immune systems.

Glad MC is better x


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