When we had to call 999

It was meant to be our time together as a family. A week together myself, my husband and our three little jellyfish. We had planned to take the kids somewhere everyday even if it was just the local park. But instead life got in the way and although we didn't get to do the things we had planned I was very grateful that daddy was home as I don't think I would have coped without him.

I finished work on the Friday and I know I had only been back at work two weeks I was ready for my two weeks off. I felt a bit rough all day but I had put it down to hayfever as my clothes had been dried on the line right next to the elder flower which my body seems to detest. As I got home it became apparent that it wasn't hayfever but a start of a cold which is just what you want when you have two weeks booked off work. I didn't want it to get in my way of spending time with my little family. It was the first full week I have spent with my husband since paternity leave and everyone knows that isn't really quality time as you are just in a blur of feeding and sleeping.

Oscar hadn't been well for about seven days so Saturday morning while hubby played golf I managed to get him a doctors appointment. Although he looked a bit better by the time I took time he still wasn't himself. I know when I usually take him to the doctors he is running around playing with all the equipment and trying to climb on the bed but not today he sat quietly and did everything that was asked of him. The conclusion was that he was suffering from a viral infection that was going round and wiping kids out for 10 days. The triage nurse was going to ring me on Monday morning to check how he was doing and we left with instructions to take him to urgent care if his temperature went over 39 degrees.

Saturday evening as part of our plan to get out more we took the kids to the park. I took Alice in her pram, Stephen had Oscar in the WeeRide at the front of his bike while towing his bike trailer behind just in case Ethan got tired on his balance bike which he did and the trailer was luckily big enough for him and his bike. It was a lovely sunny evening and it was good to get out. The kids were exhausted when we got back and pretty much fell straight asleep.

Sunday was a day of jobs mainly housework and food shopping. It was also Fathers Day and due to everyone being ill and the chaos of being back at work I managed to sort nothing for my husband off the kids (Bad Wife). Oscar had actually been the best he had been in days and had been playing outside with Ethan. Finally we thought he was on the mend. Alice had developed a bit of a cough which had got gradually worse throughout the day. When we put her to bed she kept coughing and crying in her sleep but didn't wake up. We gave her some Calpol but there was nothing more we could do.

I'd gone up to bed just before midnight and as Stephen was coming up the stairs to bed we heard footsteps and crying. Oscar was out of bed shaking, crying and generally confused. We had a mad dash round the house to find the thermometer and his temperature had reached 39.8. I called 111 who advised that if I had already been advised by a medical professional to  go to the Urgent Care Centre that was where I should go. Our nearest open urgent care centre was The Royal Preston Hospital which is around 5 miles away. I went into the boys room to grab his blanket, dressing gown and slippers only to find he had been sick in his bed. I got him to hospital at around 12:30 and we were actually seen by the A&E triage nurse. She was really good with him even though he didn't quite like her much after she pricked his finger to check his blood sugar levels. He was given ibuprofen on top of the calpol we had given him at home to bring his temperature down further as it was still quite high.

We waited back in the waiting room to see the doctor, the nurse had decided to keep us in A&E rather than sending him to the Urgent Care Centre. We got called to see the doctor around 2am by this time all the medicine had kicked in and he was back to his old self running round the waiting room. Luckily we were the only ones waiting in the children's waiting room. He was checked over by the doctor who was brillant with him she played with his while she was checking him over. I nurse then came to check all his stats and bought him and teddy bear. The nurse bandaged up the teddy bear and Oscars own toy Nana the Elephant and we were given the OK to go home with our new friend the teddy bear in tow.

Me and Oscar got home around 3:45 am. I could hear Alice was sounding quite raspy in her breathing at this point but went to bed and thought it might be a good idea to ring the doctors in the morning. I didn't wake up till around 9 and everyone else was still in bed. I'd missed the call from triage to she how Oscar was so rang the doctors to see if I could get an appointment for Alice. I had missed all the emergency appointments the next available appointment was Friday which was no good. But I did manage to get a triage phone appointment for sometime in the morning. Alice and Stephen got up. She sounded terrible, she sounded really raspy now and it seemed like it was a big effort for her to breathe. When triage called not long after 10 she advised me to call 999 as her breathing was laboured and the paramedics would be able to get to me quicker than either I could get to A&E or to the doctors surgery.

I have to say calling 999 was a little scary if I'm honest I didn't think she was poorly enough to call 999 but that is what I was advised to do so that is what I did. Within 5 mins there was a paramedic in a car at my door shortly followed by an Ambulance. There was 3 paramedics in my living room checking her over they had come to the conclusion that she was suffering from croup and it was procedure to take under 5's to hospital. So me and Alice were taken by ambulance to hospital. The paramedic that sat in the back with us kept Alice entertained by blowing her up a glove to make a hand balloon.

A&E was really busy but were seen really quickly. By 12 we had had two sets of obs done by the nurses, seen two doctors been given steroids to help the swelling in her throat (I think that's what they were for but if that is wrong I had not had much sleep and was a little confused by the whole situation), given a bear like the one Oscar had been given only a few hours earlier and been discharged from A&E into the care of the children's ward.

Alice and her bear from A&E

The children's ward was very busy and extremely hot. We were seen by the triage and given a waiting room to sit in. It was the hottest room ever and we were in there for the best part of 4 hours. Alice was actually sticking to me we were both that hot and sweaty. By the time we saw the senior nurse her cough and breathing had improved loads. The steroids had done there job and we were allowed to go home. Daddy, Ethan and Oscar picked us up. It was so good to be home couldn't believe I had been in hospital twice in less than 12 hours with two different children. By the time I left the hospital with Alice I looked and sounded more ill than she did. I could hardly speak when anyone tried to ask me anything. But that is all part of being a mum putting your children before yourself.


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