On Sunday night, we spent the night in A&E with Alfie. It was truly awful.
We first noticed him being out of sorts on Saturday tea time. He wouldn’t eat his tea, even though it was his favourite of ish fingers and mushy peas. This isn’t unusual as he is a bit hit and miss with food at the moment because of his teeth, but what was out of character was he was getting quite upset at being offered food or asked to eat. Michael was giving him tea, or at least trying, so when he’d given up, Alfie started to wonder round crying. At one point, he went over and sat in the corner with his back to the living room door and sat there quietly crying on his own. It broke my heart. I went over and scooped him up in to my lap and he never moved. He was actually really warm, so I stripped him off and gave him some calpol to bring his temperature down. That’s when I really knew he wasn’t himself, he was so quiet and looked so sad, which is totally not like him as he’s usually a whirlwind. It was typical that we’d actually planned to go out for the night on Saturday. Michael’s mum had invited us round, along with Michael’s sister and his brother in law, for a meal for her birthday and to all get together without the kids, which we’ve not done for a long time. My Mum and Dad came to babysit Alfie, but he didn’t want anyone other than me. I tried a couple of times to give him to mum so she could give him his milk, but he just cried holding his arms out for me.
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want Michael to have to go on his own, especially as initially I wasn’t able to go with not having a babysitter but Mum and Dad’s plans changed meaning they could have Alfie. Luckily, Alfie drifted off to sleep in my arms pretty quickly so I put him down and hoped for the best. As we only live 10 minutes away, I still went knowing I could be back really quickly if I was needed.
We had a great night with Michael’s family. It was nice to all get together and celebrate and be in good spirits. Especially given how hard the last 6 weeks have been with Michael’s dad having a heart attack, followed by a triple heart bypass! To be able to all be together over good food and chat was really lovely.
I’d text Mum a few times during the evening and they’d not heard a peep out of Alfie, which did make me feel better, but I was still on edge given how clingy he’d been before I left.
We got home around 11pm and they’d still not heard anything. However, no sooner had they closed the door when leaving that we heard Alfie start sobbing through the monitor. We rushed up and he’d been sick in his cot the poor thing. I took him in to our room and gave him some more calpol as he was on fire. He slept with us that night. Once he’d gone to sleep he didn’t really wake again, but I was on edge all night as he was so hot. I really felt for him.
Yesterday, I had to work at 8am, so I was up and out before Michael or Alfie were even awake. He woke at about 9.15 and was still warm. I stayed in touch with Michael throughout the morning and he said Alfie was getting better and had perked up loads. When I arrived home just after 12, he was playing with his balloons. However, within the hour, he’d gone rapidly downhill again and was sat snuggling on Daddy’s lap. With it being my Mother in Law’s birthday, Michael had to go out to take her card and present, so me and Alfie stayed home. I’d been asking him to phone NHS direct, but he seemed to think they’d just say keep him topped up with calpol and fluids. When he did try to call as he got to his sisters for his mum’s birthday, they asked him to call back when he was with Alfie.
Michael left about 3 and no sooner had he gone than Alfie had a screaming fit. He was visibly distressed and in pain. It was awful, totally heartbreaking to see when there was absolutely nothing I could do. It lasted for 10 minutes or so, then he settled back down and drifted off again in my arms. This was pretty much how the rest of our afternoon was. Shortly before Michael got home, Alfie had another crying fit. He wouldn’t leave my knee all afternoon, until Michael got in and he went to Daddy to give me a bit of a break.
By tea time, his temperature was still high but we couldn’t give him anything as he’d had his 4 doses of calpol in 24 hours. Around 7.30, I’d asked Michael to call NHS direct again because Alfie had now had a temperature for over 24 hours and within an hour it’d gone from 37.6 up to 38.1. The NHS Direct staff were helpful and offered to get a doctor to call back within the hour. The doctor’s call came around 7.45pm and he wanted us to take Alfie in, but couldn’t get us an appointment until 10.30pm that night. I told Michael there was no way I was getting Alfie out at that time as it wasn’t fair on him and they’d said there was no guarantee how long we’d have to wait cos they were really busy.
We decided to take him to A&E. When we arrived I was so disheartened to see the wait time was 2 hours! Alfie, bless him was an absolute angel. Despite being so poorly, out of his routine and in a bright and busy hospital, he never moaned once and just sat on our knee’s the whole time. He drifted off to sleep about 10pm. As I sat there holding him, I started to cry. I felt so incredibly guilty that we’d left it so long before getting him seen. I felt like I’d failed him. As I sat there holding him, tears falling, Michael did all he could to assure me we’d done the right thing because we may well have been turned away if we’d taken him before his temperature had been raised for 24 hours. Whilst I understood what he was saying, I still couldn’t stop myself feeling so terrible. Why had we left it so long? Why didn’t we bring him in the afternoon as soon as Michael got back? Why had I left it til bedtime and then dragged him to a hospital that was too hot, too bright, too noisy for my poor little boy. The guilt was almost unbearable.
We finally got seen at 10.40pm Alfie did not like the doctor one bit and literally screamed the place down. He was over tired having barely slept all weekend. He was poorly and he had this strange man prodding and poking him sticking things in his ears and forcing him to open his mouth.
The doctor diagnosed him with tonsillitis. I was relieved that we knew what it was. The frustrating thing was that the doctor didn’t seem 100% sure with his diagnosis. He wanted to send us to the Children’s GP. By this time it was 11pm and there was no way in the World I was going to make my poor boy wait longer than he had too. I was also aware that Michael had work the next morning. The GP didn’t really instil me with confidence. He seemed more concerned about us complaining about him misdiagnosing Alfie than what was best for him – which in my opinion was getting him home and to bed to rest.
We were finally given amoxicillin. I just wanted to get my poor baby home. None of us had eaten tea. Michael and I had just picked all day with us seeing to Alfie so we were all exhausted.
We got him at 11.30 and Alfie was full of beans. Totally got his 2nd wind. As late as it was, I was just relieved to see a little glimpse of my boy back. At 1.30 he finally gave up and went to sleep.
He’s been better today, although still not himself, but we’re on the road to recovery. I can honestly say it’s been one of the most awful experiences and I really did feel like I’d failed him.
I’m just so thankful that I had Michael by my side. Whilst I sat there silently crying and cradling Alfie in my arms, he was the one who held my hand and told me it would be ok. Despite not having much sleep all weekend, he still got up extra early this morning so he could go to the chemist and pick Alfie’s medicine up before going to work. He’s looked after Alfie tonight so I could come to work then I didn’t get marked as absent and I still got paid. He’s an absolute rock and Alfie and I are so very lucky to have him.
Here’s hoping my boy will be back to his usual self sooner rather than later. I miss all the mischief he causes and his cheeky grins and having a conversation with him.
Being a parent is hard. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Red hot cheeks and looking very poorly
Fallen asleep in Mummy's arms
Cuddles with Daddy at the hospital
The morning after the night before