Friday, June 01, 2007




You may be wondering why Pudge is holding an inhaler and I look 10 years older and more exhausted than I did a week ago? What a week this has been. From Tuesday's Poxy rant, you'll have gathered that Léon fell ill again and was back on antibiotics.

On Wednesday he was no longer hot or pointing at his ears as he had been on Tuesday, but was wheezing and coughing a bit. I did mentally note it was weird he seemed to be developing a chest infection while on penicillin, but he's so ill so often I went with the flow.

He coughed himself awake just after 2am Tuesday into Wednesday and I was alarmed to notice he was breathing twice as quickly as normal and his whole ribcage was really struggling to breathe. Enough - I got up and drove him to Yorkhill just before 3am. They tested his oxygen blood saturation level on arrival and it was at 89%. His heart rate seemed a little fast too. Normal oxygen levels are 98% or above I am told, below 84% the monitor reading goes from blue to red and it starts beeping - I didn't need to ask what that meant. He was taken into the casualty ward at first where I got a chair and he wandered up and down gasping and puzzled. It was the middle of the night but lights were on and toys were everywhere. He didn't really know what to do with himself. They first gave him calpol and steroids, then 10 blasts of an inhaler. His chest went from wheezy to clear and he perked up, though his breathing was still too fast and his oxygen still only 91%. They said if it stayed ok for 2 hours I would be allowed to take him home. I was shattered, still a bit sleep deprived from Tuesday's 5am start and late evening at the out of hours surgery. After 2 hours the wheezing was back so I was told the same - he'd be given 10 blasts of inhaler and we'd get home at 7am if he was clear. At 7am he was asleep but from the chair I'd been given I could hear the wheezing was back. They then decided he could stay in casualty no longer so admitted him to ward 7B. (As an aside what a view - floor 7 of the hospital has a spectacular panorama of Glasgow's West end - mental note: if he ever has another asthma attack pack the camera).

Ward 7 is great - each child's bed comes with a fold away bed so a parent can stay the night with their child - the only rule - the adult beds are to be folded away from 8am as a space saver - it was 7-45 and I'd had 2 hours sleep - they said I could unfold my bed at 8pm if we were still in :-(. The second problem was food. They feed the patients of course, and, I'm told have a lovely subsidised canteen on floor 1 for the parents. So if your kid is floppy, lying-in-bed, hooked-up-to-machines sick you can go get breakfast, if however your kid is wandering-about, wheezing-at-your-ankles sick you can't go eat because you can't take them with you and if you leave them, though it is safe to, they scream for the 15 minutes you are away. Who needs breakfast anyway? Especially when you are 11 weeks pregnant and feeling sick and dizzy. Léon was given 1 weetabix and half a slice of toast, I pilfered the half slice of toast.

Problem number one was arising at home. The kids were in the flat and André was expecting them for breakfast around 7-15am. Of course their driver was in hospital so Marcel had to get André to come into town to pick them up.

The day passed slowly with the same inhaler and oxygen tests at regular intervals. I had only 2 20p as I had not been expecting Léon to be admitted. I wasn't dressed either so was wandering around in my sleepwear and a pair of jogging bottoms all day! I tried late morning to ring André to tell him I couldn't pick Marcel and Charlotte up at 3pm and I couldn't get a substitute either. He wasn't available. I rang Thomas in a panic to tell him the dilemma - he wasn't available. No more 20ps. At 2ish, thank god, Thomas walked through the door having sussed all by himself that I had no one to pick up the kids and offering to sit with Léon while I went. I was practically in a coma by that point food and sleep-deprivationwise but at least it offered a solution. He offered to take my mobile outside and text André for me and at the last minute André was tracked down and put of schoolrun duty. Thomas went out to get me some food. I couldn't see for my migraine by then so sat tight and waited.

Sometime between 3 and 4 my breakfast arrived - sandwiches, lucozade and paracetamol. Fortunately it was another few hours before Léon was discharged because I couldn't have driven even if I had needed to by then, I was so shaky, was seeing double and couldn't stand.

We came home with our asthma kit and instructions and collapsed. I was no longer at all worried about taking time off work sick, as I genuinely was very sick by then myself. I collapsed on the bed while Thomas dealt with Léon and food and we got dinner around 10pm.

I took a long time to calm down enough to sleep at bed time. The stress must finally have been hitting me. I am off today too. Every bone in my body aches, my head is throbbing - stress? sleep deprivation? parenting? I don't know. I just hope I am well enough to do some proper work over the weekend to catch up.

And Pudge? he's been asleep now for 12 hours solid, and I can't hear any wheezing as yet.

On a more positive note, Pudge's 18 hr stay in hospital has had a mushroom effect on his language development. From mainly single words on Tuesday, he's now learnt, 'no way, no want, don't want, don't like' and after the nurse's umpteenth blast of inhaler, he even learnt to count, that is to say, if you say 'one', he replies 'oo, ee, oh'! Awwh! I wonder if he'd be reciting Shakespeare by now if they'd had to keep him in a week!?

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