17 September 2013

a rather different weekend than planned

I am exhausted! I have had possibly the most worrying weekend of my entire life and we're still coping with the fall out now.
It started off so well. I went to Guides as normal on Friday evening and came back really positive about what we're doing over the next half term. Madam had been coming down with a cold most of the week. Same as ever when we start a new term! I have it as well, she's so good about sharing!
Anyway, I came back on Friday evening to find her fast asleep on my mum and the news that she'd thrown up all over my dad. Oh dear. She was prodded and made to wake up so that we could go back to our house. But she made a massive fuss and we decided that if she went straight to sleep we would stay the night. And she did, though we noticed she seemed quite chesty and a bit wheezy when we put her down.
At 5 in the morning my mum prodded me awake and told me that an ambulance was coming as madam was having difficulty breathing. I got up and went into my parents room where she was propped up in bed and was obviously struggling for every breath. Not good at all. Mum said she'd got into bed with them and was puffing and panting so much they'd phoned 111 to get some advice. The lady had asked to listen to her and decided to send out the ambulance.
And we got two! The first one arrived shortly and explained that a warning light had just come on and that another bus was coming to *actually* take us to the hospital. They checked madam over and put her on a nebuliser and asked her to recite a nursery rhyme to check how she was doing. She sang Humpty Dumpty but could barely get to the end of the sentence without gasping for breath.
We got taken into the ambulance (the new one) and blue-lighted to the Hull Royal Infirmary. Madam was a little upset she didn't get the sirens, but we explained they only use those when the traffic is busy. Which it is not at half past 5 in the morning.
We got to the hospital for about 6 and were admitted to A&E. We waited there until 9 and then got moved to the children's A&E as that was now opened. From there things moved much faster (the main A&E was stacked to the rafters, bless them, they were so good with her).
The children's A&E gave her 10 puffs on a Salbutamol inhaler at 9.15am and sent her up to PASSU (Paediatric Assessment Unit). They assessed her again at about 11.30am and despite the fact madam was leaping about and destroying the triage room the Doctor said she was still really working for every breath and she was given another 10 puffs. We were told that until she could go 4 hours between treatments she wouldn't be going home.
So they found us a bed and madam some lunch and we settled down to wait. Well, I did. Madam doesn't understand the concept of resting so went off to cause chaos with anything possible. At 2pm they came back again and decided she needed another 10 puffs. She also got a dose of steroids which apparently, tasted vile (Mummy smirking may have happened).
They wanted to leave her 4 hours and said they would come back at 6 to reassess and then we might be able to go home. Due to a bit of a mix up in communication she was given another 6 puffs at about 4.30. We then had to wait until about 8 for the Doctor to come around to her. He said he was thinking that she might need to stay but that with another dose she might be able to go.
However, she fell asleep (passed out from exhaustion, you choose) before they could give her it. She was given her 10 puffs whilst she slept and put on a pulse ox monitor. It showed she was still struggling and they decided, to be on the safe side, we should go up to the children's ward and spend the night.
As it turned out it was a good job she stayed. They had her on a monitor and I could only watch as her oxygen saturation kept dipping down. They put her on the lowest rate of oxygen. It helped, for a while. And then she needed a bit more help. And then more. They put her back on nebulisers instead of the inhalers and she levelled out when they started her on 35% oxygen. Now, that much oxygen sounds very scary, and fortunately I didn't realise she was on that much at the time. I crept into the bed next to her and fell asleep because I was so tired.
Sunday morning
We were woken at 6am when she had another nebuliser and then... She was awake. And spent the rest of the day causing chaos and getting under the poor nurses feet. We finally managed to get her to 4 hours between inhalers though. They had said that if madam had a nap and they could monitor her breathing then we might be able to go home. But madam refused to settle until after tea. She dropped off for about an hour or so and so did I. Sadly it was too late and we were in for the night. Again. I have to say we both slept quite well. Tiredness overtook us both and we slept pretty much through until morning.
So, Monday morning when we woke up she had her inhaler and we were told that we would be going home as she'd had such a good night. Just had to wait for the Doctor to do his rounds and discharge us. We saw him about 10.30am and then had to wait for our discharge letter. But we left about 2pm. We went downstairs to the pharmacy as madam had another inhaler (the Salbutamol one still) to collect.
Then we just had to wait for my dad to pick us up. We sat in the foyer for a while and madam ended up wearing my coat and curled up under my chair fast asleep! No idea how she managed that. It was very noisy in the foyer, and I don't imagine the floor was very comfortable!. My dad had to pick her off the floor and carry her to the car. A nurse happened to walk past at that point and I think we slightly concerned her with what must have looked like a collapsed person on the floor. We reassured her she was just asleep and we finally left the hospital.
I was so glad to get her home and took the decision to keep her off school again today as she is still supposed to be resting and I don't think school is really the place to do that! She will go back tomorrow though as she has had another good night (and I expect her to again tonight). Her school are happy to give her her inhaler when she needs her dose and I think it'll do her good to try and get back to her routine.
I'm not sure I appreciate madam's propensity for being admitted to hospital, lets hope we'll not be back again for quite some time to come!  

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