Sunday, 9 December 2012

Change of Plan

I had plans for this weekend, not grand plans mind, just normal ones. Go to the dentist on Saturday morning, run a few errands, bake a cake, do some sewing for the stall next week, and on the slightly more exciting front, go out on Saturday night and meet a bunch of strangers from the internet (aka a Mumsnet meet-up). But that's not actually what happened... of course not.

The run-up to the weekend had begun with the three year old being too poorly for childcare on Friday. But no matter I thought, I'm going out on Saturday night. I'll get my reward for mopping up sick and trying to force calpol into a recalcitrant preschooler, with chat about the Mumsnet scarf and Centre Parcs. And things on sticks and plenty of booze. Lovely.

On Saturday morning my daughter was no better, and my spidey senses were starting to shift from the default position of 'If you take her to the docs now they'll give you the anxious mother look' to actually being, well, an anxious mother. So off I bombed to the GP surgery before 9:00am, thinking I'd just get them to have a little listen to her chest, give me the look and send us home with instructions for clear fluids and calpol as usual. And hopefully make it to the dentist by 10:00am. My first clue that things weren't going down that route was when I turned up the surgery and the receptionist politely informed me that the surgery was only open for pre-booked appointments and that I should really go to out of hours. She then took a closer look at my slightly unkempt state and the sad child on my hip and said she would ask the GP on duty if we could be seen.

The next sign that things were really not so ok, was that the GP not only agreed to see us straight away, but then listened to my daughter's chest and started to do the serious look. And then hooked my now very pale sad child up to a nebuliser while she went to phone the children's hospital.

So we had a rather too eventful morning in A&E with more nebulisers, oxygen masks and chest x-rays, before being admitted to the short stay ward for observation, and nurses started muttering things about an overnight stay. I can tell when my children are properly ill, by the way that they lose all their fight, and submit to people doing necessary but rather unpleasant medical procedures with only a sad little whimper. Plenty of that this weekend.

There's been a fair amount of media coverage recently about compassion and caring in nursing, and whether it's missing. Speaking from my recent experience I'd have to say not. I was incredibly impressed by the care that my daughter received, and the attitude of the staff towards her. Sure, there was one slightly brusque antipodean nurse, but I think they're obligatory. And her main concern was to get the children better so they could get out of there, something that all of us would agree with.

But of course the main thing about our hospital visit is that for us it was a rarity. Barring the odd visit to check out possible broken limbs or swollen appendices (they weren't), we've had minimal contact with hospitals. So I didn't take offence at being referred to as 'mum' by all healthcare professionals. Because if you're at hospital with your children long enough for the nurses to learn your name, then you've got bigger things to worry about....

I'll stop now as I've gone on too long already. I don't even have a lovely picture to cheer up this post either. Back to cupcakes and bunting soon I promise.


  1. Oh Tamsin what a weekend! I hope she's feeling better and you've recovered from the stress of it all...and from not getting your night out! Every time we've had to take the kids to the GP or A&E the staff have been fantastic. Even the time NHS Direct sent an ambulance for Max after listening to his breathing down the phone, and then he screamed every time a Doctor tried to get near him with a stethoscope....they waited till he fell asleep on my lap before listening to his chest. I love the NHS. Take care & hopefully things will revert to normal now! xx

    1. Thanks Rachel x We're both v glad to be sleeping in our own beds tonight. Your stall pics looked great btw, hope you had fun :)