On Saturday, I woke up expecting a fairly normal weekend day other than Daddy going into work for a few hours.
It was far from a normal weekend, it was the worst weekend of my life, from which I am still recovering, so please forgive bad grammar, phrasing and spelling as I try to tell you how it all started.
About 9am I realised that even though he wasn't really complaining of feeling poorly, other than a headache, my little boy had a high temperature (39 on our ear thermometer), so I gave him some nurofen to help bring his temperature down. At this point I decided we would be having a lazy day.
We got some pens and paper out, put a film on and generally just played and lazed around for a few of hours. My little boy joined in and although he wasn't running around in his usual manic way he wasn't obviously feeling poorly. Just before lunchtime he settled into an armchair and told me he wanted a nap. This is very unlike him but as his temperature was up, and he had a late night in the week and woken with a bad dream on another night I thought it was a good idea. I gave him some Calpol as I didn't want his temp going back up whilst he was sleeping, and it was 4 hours since his last medicine.
He didn't settle into a good sleep but stayed relatively settled for about an hour, when he sat up and shouted 'Jug'. In our house we have a sick jug so I knew instantly what this really meant. As quick as I could I grabbed the jug but I was too late. I had a very poorly sick boy. I cleaned him up and after making sure he was ok I sat him to watch 'The Incredibles' whilst I cleaned up the chair.
After I had cleaned up I looked at him, and saw he was now struggling to keep his eyes open and not in a I am falling asleep kind of way. I took his temperature it was now reading a scary 39.9, I quickly got a luke warm wet cloth and started sponging him down to try and start cooling him down. Normally I would get complaints about it feeling too cold but I had no response. Whilst sponging him down I saw a rash on his face which did not disappear under pressure, I sat him up to check for any more spots and he couldn't sit up as he couldn't keep eyes open. The rash spread down his face, under his chin and onto his shoulders and round the back of his neck. His feet were cold, he had earlier mentioned a headache and he was being sick.
I was very worried about my little boy, he had very quickly become very poorly so I decided to call the out of hours GP service.
The lady I spoke to took the symptoms very seriously and told me I would be getting an urgent call back from a medical member of staff, I was being pushed up the queue and at the very most it would be 20minutes. I quickly rang my husband and told him to come home. It was about 4 minutes later when the phone rang.
It was a nurse who quickly confirmed everything I had said. She asked to check if he could place his chin on his chest, which he could and so that was a very positive sign but nonetheless she told me to go to see the out of hours GP now and they would be waiting for me. I said my husband was on his way home and would be here within 10 minutes and I would go when he was home, we are less than 5 minutes from our local hospital where the out of hours GP is based. I was very clearly told not to wait and to go now.
I was very scared for my little boy.
I ran around to get my little boy and girl ready, I rang Gran and Granddad to tell them what was happening and asked them to come to our house to be here when my husband came home so they could bring him to the hospital and they could then look after our little girl. I then loaded both children into the car. Just as I had strapped my boy into his car seat my husband pulled up onto the drive so we were able to all go together. Luckily as we were driving out we passed Gran and Granddad so they turned there car around and followed us.
I quickly carried my little boy into the out of hours GP service, as I approached the desk and said his name, they said 'we have been expecting you' and ushered us to a room. Very very quickly the GP was with us and he took a look at my little boy, heard my story of the day and then asked if he had been in contact with anyone with Meningitis. We hadn't, as far as I was aware.
He informed me that until blood tests/cultures were done then there was no way to confirm or deny Meningitis so because of his combination of symptoms and obviously being a very poorly boy he wanted to treat for the worst case. Straight away my little boy was given a shot of penicillin in his bottom - OMG did he scream.
We were then taken straight into a side room on the children's ward and kept in isolation. The nurses and doctors we all fantastic and did everything they could to help settle us and feel at ease.
My little boy was now very aware of his surroundings and I (and the doctors) thought adrenalin had kicked in after the injection as he was now more alert. Thankfully.
The doctors came to take blood sample and put a cannula in his hand. That is an experience I do not want to recall or repeat, and the IV antibiotics were started.
At this point practicalities are setting in so it was decided it was me that would stay in hospital with our boy and that Daddy would look after our little girl. So I decided that after his first dose of antibiotics and knowing he was settled I would race home and collect the over night things.
I was scared. When I rang the out of hours service I really expected to be told there is nothing to worry about but keep an eye out for X so to very quickly be in isolation on the children's ward having seen 3 doctors and student doctors and nurses who were all taking this very seriously was very surreal and horrid.