Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Trust your parental instincts

Lucas will probably never fully understand this but I saved his life at 1 month old by listening to a voice in my head telling me to do something that meant another long night in hospital.  To cut a long story short 4 days earlier after 2 visits to the doctors being told a lot of rubbish about him having a heavy cold we decided to go to A+E he hadn't kept a feed down properly in 3 days and was having to work for each breath of air.

Within a few hours we had been taken to the Children's Unit at the Countess of Chester hospital they did a sample of the gunk coming out of his nose and it was confirmed he had bronchiolitis.  After 4 days his oxygen levels began to improve though he still wasn't keeping down his feeds.  The doctor did his rounds and said he is fine now you can go home if you wish.  A very tired Angela delighted at the news instantly started packing but I shocked her and the doctor by saying "sorry but no he hasn't fed properly in a week now"  It turned out it was a decision that without realising it saved his life.

Seeing as I had stayed the previous night Angela stayed over I said goodbye but could tell despite her understanding my concerns she was annoyed with me.  Just 3 hours later I was rushing back to the hospital Connor and Zane were taken by my mother and sister in law, Lucas had been placed in an oxygen tent he was struggling to breathe.  The next morning he continued to deteriorate I called my mum who turned up within minutes along with my sister and brother in law.  They did his blood gases (taking a sample by jabbing the back of his foot) and he was getting worse.  They moved him into the Acute care room I from tiredness said "look mum that poster says looking after your critically ill child he isn't that ill...." The look on mum's face told me I was wrong though it was all a blur.

By this point they were doing his blood gases so regular his screams of pain were beginning to affect me,  my dad had rushed from work to join us saw the state we were in and despite a phobia of needles volunteered to stay whilst they did it again.  It had got to much I felt helpless Angela joined me outside as I smoked 2 cigarettes in less than 5 minutes I was shaking I felt so bad as this was out of my control.  We returned to find them asking to do a chest X-ray I looked at the screen and saw his pulse was over 200 that was when it hit we could lose my son.  The chest X-ray showed he had a collapsed lung he had been trying so hard to breathe the lung had simply deflated.  They made the decision they would place him in a coma reinflate his lung and let the machines do the work for him but this would mean he would need to move to a specialist hospital.

I will always remember seeing him wired up to all those machines and when I saw my parents Angela and me broke down "pull yourselves together" my dad said...roll on 5 minutes he sees him and yep out he came crying!  Then came a kick there was no beds available in the North West there was talk of Newcastle or Bristol!  Then the hospital got a call from Alder Hey yes they did have space for him. So he was placed in an Ambulance and we were taken by taxi to meet him there. 

Once he was settled the consultant in Intensive Care explained again this was about giving him a rest and it could be 2 weeks it could be a month (which would have been mid January)  After a night in the parents room we were moved over to Ronald McDonald House on the hospital grounds this gave us our own bed room and space as well as this each room had it's own cage in huge fridges and freezers and a large kitchen area.  It wasn't home but it was appreciated.  When my parents visited a couple of days later we were given money and ordered to go out for a drink and try and unwind the hospital had our mobile numbers and would call if they needed us.

The next morning I woke up at 5am and decided I wanted to see him so leaving Angela to sleep I went over to the Intensive Care and as I scrubbed up the nurse who was looking after him met me and smiling said "hurry up you will want to see this"  I walked in and there he was in his incubator with no tubes etc... I looked and she explained how through the night he had been tugging things out so they withdrew the drugs keeping him asleep and he had been fine no real reaction or sign of a turn for the worse.  I raced back to get Angela who wasn't impressed by me as I wanted to surprise her.  Once she went into the room the smile said I had done the right thing.  Later that day he was moved to a normal ward and within 2 days we were heading home overjoyed that we could spend Christmas together as a family.

 As a result of this I always make a point of putting change in the Ronald McDonald House boxes if ever I see them, some of the people there had been there for a while and the care and facilities provided make it such a worthwhile cause allowing parents to be within easy reach of their sick child.  But the biggest thing it did teach me is to always trust my parental instinct I was right to refuse the chance of a discharge I am so glad I trusted myself it would have been the easy option to go home on the Thursday .

Lucas aged 2 and me at his first ever MCFC match V Portsmouth

No comments:

Post a Comment