I have been stunned and a little overwhelmed at the kindness that Twitter and the bloggersphere have shown to us over the last few days whilst the Cheetah Keeper has been poorly. Thank you all so much.
So what was it that made the Cheetah Keeper so dramatically unwell? We all get unwell, our children get unwell, it scares the living daylights out of us as parents, some children (and grown-ups for that matter) get ill more than others and some have bodies that just don’t work properly the first place.
The Cheetah Keeper’s body works pretty well (compared to others we know) but it just doesn’t handle infections particularly well – partly due to the fact his platelet function defect means that he can only have paracetamol – not nurofen. So we only have one line of attack when it comes to having a temperature. Add to that, the minute his body is under stress (infection, tiredness, general stress) he starts refluxing – generally onto the site of the infection (him being in Reception the most common viruses are coughs and colds which affect his throat/nose etc).
This weekend brought a searing temperature (40C+), a cough like I’ve never heard (although suspect now I may be reproducing it before long) and a generally poorly boy. Paracetamol was not enough to get the temperature down and he was complaining that his mouth tasted of blood.
So I took him to hospital. His condition means that he needs to be seen in a place where they have the relevant drugs and access to the relevant expertise. Most children will need a cuddle, some calpol, nurofen and some sleep. The Cheetah Keeper needed a bit more – and with a hospital dose of paracetamol and some antibiotics we came home.
If we can’t get his temperature down it can be the case that he needs a drip of fluids, paracetamol and antibiotics. This time we didn’t. Although our lovely nurse admitted it had crossed her mind.
Today it was suggested (by a mother of much older children) that I shouldn’t bother taking his temperature because it would cause me to worry more.
And that really annoyed me. Because sometimes the whole story isn’t apparent. The Cheetah Keeper’s virus is running rife in school – and most children will be a bit unwell and back in with no problems. They don’t run the risk of their throat bleeding when they cough, their tummies will probably process the snot with relatively little effort, their mummies (or daddies!) will be able to manage their temperatures and they won’t have to put their child through the trauma of visiting yet another hospital, with unfamiliar staff, stifling temperatures and strange machines.
I take his temperature to help his doctors and nurses make an informed decision about his treatment. Whether he needs a drip, a trip to GOSH or a change of medication. Of course I worry.
He’ll be fine. Kids with additional needs sometimes need a bit of additional help. Sometimes those additional needs don’t show. Perhaps remembering that before making a comment about a child’s health might be a good idea.
What do you think?