Well this week was my first week of maternity leave and I had planned to put my feet up in the afternoon’s and potter about do the housework. However things didn’t quite go to plan!
Last Sunday Rowan woke with a runny nose, we didn’t think much of it apart from he had a cold so gave him some calpol. The rest of the day was the usual run of the mill Sunday, cleaning, homework, reading,a bit of baking, ironing etc. Rowan was a little touchy all day and even fell asleep in the afternoon but that’s not unusual if he’s got a cold. Around 5pm Rowan started wheezing, so I gave him is asthma inhaler and some more calpol and he went back to playing with his brothers. Rowan has a history of wheezing when has colds or chest infections so has an inhaler for use during these times. However due to his age the doctor’s will not class him as asthmatic yet, I’m asthmatic and so is Trystan. The remainder of the day went without any further incidents and all three boys went to bed as usual by 7.30pm. Then at about 9pm Rowan woke up wanting a drink with a dry cough, after his drink he wouldn’t settle very well but after an hour he went back to sleep. About 1.20am he woke again coughing, he was quite distressed and was a bit sick from coughing so much. He also had a very clear loud wheeze. I tried to get him to take his inhaler using a spacer but he did not want anything near his face. He was going quite red in the face and getting more and more distressed. I realised his breathing was becoming faster and you could see he had recession (when you can see the tummy and ribcage being drawn in when breathing) you could also see he was drawing in his throat when breathing. I grabbed the phone and rang the out of hours service and continued to try to get him to use his inhaler. He did take it but would not let us put the spacer fully over his mouth so was not feeling the full benefit. However it did seem to ease the wheeze for about 10 minutes and then he would start again.
I was initially put through to a call handler who took basic information and informed me a nurse would ring me back shortly but if Rowan got worse to ring an ambulance. Dad of three and myself continued to give him the inhaler and he dropped off to sleep for about 15 minutes. During which time the nurse rang me back and took further information about his condition. I asked if it would be possible for the doctor to come out to us due to the face it was snowing in the area and also due to my being heavily pregnant plus the fact it would take two of us to get him to the surgery and we had the other two children at home with no one to help out. The nurse said to ask the doctor but couldn’t promise anything. Within five minutes the doctor rang back and I went through Rowan’s symptoms with her. I asked if she could come to us and explained what I had to the nurse. Thankfully the doctor agreed and said she would ring for directions before she and the driver left the surgery. She couldn’t give me a time she would be with us as had to tie up a few bits before left but advised to continue giving the inhaler.
Dad of 3 sat with Rowan who was dozing in between coughing fits while I went downstairs to make sure the place was tidy! After ten minutes dad of three brought Rowan downstairs to me and we made him comfortable on the sofa. I continued giving him the inhaler every 10 to 15 minutes and also dissolved some steroid tablets in some juice as directed by the doctor. I tried to encourage Rowan to drink but he didn’t want to. I told dad of three to go back to bed as he had work and I would wake him when the doctor arrived. I sat with Rowan watching cartoons and having a cuddle. After about half an hour the phone rang, I assumed it was the doctor to say they were on their way but they were slightly lost and only two doors up from us. I let the doctor in and she came and said hello to Rowan. He wasn’t too happy to see the doctor and got upset. She examined him and carried out some routine checks. Rowan wasn’t at all keen on having his oxygen levels checked and got really upset calling the doctor ‘mean’! between us we managed to get a reading which showed his oxygen levels were low. The doctor watched me administer the inhaler and timed how long it relieved the wheeze and Rowan’s breathing. I explained I had tried to get him to drink the juice with the steroid in but had hardly touched it. She then explained that she thought he really needed to be admitted to hospital and asked which one I would want to go to, I replied West Wales General Hospital and she asked to use the telephone so she could contact the children’s ward. While she completed the paperwork we tried to use a nebulizer to see if that would help ease Rowan’s breathing but he wouldn’t tolerate it. I woke dad of three up to get him to help with Rowan while I got a few bits together. The doctor then rang for an ambulance as it would be the safest way to get us to hospital given Rowan’s condition.
Twenty five minutes later the ambulance arrived, Rowan was upset to be leaving his daddy behind and clang to me. I had to be strapped to the stretcher with Rowan as he wouldn’t let me go and this meant I had to travel backwards! I warned the paramedic that I get travel sick on occasions and he told me not to worry. Rowan was still really distressed so the paramedic put a blue light on inside the ambulance in the hope it would help calm him and off we set. The paramedic was lovely and tried to help put Rowan at his ease, though he wouldn’t let him do anything to him and he just cuddled up to me and dozed most of the way. The road was a bit tricky in places thanks to the snow but I was surprised how quickly we seemed to get to the hospital. However unfortunately I was sick ten minutes from the hospital!!
Once at the hospital we were taken through accident and emergency and straight to the children’s ward where they were expecting us. I thanked the paramedics for their help and apologised for being sick. We were then shown into a side room by a nurse who started completing the paperwork to admit Rowan and took Rowan’s oxygen level, surprisingly he was happy for her to do so. His wheeze was still very audible and when the doctor arrived she quickly examined him and asked the nurse to give him some steroids and administer an inhaler. I explained I had tried to do this at home but he did not like the mask of the spacer. The nurse assured me they were well practised in administering inhalers and would be back in a minute. The doctor explained they would see how he responded to a high dosage of ventolin online and if needed he would be given another drug to help. The nurse came back with a colleague and between the three of us we managed to give Rowan the inhaler and then the steroids. To say Rowan was unimpressed is an understatement but I think by this time he was also so tired he didn’t fight us too much. I was then asked if Rowan slept in a bed or a cot, I explained he slept in a bed but often ended up in bed with myself. We were shown to one of the wards which had four beds in it and the nurse said I could sleep on the bed with him if I wanted or I could sleep on the put me up next to him. Rowan wouldn’t let go of me so I said I would try and sleep with him. The nurse said to try and get some sleep and they would check Rowan in half an hour. Rowan almost immediately feel asleep while I tried to get comfortable, but couldn’t thanks to the acid reflux. Half and hour later the nurse came back to check Rowan and gave him some more ventolin while he was sleeping as was wheezing slightly. She went back to speak to the doctor who came to see us again. The doctor explained that Rowan would need to have ten puffs of ventolin every hour to two hours and then we would see how he responded.
Somehow I managed to sleep for about half an hour before the hospital started to come to life. Rowan slept for about two hours before waking up, by which time it breakfast was being brought round. I asked for some toast and juice for Rowan thinking I would be able to have some if he didn’t eat it all but as soon as he was it he ate the lot! During breakfast a male nurse came and introduced himself and said he would be caring for Rowan that day. He did Rowan’s observations and explained that the doctor’s would be doing the ward round at around 10am and they would decide on a course of action. Rowan had started to wheeze again and as it was time for more ventolin he was given more.
Once he had finished breakfast Rowan was keen to get out of bed and explore but I was so tired, so I tried to keep him in bed watching cbeebies. There was another little boy in our ward who had been admitted during the night and we chatted to his mother. I rang my mum to let her know I was in hospital and also spoke to dad of three to let him know what was happening. We decided that once he had taken the older two to school he would go and get new tires on his car and I would ring him after the ward round to let him know what was happening. I tried to dose while Rowan watched tv, I must of dropped off but I remember looking over to the door and seeing someone in uniform coming towards us. I realised it was my brother who is a police officer. He asked how Rowan was, who had immediately become excited at seeing his uncle. I explained what had happened and that we were waiting for the ward round to see what the course of action was. My brother was just going on duty and as he had been passing when my mum had rung him had decided to come and check on us. The little boy opposite was amazed that a police man had come to visit us and my brother went over to say hello to him as well which made the little boys day. Rowan waved bye bye to his uncle and suddenly seemed to have a burst of energy and started jumping around the bed.
Rowan was still jumping around the ward pretending he was batman when the doctor’s came round. The doctor’s thought he was cute and couldn’t believe his energy levels considering he had been very ill when he was admitted several hours earlier. They decided to see if he could go four hourly in between doses of ventolin and if he could he would be discharged to be managed at home if I felt comfortable to do so. I agreed to this. Once the doctor’s left we went down to the playroom for a bit. Rowan loved the playroom and didn’t want to go back to bed afterwards but I didn’t want him over doing it because as soon as he got too excited he started coughing and wheezing again. After 45 minutes we went back to the ward and watched more children’s programmes until lunch arrived. Again I thought I would be able to eat some of his sandwich but again he ate it all. I know my only chance of getting something to eat would be to get Rowan to go to sleep so I could go to the shop as he wouldn’t let me leave him otherwise and I was starving. So we cuddled down. The other little boy and his mum were doing the same thing so the ward was quiet. Thankfully I must have dropped off too but when I woke he was sleeping soundly and I quickly took the opportunity to go to the toilet and dash to the shop for something to eat. I found one of the nurses and told them what I was doing, they said they would keep an eye on Rowan for me. I thought he would have woken by the time I got back 20minutes later but thankfully he was still sleeping. So I ate my sandwich in peace then rang dad of 3 to let him know what was what. We decided it would be better for him to pick the older two up from school at the end of the day and I would get my mum to watch them once I know if we could come home that night. But if we couldn’t dad of 3 would come to visit us and maybe stay with Rowan instead of me so I could get some sleep. Rowan slept for over two hours and when he woke wanted to go back to the toy room, so off we went. At four o’clock the nurse came to find me and checked Rowan. He said he would have a word with the doctor but that Rowan was able to go four hourly with the ventolin so as long as the doctor was happy we could go home but have open access to the ward for the next 48hours in case we had to come back in. Twenty minutes later he came back with a doctor who said he was happy for us to go home and would give us some steroids to take for the next two days and also a new preventative inhaler that Rowan would have to take twice a day from now on. I was also told to keep giving him the ventolin four to six hourly for the next few days. The doctor explained that due to the family history of asthma and Rowan’s history it was very likely that he was asthmatic so would now be treated as such and he would write to our gp to let them know. I thanked the doctor and went to ring both my mum to get her to have the older two and then dad of 3 so he could come and collect us.
Two hours later we were on our way home. Rowan was so pleased to see his brothers and his daddy and sat with them while I went for a soak in the bath. We all slept really well that night despite me having to wake to give Rowan his inhaler once during the night.
The following day (Tuesday) I was shattered but needed to tax my car. So after the school run I went into the local post office with all the paperwork and Rowan. I thought I had all the paperwork together as had sorted it over the weekend ready. However when my turn came I handed over the insurance documents which I hadn’t checked because I had renewed my policy just before Christmas and as I’d never had a problem didn’t think I would this time. However the lady serving me explained she couldn’t tax my car as there was no insurance certificate included in the paperwork. She suggested I contact the company and ask them to email me a copy asap so I could tax my car. I was so cross, I’m very dependant on my car at present for taking the boys to and from school and shopping etc as I can’t walk that far due to feeling very uncomfortable with the pregnancy. So back to the car park we went and drove the five minutes home. I got straight on the phone to the insurance company who apologised and said I could access the documents online. So I logged on and found my certificate I checked the start date was correct and my details and printed off a copy. I wrapped Rowan up again and set off back to the post office to try again. I was gob smacked when I was served by the same lady and she apologised but said she still couldn’t tax my car as the certificate stated it expired on the 21stJanuary 2012 instead of the 21stDecember 2012. I was mortified, I burst into tears and explained that I really really needed my car to be taxed that day, that I had just come out of hospital with a sick child and dragging him out in the cold was not the best thing for him, plus I had had to pay for a parking ticket twice already that morning. The lady suggested I go home and ring the company again as I had paid for a full year’s cover and they had failed to supply me with the correct documents. Back at the car Rowan patted me on the back as I put him in his car seat and gave me a kiss. I told him it was okay but I needed to shout at someone!. I rang dad of 3 to tell him what had happened. He told me not to be fobbed off by the company, it was their fault as they should have supplied the correct documents in the first place.
Back at home I rang the insurance company and asked to talk to a manager. I explained what had happened. They tried blaming me for the mistake but I stuck to my guns and told them they had breeched the terms of their contract with me by not supplying the correct documentation when I renewed my policy and that further that the online copy of the certificate had the wrong expiry date on. The manager then tried to blame the department that dealt with the website, stating that once the first payment had been received that the expiry date is changed to the correct one. However I pointed out if had been almost a week since my payment had been received by them yet they had not done this. I explained that I had had to drag my ill son out in the cold already twice to tax my car unsuccessfully. In the end they emailed me the correct certificate and also gave me £10 as a gesture of goodwill! So third time lucky I managed to successfully tax my car,hurray.
Wednesday passed without event. Both Rowan and I were quite tired and apart from the school runs we spent a lazy day on the sofa watching tv. Although Rowan was certainly better than he had been, he wasn’t right and was really fighting having his inhaler. He was still coughing a lot and was quite pale. So on Thursday I decided to visit our Doctor’s to get him checked over. Luckily I managed to get an appointment for the morning so I didn’t need to hang around all day waiting. At first the doctor thought Rowan’s chest sounded clear. Although I explained that the dry cough he had had at the start of the week had now overnight become very chesty and also that he was refusing to take his inhaler and I was struggling to get him to take it. I explained about the experience in the hospital with him having to be restrained by three of us and that I thought it had scared him. Then Rowan right on cue coughed and the doctor thanked him and said he needs antibiotics! She also asked if I thought he would take the ventolin in a syrup form. I said I thought it was worth a go. I was also offered the use of a nebulizer for the weekend as a precaution but I told the doctor I would wait and see how he was by the following afternoon and if he hadn’t improved I would collect the nebulizer then. The doctor thought this was sensible. Amazingly Rowan took both the antibiotics and the ventolin syrup without problem and it was quite remarkable how quickly he picked up, bless him. Since then he was continued to improve daily and is almost back to his usual active mischievous self.
On Friday my car’s hand break froze solid and much to Trystan’s dismay I walked the two older boys to school though it half killed me. What would usually take ten, fifteen minutes to walk took almost half an hour as I can’t walk very fast at present. On the way home I bumped into my mum who lives near us and Rowan and I went back to hers for a cup of hot chocolate and a bacon sandwich. I rang the garage and arranged to for the car to have it’s MOT and the hand break looked at the following Tuesday. Luckily I still have warranty on the car but only for another fortnight. The garage advised me to leave the car in gear with the hand break off during the cold frosty mornings. I told them I had done this the night before and the hand break had frozen in the off position. Apparently its not so bad if this happens! I was told to leave the car in the sun and once it had defrosted it would be safe to drive but that they would replace the hand break cable under the warranty next week.
So that’s my disastrous week, fingers crossed next week will be back to the usual routines and will go without a hiccup. I certainly don’t think I can cope with another week like this one.