Well, what a week.
Sam was out of sorts when he arrived home on Sunday night, but we kept busy visiting family and then he had an early night. Lis joined us on Monday morning for a day of shopping, and Sam's mood didn't improve much but he was snuffly so we dosed him up with Calpol and that seemed to help. While he was at school on Tuesday, Lis and I had ANOTHER (very expensive) day of shopping, successful but exhausting, and I also did some painting in the kitchen. Tuesday evening saw a shattered Sam, who still refused to eat and went to bed very early, waking a couple of times in the night but happy to go off to school on Wednesday. Once Sam was at school Lis headed home, and I went to bed for a four hour nap!! I just can't take the pace anymore ;) Anyway, dinner out with my Dad on Wednesday night and then bed.
Thursday I planned to catch up on all the housework whilst Sam was at school: what I didn't plan was to get a phone call just after 9.30am saying Sam had a rash that was concerning them, would I come and fetch him please. So drive across town, collect Sam, and take him straight to A&E. I defy any parent to not react to 'non-blanching rash' with 'OMFG meningitis'. Expected triage nurses to say he was fine and send him home, but no. The rash coupled with his lethargy, refusal to eat or drink, and general ill health was enough to get the doctor worried, she contacted the paediatrician who demanded he be admitted straight to a ward. On the ward, blood cultures were requested - inserting a cannula into an unanaesthetised wriggly four year old is HARD. I went with Sam into the treatment room initially, hoping my presence would calm him, but after multiple attempts in both hands from two paediatricians, a time out was called. Sam and I went back to his room while a more senior consultant came down to help. This time I asked the nurses to take him in, while I sat in his room and sobbed. Eventually one came back to tell me they had succeeded if I wanted to go in - such a relief to see my little man relaxed in the arms of a nurse, cannula safely in hand. The blood stained fingers poking out from his bandage were testament to the difficulty faced though.
So with the cannula in and the rash getting worse, antibiotics were started, as well as paracetamol to bring down his temperature. Then onto a saline drip, little man was clearly very dehydrated. But what a change as soon as the IV started, he suddenly woke up and became aware of what was going on. And then the news that the blood cultures take at least 48 hours in the lab, plus transport time, so we would be transferred to a different ward as we were in the day unit which closes at 9pm. Oh god, a night in hospital.
Still refusing to eat or drink, Sam chilled out with CBeebies on his personal TV whilst my Dad visited, and a couple of brilliant friends brought pyjamas and colouring books for Sam, and chocolate for Mummy :) Once Sam was asleep Grandad stayed with him, while I nipped home for overnight clothes etc. Realising at 9pm that I hadn't eaten since 5pm the day before, I discovered a sandwich in the bag of goodies from Lilly and Joy :)
A bad night ensued, with babies who didn't stop crying, nurses who didn't stop checking Sam's blood pressure, and an IV drip which didn't stop alarming all night - even the nurse was sick of it, and she wasn't trying to sleep!! But this morning brought better news - Sam woke up much brighter, and even had a drink. His IV fluids were about finished so they weren't renewed, and he ate a bit of breakfast. Then came some fantastic news - although the results weren't back to rule out meningitis or septicemia, all the doctors thought he was greatly improved and as the rash was now improving, he could go home as long as we return first thing tomorrow for the next lot of antibiotics, and possibly Sunday morning too. The nurse tried to give him his antibiotics IV before we left but his cannula had become bent, no wonder after the hassle of getting it in, so tomorrow he will have them injected instead. In a way this is a pain, as after the stress of the cannula we will now have to go through the stress of injection too, but it does mean he can have a bath tonight, and I won't need to be on constant high alert to make sure he doesn't tug at the lead!
So, now we're home. And he seems alright - although 24 hours semi-naked has convinced him that he shouldn't ever have to wear clothes, and he is currently sitting on the sofa without so much as a nappy (I'm trying to stay calm....)! The rash has calmed, his is rehydrated, and he has eaten a little bit this afternoon. Hopefully he will have an early night tonight and get a good sleep, and so will I! Much calmer now, and not overly concerned about the blood cultures as I think they'll be negative, but my goodness that was more stress than we needed or wanted yesterday. All serves to reaffirm the fact that my little man is an absolute angel, so brave and patient (unlike his mother, or father). As ever, nurses were sorry to see him go, what a twinkling little star :)
Mummy loves you Sam Sam!