The past twenty-four hours have been hellish, poor E has had us both fraught with worry as she developed an incredible fever throughout the night. Despite dosing E with Calpol (children’s paracetamol), stripping her down and placing a cold cloth upon her forehead her temperature continued to rise up and down spiking at 39.6 degrees celsius earlier this morning.
Poor E was shivering and rambling like a drunked as Paul and I desperately tried to cool her down. I had my phone at the ready on my bedside table and half expected to be dialling 999 and driving fifty minutes down the road to hospital but thankfully E eventually responded to our efforts and began cooling down whilst catching up on some much-needed sleep.
Given that Paul and I had been up almost all night (and all morning for that matter) Paul opted to stay at home to help care for E whilst catching up on a little rest following what I can only describe as one of the most terrifying nights we’ve spent with E as of yet.
I’ll hand it to J, he has sure had us concerned at some points throughout the years. I’ll never forget being whisked to A&E in the back of an ambulance with a rather poorly J flopped over my knees whilst travelling sideways down the bypass in thick snow. That and the time when he struggled with gastroenteritis and what I can only describe as dirty water came from both ends of our son as Paul held him in his arms, it wasn’t pretty nor funny at the time but looking back it sure makes me chuckle.
E on the other hand has had us on our toes since the day that she was born, I never expected to witness a two-week old week baby fitting in her moses basket yet that was precisely the case and many times over. At two weeks old E was diagnosed with benign sleep myoclonus, a rather strange sleep related condition which very kindly mimicked epilepsy leaving Paul and I frozen in fear each and every time she so much as flinched whilst dozing.
E spent her early years sleeping upon an electronic mat which monitored her breathing, movement and heart rate. You’d expect said mat to offer some sense of reassurance but in actual fact it caused more chaos than calm. I cannot remember the amount of times that we were woken to the sodding alarm beeping only to find our pretty princess sleeping safe and sound. That god awful feeling as your heart drops to the pit of your stomach and adrenalin races through your body is rather hard to come back from should you fancy returning to your slumber following a false alarm.
That said it was well worth having the sensor mat as it literally saved our little ladies life one night when the alarm sounded and we raced to her side to find her lifeless, cool and still. Thankfully E took a deep breath and returned to a regular breathing pattern following being stripped down and hearing the commotion of our cries. That night still haunts me, just as the day we found her fitting, the night she woke up choking and all the other occasions when she has frightened us half to death.
As I said, E has well and truly kept us on our toes over the years especially when it comes to sickness. It doesn’t help that we live almost fifty minutes drive away from a hospital, nor that an ambulance call out usually takes anywhere between fifteen to thirty minutes to respond. Thankfully we live next door to an ex paramedic should we really struggle, that and my Mum just so happens to be a Nurse but still when the sh*t hits the fan it’s up to us to deal with the dilemma.
I’m far from medical minded, I may be able to patch up a cut knee, vitiate verrucas, neutralise nits and administer all kinds of lotions and potions but when it comes to the crunch I panic. I’m a Google girl and we all know that Doctor Google only ever deals out disaster, that or forums full of fearful flimflam. I really ought to go on some form of first aid course, saying that under pressure I’d still panic.
Don’t get me wrong, I will happily mop up any mess, whether it’s vomit, faeces, urine or whatever else may randomly erupt from my young children. I will wipe their brows, bums or whatever else may need wiping whilst tending to their every need both in sickness and in health.
As Richie Norton wisely said “You don’t feel like your best self when you fall apart, but you have to fall apart to become your best self”. I just wish I was able to prevent my panic by being a little more ‘in the know’ when it comes to nursing and first aid, I’d rather not fall apart each and every time I am presented with a problem.
I’ve certainly learnt a huge amount over the years in terms of what to do when it comes to particular bugs, ailments and illnesses but I’m yet to fathom how to respond when I’m faced with the unknown and as H.P Lovecraft once said “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”.
Heres hoping that E enjoys a restful night and that her temperature tapers. As for Paul and I, I’m fairly certain that once our heads hit the pillow we will be out like lights following twenty-four hours of tears, temperatures and terror.