Honest Motherhood: Roaring Fevers and our incredible NHS

It was your typical Monday morning, until it wasn’t. One of those days I will never forget. I will go from the beginning, but start by saying Leo, our 14 month old, is absolutely fine now. 

We did the school run as always and walked back to the car, Leo was seemingly well, but began to drift off back to sleep in his pushchair. This was odd. He just needs a good long nap, I thought. 
Time for breakfast. I tried. He wasn’t interested in his food, began shivering and then much to my shock, fell asleep right there and then, still in his high chair. Well this wasn’t good. 
We went to lie down and it was then I realised just how hot he was.
38.8 degrees. 
I called 111 and gave him Calpol. 
The doctor listed some worrying symptoms to look out for, and said if any arose to head to A&E, mentioning the possibility of sepsis. My thoughts began to race. He can’t have sepsis..can he?

I texted Joel the updates and asked my Mum to come over, not wanting to be alone. Leo napped and perked up slightly. That’s a good sign, I thought. 

Then it all went rather downhill. 
I was in the shower when Mum came in to the bathroom with him: 
“You need to see a doctor, he’s shivering and he’s getting hotter”.
Minutes after waking from his nap, he became drowsy, not wanting to open his eyes, hands and feet freezing cold. 
“Come on Leo wakey wakey!” 
39.4 degrees. 
Another call with a doctor who advised us to head straight to A&E.
Would you like me to send an ambulance to take you?”
I said yes, thinking maybe he’d be seen quicker if we came by ambulance. 

I packed Leo’s bag and waited, heart pounding. Normally when he has a fever he’s still himself, chattering away and playing. He just lay there in my arms, eyes open one second and closed the next. My Mum left to collect Maia from school, leaving me with my thoughts. The silence was unbearable. What if Leo becomes unconscious before the ambulance gets here? 

Joel’s Dad David kindly came over so I wasn’t alone when they arrived. 
I felt reassured from the moment they walked in and even better when they did their observations and assured me that no, it most likely was not sepsis. He still had a fast heart rate and a roaring fever. 

We were blue-lit to the hospital (I nearly vomited) then remained in A&E for a further four hours. Joel came and met us there but due to the “one parent only” rule, was not allowed to stay.  
I held Leo (now a furnace at 39.7 degrees) in my arms and chatted to other parents amongst the hustle and bustle of a heaving A&E department, the acute wailing of other poorly children in the background. (And the foreground when the nurses attempted to check Leo’s heart rate or give him any medicine, which he did not take kindly to.) 

The doctor diagnosed croup based on a sound Leo made when he inhaled that I’d failed to notice. We were sent home relieved and grateful it was nothing more serious. But also incredibly grateful for the NHS and every brilliant member of staff who cared for Leo. They were remarkable. 
Not your typical Monday. 


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