so what do you do when your 4 year old has a fit? You call an ambulance! They come, they sort everything out, they hold your hand and make it better.
I share this because I needed to write it, I wanted to thank the NHS for everything they did and how they did it. With adopted children we often travel blindly, not having a full history or a history that is very different to ours so when our children are sick we often feel out of control, Not sure what is normal for them.
I had left child 4 sleeping on the sofa, he had been up in the night with a raging temperature, we calpoled and nurofenend through the night and decide a quiet day with mummy was needed. So when he finally fell asleep just before lunch, I rubbed my hands with glee and headed off to sort the washing, empty the tumble dryer, sort the clothes,squeezing in a hot cup of tea - heaven. I heard a funny gurgling noise and put my head around the living door to see my baby foaming at the mouth and spasmodically moving his body, the terror that ran through my whole being can probably be understood by someone who has been in a position where their child is in trouble and you can't fix it.
I grabbed him off the sofa holding him upright, terrified he couldn't breathe, snatched the phone from its cradle and called 999. The operator was calm, efficient and soothing, I could feel the terror level drop to very scared. Yes he was breathing, she promised an ambulance was on its way and she would stay with me until they arrived.
Child 4 then quieted and as instructed I lay him in the floor turned him on his side and stripped him out of his clothes to cool him down.
The operator said the ambulance was nearly here, could I shut any dogs away, the fit had ended and she said goodbye and hung up. Of course that's when it started all over again but not the with the violence. I lay down on the floor facing him, murmuring over and over its going to be ok, open your eyes baby, look at me. I heard vehicles pull up outside, I flung open the front door and rushed back to where child 4 was still gently fitting.
I phoned child 1 explaining calmly what was happening and asked her to pick up her sister on her way home from college.
It was going to be ok the paramedics were here. He took one look and had an oxygen mask on my baby before he did anything, child 4 was 41 degrees! The paramedic asked me the time it was 2.20pm (funny the things you remember). He gave child 4 diazepam to help stop the fit. "What is the time?" "2.31pm". His temperature was still 41 degrees, the diazepam had yet to take effect. He talked on his radio, then he turned to me and quietly and firmly informed me that he had called for a helicopter.
The bottom of my world fell out.
I shouldn't have left him, I should have woken him to give him calpol because he was a little warm.
"Stop. The paramedic said, "why would you have stayed with him, he was sleeping, calpol would not have stopped this" he sent the community responder to sort out the helicopter landing in the school field at the bottom of our road
How I had the presence of mind to call my parents and ask them to collect the girls so that they didn't see us being put in the helicopter I don't know. How I down played the whole affair so they didn't panic like me I don't know.
An ambulance arrived and more paramedics filled my living room. They were all so calm, so kind. The fit had at last stopped but child 4 wouldn't wake, I carried him out to the ambulance and lay him on the trolley. Two paediatricians in orange jumpsuits walked up the hill, they joined us in the ambulance and set about catching up on the information, whilst setting up an intravenous drip. They couldn't find veins in either hand and eventually found one in his foot. The aggravation brought him round and you could feel the tension in the ambulance disappate, with the tube in they could push through paracetamol, fluids and antibiotics. The paracetamol brought his temperature down and the antibiotics were just in case it was meningitis. Child 4 was grizzling, no longer fitting and his temperature was dropping. The paediatrician decided we could travel to hospital in the ambulance. I nearly cried with relief.
We were off, only to have blue lights if the traffic was heavy. 40 minutes later we arrived, child 4 awoke from a natural, if drug induced slumber to throw up.
We were efficiently taken through to Resus, where I had to tell the story again and the my husband arrived and I wept with relief. Two hours later we were on the ward and number 4 was awake, making eye contact and then he spoke. I cannot explain the relief, he was going to be alright, no brain damage and no meningitis. Leaving child 4 with his daddy, I headed home to my other children. Lighter of heart but racked with irrational guilt.
There is nothing we can do, this is how child 4 will probably react when he has a high temperature, all we can do is monitor him very closely when he is poorly. He will grow out of it though - hopefully very soon.