We were back in an ambulance again this week, this time from the doctors surgery so I didn't have time to grab pjs, a nappy or a drink for child 4 or anything for myself. A hospital sleepover without a toothbrush yuck.
The hospital staff were once again amazing but the children's ward just aren't set up for a lone parent on an overnighter. They only have enough food for the patient, but you can't leave young patients alone to pop to the cafe, hot drinks aren't allowed on the ward and children aren't allowed in the parents room where the tea and coffee is available. Nightmare. We arrived at the hospital about 7pm, no dinner and I finally got a drink in one of those white plastic disposable cups at 12.30am, I was lucky enough to get some toast at breakfast but nothing else until I got home about 4pm. Wow that cup of tea was heaven.
This time we were referred to a consultant about child 4's febrile convulsions, he was a lovely chap, putting both myself and baby boy at ease as he talked through what we needed to do. He explained that febrile convulsions are caused by the brain realising that the body is under attack from a virus or bacterial infection, the brain tells the body to get hot to burn off the infection but in child 4's case the part of the brain that deals with temperature control, the hypothalamus hasn't matured yet, so the body gets hotter and hotter, the brain can't cope and goes into melt down, which causes the fit. It is believed that the hypothalamus will mature by the time a child is 7 years old - 3 years to go.
Unfortunately, there is very little we can do to prevent a fit, if child 4 has a temperature we must remove his clothing, give calpol or nurofen, feed him cold fluids or ice lollies and try a fan, however if he is going to have a fit, he will regardless of what we do.
In child 4's case it isn't the fit that is an issue, 1 in 20 young children suffer febrile convulsions, it's the length of time that they continue for, 30 minutes on Tuesday. So, I have been given a bottle of midazolam so that I can help reduce the length of time the fit takes. We still have to let child 4 fit for 5 minutes before administering the medication but hopefully the midazolam will calm him down quickly once given. There will still be ambulance journeys and probably over night stays in hospital but at least we can do something rather than watch and wait.
On my mums advice, mums are great aren't they? I've made up an overnight bag full of cartons of juice, snacks, chocolate, pjs, nappies, wipes and a toothbrush so we are ready to roll next time. (I was tempted to pop in a can of gun and tonic but felt that might be frowned upon.) My job next week, is to speak to the hospital to see if I can donate a couple of screw top travel mugs so that us parents/guardians can have a much needed cuppa.