Well, it may only be Thursday but I'm ready to classify this week as 'a bit of a week' already after a trip to the hospital with NB on Tuesday night.
It started with a temp and not wanting food on Monday but, by Tuesday evening, going over 24 hours without food and a persistent temperature had resulted in a floppy, lethargic, unresponsive baby with a raging hot body, freezing cold feet, mottled skin and, most alarmingly, blueish toenails!
With my first port of call for medical advice out of reach on holiday, I went straight to my second choice: NHS Direct. I must say, I can't recommend this service highly enough. Every time I have had to call them they have been thorough, reassuring, helpful and a real calming influence. The lady on the phone took my details and a registered nurse called back within 15 minutes. As the symptoms had worsened a little in that time, she booked an ambulance for us and put me on the phone with the paramedic who must already have been on his way, he arrived so quickly!
The paramedics assessed NB at the house and decided he needed a trip to the hospital. Around 40 minutes after we made the first call to NHS Direct, they were speeding away down the road, blue lights flashing, with me and OB following in the car behind.
It seems fashionable to complain about everything that is wrong with the NHS and I know that things do go wrong and could be improved. I know from experience that everybody does not have the same quick service that I was lucky to have with NB this week, but I can't help saying that I really love the NHS. Some of the changes they've made recently to make healthcare more flexible and more available in the community have really made a difference for me and the boys, and our experience on Tuesday night was superb.
So, we followed the ambulance at a respectful distance and on arriving at the hospital I had a secret hope realised when a paramedic friend of ours met me and OB in the car park with expressions of concern and offers of help. How wonderful to see a friendly face at a stressful time!
NB was admitted overnight, but in the end he was discharged the next day as he improved so much. None of his tests showed any infection or anything wrong at all, so I suppose I'll just have to chalk it up to 'one of those things' that happens when you have toddlers around!