Phew. The NHS. Where we all go when we're scared.
We're a very pro-NHS family, not least because Nik and I both work for the NHS, we understand the challenges faced daily by those working in the system and we don't understand how anyone, ever, could want to remove such a system. This is not the time for political debate though, this is the time for me to join the many singing the praises of our wonderful health system in the UK.
Gosh, thinking about what to write now has me sat with a lump in my throat and tears welling up. I'm not usually dramatic at all about accidents with the kids. (Other things, maybe, I do have the occasional drama queen tendency, as does my son!) I think being a medical family, we're quite practical about things and usually deal with bleeding mouths ourselves (what with it being our speciality). BUT. Yesterday I was scared and emotional. Kalyan bumped his head. He's done this many times, anyone who saw my photo of him sideways about to crash on the sofa last week will realise, he's a climber, an adventurer and flings himself about and with that comes the occasional injury. I think he's had a split lip about 3 times in his four short years but this time it was the back of his head that took the brunt.
He was climbing the back of a sofa at a friend's house for a play date. I was on the sofa so didn't see but my friend sat opposite saw him slip and land on his head on the laminate floor. We all heard the thud!
He cried, we had cuddles, he cried, he had a biscuit and calmed down but the crying kept returning, full on in so much pain crying. We came home, I gave him calpol and he complained that he couldn't see properly - I thought it was the tears blurring his vision but he seemed quite scared. I checked his eyes, made him follow my finger, tell me how many fingers, all seemed fine. The calpol seemed to work and he fell asleep on me - it had been a long day of fun with hose spray and water fights. I wasn't too concerned. Then he woke up crying again, cuddled in and fell asleep again, it was nearly bedtime.
Then he woke up 5 minutes after I'd been messaging Nik asking if I should be worried about him sleeping, replying no when he asked if he'd been sick. And then he was, all over me, himself, the sofa and the floor.
Then I panicked. Internally. I took him to the bath, told Priya to stay away from the sick and she carried on watching TV. She's caring but very pragmatic, she knew I was dealing with things. I called Nik and he said we should take him to A&E. He called a colleague at the children's hospital to find out the best place to take him while I washed off the sick and put K in pyjamas grabbing a spare set (which I then left in the living room)! I called 111 to see if there was anything else I should be doing but was on hold until I gave up. Nik called back and said he'd meet us at A&E in Haywards Heath, about 20 minutes away. My lovely friend Lilian who'd seen it happen came round as soon as I called her to stay with Priya and put her to bed. I'm so grateful for the friends we have at times like this when you really really just need someone RIGHT NOW and there's no family nearby.
K was sick again when we got there. We had a 45 minute wait to be triaged during which time he was drowsy or asleep in my arms, wrapped in a sheet from the hospital as I'd had to strip him off again. The doctor saw him about 9pm by which point he had perked up big time, back to his cheeky self. We stayed another hour for observation but he continued to improve. Such a relief!
We played i-spy, we watched the bubble machine, we cuddled, he played with his new teddy the doctor gave him, kindly donated by Haywards Heath Lions club. The doctor who was also a twin, gave him two teddies so he could give one to his sister when we came home! So thoughtful and very appreciated by Priya. She was keen to hear all about what the doctor did to Kalyan and when she saw the photos I took, said Kalyan was "lovely and cute" on the bed.
They're currently building dens again, asking for snacks and generally back to normal. We're keeping a close eye of course, he slept in bed with me last night but woke up saying his tummy was all better but his head was still sore. Not that you'd know now, he's back to climbing sofas!!!
Some people might think it's strange that I took photos last night. Before triage, while he was still clearly quite poorly, I didn't of course. He was in my arms where he should be. But once he'd been seen by the nurse and started to return to normal, I fished out my camera to document it. It was in my handbag after our play date and I'm so glad. It helps me process everything, as does writing this all down. It calms me down and I'm glad we have these photos. I even managed a couple of self-portraits with him using the self-timer when Nik went to find K a jumper from the car. Despite it being a scary memory, there are still moments of magic to be found among the boredom and fear of waiting. As I hope you can see...
He looks so small!
A&E was obviously busy, being a Friday night too. We got there around 7:30pm and left at 10:30pm. The staff were great with Kalyan and us, as always has been our experience with the NHS. A&E is a TOUGH job. We felt so reassured when we left, despite the vomiting and possible blurred vision, K had returned to normal, bar a sore head, when we saw the doctor and he explained that if it was anything to worry about he would have continued to get worse not improve. Plenty of rest and fluids this weekend. We're all good. Tired but good.