A sick child and a hospital dash

Have you ever experienced one of ‘those’ days?  The ones where you wake up in the morning and everything seems fine, only for it all to disintegrate the further into the day you travel and by the end of the evening it is total chaos?  I have had one of those days today.  When I woke up this morning the last thing I expected was to find myself in my hospital’s A&E department come 5pm, cradling a poorly little girl – my poorly little girl – on my knee.  But that was exactly what happened.

Olivia had developed a little, dry cough at the start of the weekend.  Nothing sinister but small coughing fits would occur sporadically throughout the next couple of days.  Then, on Sunday, something changed and her cough started to become more frequent.  Sunday night saw her very uncomfortable and suffering a lack of sleep due to regular stints of coughing.

When we woke up this morning, Olivia seemed alright.  Not great but alright.  She coughed a little but it was nothing major and she didn’t have a temperature so I got her ready for Pre-School as normal.  At the regular time, I took her and William to my mother-in-law’s and began my daily weekday commute to work.  By the time I’d got to the office I had received a text message from the local GP surgery telling me an appointment had been made for later that afternoon.

I thought it was an over-reaction and spoke to my husband about it.  He assured me that Olivia had gotten worse and that he had thought it wise to book her an appointment for the GP to check her over.  I accepted that and made arrangements to leave work early to take her.  Thank goodness I did.

By the time I got home this afternoon, my mother-in-law was waiting for me, concern etched across her face.  Olivia’s breathing had become laboured, she told me, and she seemed listless, drowsy and hot.  I took one look at her; one look at her sweating, frail, little body and agreed with my mother-in-law that it would be best to take her to A&E rather than wait for the doctor’s appointment.  I bundled Olivia into the car while my mother-in-law stayed behind with William and began the short drive to hospital.

Once there, I was mercifully greeted by a lovely, understanding and helpful person who helped me fill in the necessary forms and directed me to the children’s emergency room.  We were called in very quickly and Olivia was checked over.  Both the doctor and nurse agreed that she was having trouble breathing and that her oxygen levels were too low so they took us to a side bed and gave Olivia oxygen (through a mask) with a nebuliser to help the wheezing.  She had to keep the mask on for 20 minutes but even just 2 minutes later I could tell Olivia was feeling so much better and the relief I felt was almost palpable.

After the doctor checked her to make sure her breathing and oxygen levels were back to relative normalcy, it was back out to the waiting room so that Olivia could be seen by another doctor about her cough.  Thankfully there were a range of toys to keep her amused.  When we were eventually called back in, the doctor diagnosed an infection in one of Olivia’s lungs, which explained the coughing and wheezing.  We came away from the hospital armed with antibiotics for the infection, steroid tablets for the wheezing and an inhaler just in case.

It’s once again that I’m grateful to have family close by who can help in such emergencies.  My mother-in-law stayed with William until my sister-in-law arrived to take over the caring duties and then she was driven to the hospital by my father-in-law to keep me and Olivia company.  It’s wonderful that they all so obviously care and are happy to cancel their plans at the drop of a hat if something like this happens.

Today now also holds the dubious honour of the first time I have experienced my local hospital’s A&E department.  And, while the hospital is lovely enough, I really hope I don’t have to repeat that experience any time soon.


  1. Hope she is on the mend now 🙂 So worrying being a Mummy in that situation. I can relate to having close family on hand when I need them and it makes all the difference xx

  2. Oh, no! I've been there myself a few times! Inhalers are great as they give them a bit of 'energy' as well as relief. Just be careful with the steroids as they can be a slippery slope! G had 4 courses of them in 8 months, before we took her to a specialist in a bit to end it all. *touches wood* she has not needed one stupid pink pill since (but she is on daily asthma preventative meds). I hope she gets better soon, send her lots of cuddles from me and G x

  3. I have been there and it is so scary.  Glad the oxygen helped quickly and that you all got home.  Having family nearby is such a godsend isn't it xx

  4. Always scary but thank goodness for family close by and the NHS.  We may moan about it (and not want to visit very often) but it's there when we need it.  Hope she's on the mend very soon – huge hugs to you all x

  5. Yes, you're so right. All the doctors and nurses that I saw at my local hospital were really helpful and friendly. Sophia even got a free teddy to take home for being so good. I am very grateful to the NHS!

  6. I do sometimes think about what would be if we still lived in west London away from any family members. It's times like this I am so glad we moved; family really is important in more ways than one

  7. The oxygen certainly made all the difference and thankfully, her breathing has been much better since. I can't say thankyou enough to my in-laws for being there to help

  8. Sophia's getting better now. They ruled out asthma straight away but gave her 3 days worth of steroid tablets and an inhaler to make sure her breathing stayed fine. I'm not too worried about the steroids because it's only for 3 days but I'll bear your experience in mind. Thanks for stopping by x

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