I was hoping to not have to bring you a UK edition of “Eira in hospital”, but here it is. Featuring a sick Eira, a three and seven year old who have spent a whole day in hospital with no toys, devices or food, and parents at the end of their apparently very stretchable rags.
Yesterday Eira was fairly lethargic, which I put down to her getting up early and watching too much TV. We pottered about until 3pm, when she had some pasta, legged it to the bathroom and promptly vomited everywhere before falling asleep on the sofa.
I hoped that perhaps she’d got it out of her system and would have a nap, wake up fine and go to bed as normal. Instead she proceeded to doze for the rest of the day apart from waking up frequently to vomit. She continued to vomit all night and Elfie decided to wake up at 3.40am and not go back to sleep, which was the added delight we needed. Thank goodness for the YouTube app on my iPhone.
This morning I went to run Eira a bath to freshen her up a bit. As I took her clothes off I noticed that the skin on her hands was peeling; all over her fingers and palms white blisters had appeared in between patches of what looked like sunburned skin.
I was freaked out and called our doctor, who told us to go to the walk in centre at our local hospital. We trekked out in the rain, Eira still in her PJs and vomiting a lot, and waited for a doctor. The doctor asked questions, examined Eira and took a urine sample- after testing her urine she told us to go straight to A&E for Eira to be put on an IV for fluids as she was so dehydrated.
At this point Eira hadn’t drunk since yesterday, was now puking up blood and bile and was sleepy. I chucked the kids in the car and drove to the hospital half an hour away as Mayday, the one 10 minutes from where we are has earned the nickname “May Die” thanks to its glowing reputation.
We parked the car- cue frantic scramble for the right change to get a ticket, cue Elfie falling in a puddle on the way to the A&E dept, etc.
Long story short- queuing, lots of paperwork, lots of questions, lots of repeating the same thing to different people, lots of bleepy machines and numbing cream. The doctors decided that as long as Eira keeps a few ml of dioralyte down every so often, they didn’t want to put a drip in – after all her drips and injections from her accident in Bali she really didn’t want one so this was good, if a bit slow.
Mum came to the hospital with food for us which was super helpful as I couldn’t leave Eira in the room alone and I also couldn’t take her, puking, with me to get anything for Esmae and Elfie. Mum also eventually managed to get a dvd working in the hospital room, although this was right before her and the other girls had to leave the room for Eira to have her blood taken.
The doctors didn’t know why Eira’s skin was peeling but listed off a number of possible causes- strep infection and severe dehydration being the two front runners but since mentioning these they’ve kind of just said “dunno, weird” and there’s not anything they can do about it. Head injury induced autoimmune disease is a possibility and what I am worried about, but one that there is not much point in thinking about too much right now- my brother as a paramedic said this was the first thing that came into his head but we’ll have to wait and see if anything else weird happens.
Eira’s blood results came back fine, and after a few hours of not vomiting they said we could go home. We just got back and Eira and Elfie are asleep, and I am going to relax with a bottle of absinthe and a straw. Joking. Maybe.
I have to say, the NHS is freaking glorious. It’s just glorious. We have no idea how lucky we are to be able to walk into a decent healthcare and walk out with treatment and no bill. Yes we sometimes have to wait a bit, yes the food sucks, and what. I’ll take the incredibly trained doctors and the nurses who don’t leave my kid attached to an empty drip to stop us leaving without paying, any day (good times, Bali).
We (I keep saying we and I mean Patrick and I but I was the only one actually there) were told to be scrupulous about her fluid input and output over the next few days and to come back to hospital if we can’t keep her hydrated. I’m hoping tomorrow, after a *fingers crossed* night without vomiting she’ll be able to drink more and maybe eat a tiny bit, and that her skin will- y’know- stay on her hands.
Thank you for reading and if you weren’t here when Eira had her accident in Bali, you can read about what happened and all the head injury stuff here.