Thursday, 25 September 2008

I Hate Being Right

That headline is not strictly true.

And I do sometimes struggle to admit being wrong misguided.

However on this occasion I’m depressed to confirm my suspicions.

You’ll also note I’ve had a serious sense of humour bypass, which always seems to happen when my boy is ill.

Nearly two years ago, and in the early hours of one mid-week morning, I took my son to the A & E department of a local hospital.

His breathing had become troublesome, he hadn’t stopped or anything like that, but he just couldn’t settle to sleep, and there was a really harsh dry cough.

I’d also tried our NHS Direct and they’d tried to call a doctor out to him, but it was going to be morning by the time he arrived, and as I envisaged we’d neither be getting any sleep, it was better to go and get him fixed.

It turned out to be the worst single experience of lone parenting I have been through thus far.

Not because my son’s health deteriorated, far from it. It was so horrible due to the handling of the whole affair, the lack of information, sleep, but, probably worse of all, the attitude of staff to my, or our, situation.

“Where is his mother?”

A really important medical question I’m sure. But also one that demonstrated that the person asking the question hadn’t read page one of Max’s medical history and facts.

It got worse, as after I explained, rather delicately, that she’d passed away when he was just seven months old, I got;

“Oh, you’ll probably know MOST of his history.” From this pig-bigoted heath unprofessional.

She then proceeded to direct all questions towards my lovely sister, Max’s auntie, who had driven us to the hospital.

Now, I’m no angry man, I would say my temperament is very chilled, I’ve never really been angry in the wake of Sam’s death; I’ve never seen the point, or the positivity that could come from it. I guess I’ve just been me.

But, at this, I do strongly suspect if this person had been of the same sex to me, violence would have immediately ensued.

Instead, they got angry me at my very best, or worse. I explained, quite impolitely, that if there was anything I didn’t know about this poorly boy in front of her, then it wasn’t worth knowing.

I then asked if I could deal with a competent person, who read notes, and could most likely understand the word priority, rather than fanny around with matters, that are not only un-important at this point but irrelevant.

During which I think I woke most of the ward, and silenced it all in the same rant.

Perversely my child had settled down, his breathing much more controlled.

It was me going to need the treatment now, or the idiot my fury had been vented on.

We didn’t see that particular person again.

And I did get an apology from the Senior House Officer (sic), and thereafter very good attention.

Probably too good, as they kept Max in the hospital even though it was evident to me it was unnecessary.

Anyhow, the suspicion was just like his not-so-good dad, he may well develop asthma.

Too young to tell, but the drug I use to help with the condition, had been the one that settled his breathing.

It has never really thwarted my life.

I’ve had the odd horrible experience, but the worse ones were before I was properly diagnosed with the condition.

I’ve worried about a development of the condition in my little treasure ever since. And I really wanted to avoid a repeat performance.

Over the last couple of days junior has had a cough. Others around have had a cold, and the nursery is low on numbers because of a bug going round, but I suspected this time my son didn’t have what they have had.

See, he hasn’t had a temperature, has not been off his food, his drink intake has been normal and what goes in has been coming out in its standard forms.

I’ve been sleeping with him to keep an extra eye on him, and sneak a sleep cuddle or two, and he was instead showing signs of inconsistent breathing.

The coughing comes when his lungs are not getting all the air in they want, I guessed.

It’s a situation I’ve been through myself, so easier to identify and relate to.

This morning one of our local doctors has all but confirmed my thinking.

No evidence of any reason for a cough, and my observations were enough for her to conclude the most likely, however undesirable, scenario, is that my son does have asthma.

So now he’s been given the same prescription I get, albeit with an enormous spacer device, which has already doubled as a gun to encourage its use.

I’d hoped he pick up some things from me, but definitely not this.

Fingers crossed that the inhaler gun wonder does the trick and gives him his lungs back, and I hope he doesn’t suffer too much into the future.

Being a minor sufferer myself, it gives me a greater understanding, and also a good eye for early signs of deteriorating, which are good for quick correction, and continuing life as normal.

So back to normal for both of us, and as soon as possible please. Share/Save/Bookmark


WonderMom said...

I'm so sorry your little guy is going through this! If it makes you feel any better, my 4 year old was on a nebulizer 4-6 times a day most of his first two years and then he suddenly "outgrew" it. My 2 year old still has numerous respiratory problems and has to use the rescue inhaler (with the spacer which he and his brother both think is the coolest thing in the world!) but he's a happy, healthy, active little boy. Even at just barely 2, he's learned the early symptoms of an attack and will ask me for his "med'cine." The few times that I have doubted him and not given it to him immediately, he deteriorated pretty quickly so I've learned to trust him. So far, the inhaler has been very effective for him and the asthma doesn't seem to bother him much. I keep an inhaler at home and one at school but he takes it all in stride. I hope that your little one will adjust and learn to manage his condition with little inconvenience!

Ms. Single Mama said...

Damn it.

At least he has the most FANTASTIC dad in the UK. Counters the asthma.

I mean it. He's going to be one strong, magnificent man.

: )

Kori said...

My 9 year old has severe asthma that he has to take meds daily for; allergy meds, asthma med, plus the nebulizer as needed. He has had the steroid treatment more than once...and will stand right in your face and beath the hell out of you if you suggest that it has at all affected his life. With proper treatment-as you well know-he will be okay-dokey. And he has a great papa.

T said...

Aww! Sorry to hear. It sounds like he's in pretty darn competent hands though!

Have you visited with a homeopath to help matters? Just a thought.

I still can't believe that someone in a hospital environment could treat you so horribly. Well... then again, sadly I can.


dadshouse said...

Don't you hate being stereotyped and discriminated against when it comes to your child, just because you're a man? It sucks. Good for you for fighting back. I try to do that as well, in real life and in the blogosphere when man-haters raise their ugly heads.

As for asthma - I feel for you. It's scary when a little fellow can't breathe. I had asthma as a kid, but I did grow out of it eventually.

My son was hospitalized at a very young age for respiratory problems. They kept him overnight for several nights. I slept in his room one night. The whole experience was quite unnerving, as they had him hooked to oxygen. They said it "might" be asthma. Lucky boy - he grew out of those breathing problems eventually! No asthma, after all.

All best to you and your son.

Lisa D said...

I can't believe that health professional was directing questions to anyone besides you... and the condescending remark? Eesh. Wrong career for that lady. Sorry you ever had to deal w/ that.

Sucks that your son has asthma. :( It's good for you to know how to see an attack or episode coming so you can nip it in the bud.

You are an awesome dad!!!

harassedmomsramblings said...

What a totally horrible experience!!!

Sorry about the asthma! My family suffer from it! Fortunately it seems to have bypassed my kids but its not a fun thing to go through!

Hopefully he out grows it!

The Grocer said...

Having asthma yourself will hopefully give him confidence that you can still lead a normal life and probably in time give you an even greater bond.

Single Parent Dad said...

Wondermom - Thanks for your comment and your story, that is reassuring.

Ms single mama - Thanks for that, but have you met all the wonderful dads there are in The UK?

Kori - Cheers, thanks for the encouragement.

T - What's a homoeopath?

dadshouse - I do, and I feel many a future blog post about it!!

Lisa d - I agree, and thanks.

Harrassedmom - I hope so too.

The Grocer - Perversely that is probably bang-on.

Violet said...

Ah that must've been so scary and frustrating for you, to have to deal with unhelpful behaviour when your son's health is at risk. My daughter got the wheezes when she was a toddler, and then I realised it was because we'd had the steamer on in her room so much (due to her having a cold) and not cleaning it out properly, and mould was growing on the walls. I wanted a whip to lash myself with. (She's been wheeze-free since then though.) I'm glad your boy is better now.

Charlie Moger said...

My babies had to use the nebulizer so often when they were small, we wound up buying one--industrial strength, it seemed. I remember holding my youngest when she was a toddler, struggling to keep her in place during the "breathing treatments." Time passes. We were cleaning out cabinets the other day and came across the trusty old Nebulizer under the guest bath sink. Despite once being terrorized by it, Zuzu took one look and asked, "what is THAT, daddy?" Therein lies the good news: it's been so long since it was used, they barely remember what it is. Hopefully your little man will outgrow the need for meds too.

All the best,

Sam said...

It's irrelevant that I had asthma as a kid.
The reason I empathise with you is this.

I'm a woman. I work with computers (specifically I work on websites for the BBC). I'm 23.

My laptop was stolen last year and I researched new ones, picked the best 3 and went to PC world where some numbskull of a 17yr old asked my boyfriend what sort of laptop I was interested in and only addressed me to let me know that the one I'd picked up came in pink...
fortunately my boyfriend (altho he knows b*gger all about computers) knows me well and walked me gently away before said teenager noticed my ears smoking.

It happens to women too.
Incidentally my asthma cleared up in my early teens - it's quite common apparently!

Single Parent Dad said...

Thanks for sharing that Sam, it does happen both ways I know. Also pleased to hear your asthma cleared up.

bex matthew said...

most people who get asthma when they are young are not like me lol, they normally grow out of it or it comes in 7 yr cycles, and dont nromall have it diagnosed at 4 yrs old as normal asthma and at 14 yrs old it changes to brittle asthma and gets worse, they cant prove it but it could be licked to womens things lol, coz thats when they statred and i started getting very ill, brittle asthma is so different from noraml asthma, normal asthma can be controlled with nebs, inhalers and non steriod tabs only using steriods when an infection is there, i wish, i have been on oral steriods and on nebs that contain steriods for 18 yrs now, still hopefull of coming off the oral steriods some day lol, i know its a worry about a child when they get asthma or its thought they have it and yourself have been ill from it, my son had a floppy larynx coz of being prem but they also think he may have asthma but can not diagnose it yet, it is very common though that even if the parent have been very ill the child will grow out of it hun

bex matthew said...

my spelling agh lol u can tell it is late lol

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