That headline is not strictly true.
And I do sometimes struggle to admit being
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.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
That headline is not strictly true.