Friday, 15 June 2012

The Fragility of a Child...

We've had a pretty full on week around here, an emotional roller coaster to say the least.

Following a great "Kid-Free-Date-Weekend" Nath and I came home to discover that Matilda had a pretty high temperature. I didn't fuss too much as kids get fevers, and without other symptoms they usually aren't too much of a concern.

I view fevers as the bodies furnace, the way it disposes of things/bacteria it doesn't want in its system. I know that low grade fevers are actually beneficial and so usually let them run their course. Through discussion with different health professionals, we have developed a method to rate the fevers that pass through the kids. It is only our opinion and I'm not a qualified medical professional by any means, but this is how we work it... Fevers up to 39 C we let run their course. At  39 we give "relief" whether it be ibuprofen or  paracetamol (my kids throw up paracetamol so we stick with ibuprofen) and then at 40 we cool them in a bath. Anything above this we seek help.

Well Tilly was up at the 40 mark, so we gave her some ibuprofen. She was miserable and the fever was so persistent that the ibuprofen (that is meant to last 6-8 hr) was only bringing her fever down for 2 to 3 hrs and then it was zooming straight back up to 40. She was wiped out, not eating, not moving and miserable. She was complaining that her neck hurt and then it was her ears. She hated being moved and her fever was so hot that her balance was gone. When we moved, she clung on tight worried she would fall.

The fever continued for 2 more days, not staying down even with medication and she was really protecting her ears and head. So we booked in with our family GP, ready for them to tell us that she had an acute ear infection and needed antibiotics. Here is where I should also probably mention that I avoid doctors like the plague and only go if I think we really need it. I like bodies to fix themselves, where possible, and I think in many cases they can, if given the opportunity. We aren't a family that is very fond of antibiotics, unless we feel that they are really necessary. In this case I suspected they would be. I had a niggling worry,as this fever was really persistent and Matilda was wiped out.

So off to the GP we went! Our family GP knows how rarely we come and that I am not there for meds. So when she prescribes them I respect that. On this occasion though we got a different story....

Her ears were clear, her throat was clear, her chest was clear..... so why was she so sick.....

Now my brain started to tick.... this niggling grew...the GP lay her on the bed to do some more tests and noticed that Tilly was really annoyed by the bright light above her, so lights off and Matilda relaxed.

The GP then said she was a little concerned that Matilda was as sick as she was, and that with her protecting her head, loosing her balance and being sensitive to the light, she wanted us to "pop over to Emergency, just to be safe"..... she suspected that Matilda may have Bacterial Meningitis....

RIGHT..... I know all about this!! My niggling was now feeling a 'little' concerned....

Off to emergency we went... to wait 8 hrs!!!!!

During this 8 hrs I had 2 more nurses tell me that were concerned she may have meningitis, 3 doctors examine her as they couldn't figure out what was wrong with her, a chest x-ray and a urine sample... (from a nappy wearing toddler! That was fun!). I also had 8 hrs to ponder the fact that my little lady really was quite sick! Had I waited to long to get help? Would she be brain damaged forever? Would she live? What would life be like with out my beautiful little lady? (I had a lot of time on my hands, in very uncomfortable chairs, with  nothing on the telly)

Then about 6 hrs into our wait, she got better... just like that...the fever stopped, she wanted to eat like a horse, she was not tired, being cheeky, and full of energy. It was like some one had clicked their fingers and made her well.

Boy was I relieved, but also a little confused... the doctors believe that she has had a bad urinary tract infection. Apparently in little people their urinary tract is so close to their kidneys that this can lead to a kidney infection before the common "hurt when you wee" symptoms. They also think that she possibly had pneumonia, as the chest x-ray showed up a bit of an infection. Her kidneys are leaking protein when they shouldn't be! This may be from the high fevers, but we are doing some more tests, to cover our bases and check that their isn't anything untoward happening there.

So all in all, I think they still aren't really sure why she was as hot as she was, but she is having a dose of antibiotics to 'cover all bases' and do some more testing.

This whole process has really made me appreciate the overall good health of my family and particularly my children. It has allowed me time to pause and give thought to the mums (and families) out there who are dealing with chronic health problems with their children and the emotion toll that must take on their hearts.

I wish all good health and strong bodies and a vital life force to heal whatever ails...


  1. I can feel this was big time for you all, I know the feeling Dakini had a 41 fever for hours after getting hundreds of ticks, I took her to emergency they sent her to hospital I checked her out the next morning, in the end they didn't do anything which was a relief. I felt better knowing that if push comes to shove I will do whatever it takes... I am sure Matilda has bounced back real quick, its more the mama hey! that goes through the wringer. this story brings it all back and reminds me, I am long overdue for a massage, probably so are you!

  2. Wow, Soph I had no idea little Tilly was so sick! What a horrible week this must have been for you guys! I hope she (and you and Nath) are feeling better this week - please let me know if there's anything we can do!