Sunday, November 2, 2008


Tombliboo (nearly 2) had a fever on the early hours of Saturday morning, but woke up reasonably happy. He wasn't interested in eating, or moving much.

We visited friends, and on the way home decided to buy a thermometer since our one hasn't been working for quite some time. The kids were hungry, so I decided to get them a sausage in a bread from a fundraising stall, so they would be comfortable while I dashed in to the shop.

I was watchign the world go by, waiting in line, when I heard someone call out "Can someone please call an ambulance for me?"

I looked over and sw it was dh, and my first thought was ,"What a silly duffer- what woudl he need an ambulance for". I walked away from my place in the queueu to see what he was up to, and saw him slump to the ground with my baby foaming at the mouth, eyes rolled back in his head, limp but jerking. It was absolutely the most scary thing I have seen in my life *ever*.

I ran, and everything suddenly seemed in slow motion. I didn't handle things well, I was a mess. I had no idea what to do. A kind lady took charge while others phoned for the ambulance. The ambulance arrived very quickly, and we were off to hospital. My baby's first ride in an ambulance, and he knew nothing at all about it. DH drove behind us with J-Man and Princess. Tombliboo was still blueish, and very groggy, his temperature remained at 39 for the trip, though he was naked and had paracetamol.

After a while, dh and the kiddos went home, and I stayed with Tombliboo under observation for 4 hours. The nurse (who was unkind as soon as we admitted Tombliboo was unvaccinated) insisted it was routine because he wasn't immunised. I argued about that, and she eventually conceded that the treatment would be the same for a chld who had had vaccinations- because after all, a vaccination does not guarantee immunity (actually, the statistics about how many children are immune after a vaccination are frightening, and was one of the largest contributors to our decision not to vaccinate Tombliboo).

Still it seemed I had made a bit of an "ememy" since obviously I was meant to bow and scrape and assert that she must know everything. She was quite rude, and had dh questioning himself over how he had handled the fever (which was excactly as I would have done for Tombliboo, or myself).

Anyway, she didn't pop in after that, and eventually I asked if we might be able to go home...Tombliboo was not quite right, but I igured he was just as well off at home as in the emergency room alone. Besides that, I was starving, thirsty and needed to use the bathroom (but coudn't since Tombliboo was on me, and cried if I moved). She said we could go at 6:30pm, and I let dh know. I saw her at 6:30pm and asked if all was well, and were we free to go. We were, and when dh arrived at 6:45pm, I went to see her at the desk, and asked again if everything was alright, and was it ok to leave. She said, "Yes, Bye", and so we went home.

Tombliboo fed three times in an hour, and we had a nice cuddle with him on the bed as we made it.

He was on my lap as I went to check e-mails, and he was kicking the computer desk. I didn't think much of it, because for some reason he likes to do that (he has bruises on his shins, and still he likes to kick the desk!)...I put my hand on his leg to gently reqest he stop, and I realised it was more of a jerking movement than a deliberate kick. I looked in his eyes, and they were rolling. He made funny grunting noises, and I thoguht for a second he was tryign to tel lme about what had happened earlier i nthe day- then I clicked it was happening again. I called for dh who ran and took over. I thought I woudl be reasonably good in an emergnecy- I'm not. I watched afor a bit with no idea at all what to do. I called an ambulance, but was screechign to much to be undertood.

We needed to put Tombliboo on the floor, on his side, and let him fit. It was truely horrible to watch, and indeed I didn't think I *could* watch. I ran about collecting the thigns I supposed we would need for another trip back to hospital (not for me the Woman's Weeklies from 2003).

J, M and Baby J happened to arrive then to see if Tombliboo was OK, and took J-Man and Princes home for us. Tombliboo and I went for our second ever ambulance ride, and he had his eyes closed and teeth clenched, making odd irritable noises the whoel way. dh followed behind, and we got back to the hospital a little over an hour after we had left.

It turned out we had not been meant to be discharged at all. There was concern over the fact that Tombliboo had a fever with no apparent focus (cause). He had to have a chest x-ray (multiple x-rays), and that didn't go down at all well since he had just managed to get to sleep.

Next, he needed to have blood tests, which were horrendous. They wrapped him up like a Mummy- dh, a nurse and I had to hold him down while the docotr tried to take blood, but failed. She got a vein in a different spot, and managed to take blood. By this time, as you can imagine, Tombliboo was a wreck. So were we.

Apparently it is unusual to have 2 seizures in one day, though not in one illness. dh went home around midnight to try to get some sleep, and I woulddl call if we heard anything, or if Tombliboo had another convulsion...Around 4am, a doctor noticed pus on his tonsils, a diagnosis of tonsilitis was given, and I felt a lot of relief knowing there was an actual reason for the fever (because I was starting to get a teensy bit frantic about the possibility of it being something really terrible).

Tombliboo got up for the day then, and enjoyed roaming the halls of the emergency room. He had a splint on his foot where a line was in for more bloods (if necessary, or other medication). Evnetually he grew tired (I was exhausted, having sat with him not daring to take my eyes off him for more than a few seconds lest he turn blue again), and was happy to go back to the bed with some stories. Actually, he wanted *all* the stories, and was quite upset when I suggested he leave some for the other children.

He was very happy, though tired, when his temperature seemed to go up suddenly. I mentioned it to a nurse but she didn't seem inclined to take his temperature because it had been good through the night, and he had been running everywhere not long before. Still, I coudl tell it had gone up, so I kept a close eye on him- and he started to turn blue again. I alternated between looking at where the emergency button was, and his little face, and trying to talk to him to get a response. Thankfully, he didn't have another fit, and his colour returned once we managed to get some paracetamol in to him. This was no easy never has been, to be honest, but I don't think his hospital experience will help matters. Their way to get reluctant children to take the medicine is to hold them down, and force their mouths open. They squirt the medicine in with a (needle-less) syringe, and as the child screams and tried to spit it out, they blow in their faces to force them to gulp the medicine.

We left the hospital around 11am this morning, and went to pick the kiddos up. The rest of the day has been very quiet. Tombliboo has been reasonably happy- but not *at all* keen to have *anything done to him. (Who could blame him?). Getting medication in to him is horrific, and even checking his temperature is a nightmare. I think he needs to be left alone for a while, and yet it is all too fresh to ignore the possibility of a new fever, and a possible new convulsion.

Finally he is resting now. I think we're in for a rough night.


CH said...

(actually, the statistics about how many children are immune after a vaccination are frightening, and was one of the largest contributors to our decision not to vaccinate Tombliboo)

I'd be interested to read about that. Can you pass on a citation or more info?

Cally said...

Even though I had already heard about this on list, I am still sitting here almost crying - for you and T, and for me and my kids for all the similar experiences we have had.

When Jeff was about the same age as T, he chopped the end of his finger off in a new door - the first in our house that had a handle low enough for him to operate. At the hospital they held him down and tried to reattach it. They wouldn't listen to me and eventually made me leave the room because I was so distraught. Then they listened, albeit cynically, to dh who asked them to at least try our way. So dh sat Jeff up and asked him to hold his finger up for the doctor - which he did, with no more tears - it was the holding down that made him cry!

Meanwhile, I was taken next door and lectured by a young doctor on my two evils - failure to vaccinate, and failure to send my other children to school.

Johanna Knox said...

Hi Lishelle - yes, like Cally, to hear all the details - I really feel for you all more than ever. What an awful experience.

Shell (in NZ) said...

Dear CH...I typed up all I recorded, and have since lost the lot when our computer died (and I hadn't put it on a disk). Anyway, this is a great website to go and make up your own mind.

I was trying to be as unbiased as possible, because i needed to present the information to dh before we could agree (our first 2 children were fully vaccinated). I got much of my information from pro-vaccination sites.

Basically everyone I knew and respected had chosen not to vaccinate, but none of them would hand the info to me on a is important to make one's own mind up, and also to *know* for yourself why you make such a big decision.

I spent a lot of time looking in to each disease, and working out the likelihood of a child getting it, and how it could be treated.

I also looked at he ingredients in each vaccine. There is a lot of talk about (for instance) the MMR vaccination no longer containing mercury...however, it does contain Thiomersal (I think that is the correct spelling), and that is 50% Mercury.

Ruth said...

What a horrific experience for you Lishelle, I hope now that time has passed, things are better.
A further note on vaccinations is that there has been minimal research into the long term affects of vaccinations ie, what vaccinating actually does to the body (albeit all the brain, cardiovascular, metabolic and other injuries).