Hospital visit 2020 style

At the best of times a hospital admission for a child is stressful and scary. When there is talk of Covid lurking in the background, it is terrifying.

My daughter and I have been on the children’s ward for three days now. A cold quickly progressed to an asthma attack and she became very unwell quickly.

When we were considering if it was time to head to emergency, the Covid questions started. Will they test me? Will they wear masks? Is there Covid in the hospital? All these thoughts and questions from a child living in a state that has virtually no cases. I can only imagine one’s anxiety in a ‘hot spot’.

To be honest, it was a bit tricky answering her because I really didn’t know what to expect. We had got to a stage however, that is was clear to me testing or no testing, mask or no mask, we needed to go.

What followed has been 3 days of medication, machines and no sleep! It is only now that I have a happy, somewhat bored child sitting up reading beside me, that I can really appreciate quite how sick she was. In the moment, you just go with it.

We needn’t of worried about a Covid test, that would have been the least of it. We had oxygen, a cannula, puffers, steroids and antibiotics to contend with. In the end it wasn’t required anyway, she had no temperature and when they listened to her chest it was unmistakably an asthma attack. I even got to listen with the stethoscope, pretty impressive noises I must say!

The poor thing took a long time to respond to treatment which we think was due to a complex picture with a chest infection brewing in the background. As with most things with children, once we turned the corner she has picked up quick (hence the boredom we are experiencing now).

As I sit here waiting for her review and am hopeful of a discharge, I can’t help but think about how Covid just complicates everything. I wonder to myself if it affected or delayed our decision to present in emergency. I don’t think it did , but I can see how it would in other places in the world and it frightens me to think people might avoid medical treatment in fear.

The doctors, nurses, wards clerks, kitchen staff, orderlies, cleaners and volunteers are all doing an amazing job in our hospitals. Every person we have come across has treated us with care and dignity and conducted themselves in the most professional manner.

Throughout the whole process I have felt completely at ease and trusting of each one of them and I believe so has my daughter (mostly!). On the whole she has let them do their job, obviously realising she needed help. There of course were a few moments of grumpy monster when she was woken for the millionth time for medications and when they had to insert the dreaded needle 😫😫

I think one of my strongest memories will be of her drug induced sleep talking that kept myself and the night nurses entertained! I must say my worst memory will be of the recliner chair I have ‘slept’ in the last three nights (first world problem I know!).

All I can say is……… please please do not avoid our hospitals in fear of this horrendous virus. Everybody working in them is doing their absolute best and I for one, am so grateful for each and every one of them. Our healthcare workers are our army in this war.

Mum B

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