Please Listen To Me

please listen to me

I am sat here writing this from the parent’s lounge of my the children’s ward of my local hospital. Recently refurbished to be more family friendly, this a space for parents to take a breather, make a cuppa and regroup. No fancy decorations needed. The closed door, silence and the kettle are sufficient. We aren’t here for comfort, we are here for help. For our babies not ourselves.

Olivia currently has her own hospital room. Our new home away from home for however long we need it. A space you would no doubt pay for should it be a hotel and not a hospital. 1 bed each, en-suite and a cupboard for our belongings, the room now belongs to us and our territory well and truly marked. As of yet we have no check out date so home comforts appear by the second as we attempt to relax in our new sterile environment. One which we have welcomed with open arms.

It has taken us 10 days to get here. The appearance of a dry tickly cough and puffy face late one Wednesday evening set off a chain reaction of events I was completely unprepared for. I fear that may be my own doing thanks to an off hand comment to my new boss about how Olivia is never seriously ill. If she is ill it isn’t often and usually your garden variety stomach bug, virus or common cold. The very first day of my new (old) job she passed out at the fish counter in Tesco’s on a school trip. Maybe I jinxed it then who knows? But I digress those events were way back in May and now in the fledgling days of July we are mid some pretty serious health complications.

Olivia took herself off to school the next day (Thursday) despite my insistence she really shouldn’t and come Friday she gave in and took to the sofa as the cough took a hold of her and so did a vomiting bug. The swelling became more prominent and the cough worsened leaving us no choice but to make a mad dash to our GP for a check up.

A chest infection was confirmed, however the concerns of the facial swelling were simply brushed aside. As it was when I again voiced my concerns with the out of hours GP on the Sunday. No idea he said but she has a wheeze, here’s a prescription for some steroids and an inhaler, take care young Olivia.

Young Olivia did not take care. Succumbing to full body swelling and an inability to breathe easily we made our third trip to see a qualified professional for help. Help we did not get. Fears and concerns were swatted away and I left frustrated and angry. A mother knows her child. I knew there was something wrong with my child. Yet this counted for nothing. And I absolutely did not listen to his advice to not bring her back before the weekend.

I tried to see from his point of view. I presented him with a child appearing to be getting over a chest infection. Her chest was clear and she was quite happy in herself. Giggling that nervous giggle most of us get when we don’t know how to react to something. She appeared as she does now happy and healthy.

I waited another 3 days. This time the swelling was too much to ignore and I created as much fuss as I could to get her seen. Calls to the 111 line were made. Calls to the GP practise were made. I would be heard this time and they would listen. It seemed however that my voice had made an impact, albeit a small one on the GP who had posted us a letter, too little too late, for Olivia have a further test. One that would reveal instantly what we already knew.

We were right. Within minutes the GP had the test done and a bed reserved at the local hospital for Olivia to be fully checked over. This is where we come full circle. This post has no answers. Currently. This post is being written on night 2 of our hospital stay. A stay forecast to last at least another 2 days.

But this post isn’t just my story. The path may be different. The symptoms not the same. But desperation is shared. Shared by parents of children fighting desperately to be heard. For someone to hear them and to listen. We are not medical professionals but where our children are concerned we are experts in them.

Please just listen to us.

*As of writing this Olivia is currently being treated for kidney problems and dangerously high blood pressure. I was right to keep fighting and I am so glad I didn’t give up. If you would like to keep up to date with how she is getting on please don’t hesitate to get in touch via social media or even email. I will be posting regular updates too. For those of you who have already sent your wishes thank you. I really appreciate all the love from people I have never met yet I am proud to call friends*

 

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  1. OMG Tracey it is just ridiculous that they didn’t want to listen to you in the first place. It was pretty obvious that Olivia was not well. That swollen was a big sign. I’m so glad that you persevered and managed to get her seen again and of course on time. I know she is better now and that it was the biggest scared ever. The doctors should always listen to our mother instincts as they are always right. Big hugs to you lovely!. Thanks so much for sharing your story at #KCACOLS, It is always a pleasure to have you, 🙂 xx

  2. Always trust your instinct. You were right to make a fuss. wishing Olivia better. Hope your all ok #KCACOLS

  3. I hope she gets better soon. And go you for advocating for your child. It’s hard when you can’t seem to get health professionals to listen to you about your child. #KCACOLS

  4. This must have been so frightening – especially as they were just brushing off your concerns for so long! I hope she is feeling much better now and is getting everything she needs. x #KCACOLS

  5. Oh Tracey I’m so glad you finally managed to get the help Olivia needed and that she is doing better now. Hopefully it won’t be to long until your gorgeous girl has made a full recovery. Xx #KCACOLS

  6. I hope Olivia improves and quickly. I can’t believe swelling was ignored by several doctors that’s awful. Get well. #kcacols

  7. Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry to read this! I knew she was ill, but I hadn’t realised how ill. Well done to you for fighting. You know your own child and what’s right with her. It sounds like you’ve both had a scary time. I hope she will be on the mend soon, now you’ve got a diagnosis.

  8. Hi Tracey, I’ve followed your story and will be checking social media today for an update on Olivia. I hope she is improving. You are lucky to have such a great hospital ward. When I was in with my youngest, I was told to just climb in with him Even though he was screaming all night! When my eldest was in we initially had a pull-out bed, then were lucky enough to be housed by the Sick Children’s Trust in a house on-site. Catch up soon! Take care. #KCACOLS

  9. It really just goes to show – a parent’s instinct really is not to be ignored! I am so glad that they finally took you seriously and that Olivia is in good care! xxx #KCACOLS

  10. I hope Olivia has a full recovery soon, and well done for continuing to create a fuss, Olivia has a great mum x

  11. Way to go, mama!
    I hate that mother’s intuition doesn’t account for ANYTHING in the healthcare field, when it has actually been scientifically proven to be right most of the time. I am so happy you stood up and became a voice for your sweet Olivia. It terrifies me to think of what could’ve happened had you ignored your gut, and listened to the doctors. I am so sorry to hear that your little girl has been so sick, and hope she’s back to herself in no time! <3 #KCACOLS

  12. Oh my goodness. I hope Olivia is getting better and thinking of you at this very difficult time. I totally agree, only you know your child and all too often parents’ concerns are brushed aside by the professionals. #KCACOLS