Really tired but I can’t sleep. Must be excited about tomorrow! Bring on the friends, food, beer and party!
Those of you who follow my tweets/Facebook status updates will know that I have been quite quiet recently. I’m not a very prolific tweeter, but my posts have been even more sporadic than usual.
This is because my little lad has been rather unwell for the past few weeks. First, before I go into any details, I’d like to say how grateful I am to the staff of the Royal Derby Hospital. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again; they have been utterly marvelous. The care and support they have provided has been brilliant.
As I write this, I’m currently in the children’s ward, lying next to my son who has been very poorly of late. It all began a few weeks ago when he started to be quite sick, often after feeding. He had never been sick for the first four weeks of his life, so it struck us as odd. Naturally we took him to the doctor, who said that my lad probably just had a virus.
After almost a week of him still being sick we took him back to the doctor, who thought he was constipated. As a result, we were prescribed a laxative and told to keep him well hydrated.
After an additional 5 days we were extremely worried, as there was no change. Luckily our health visitor was coming by anyway. She asked us a series of questions and suggested that he might have pyloric stenosis: a condition common to boys around his age. Without going into too much detail, this is where the muscle in the valve from the stomach to the small intestine thickens to such a degree that no food can enter the digestive system. She told us to go straight back to the doctor and be prepared for a stay in hospital.
Upon examining my boy the doctor thought the health visitor’s diagnosis was plausible and wrote us a letter and sent us straight to hospital. When we arrived he was examined further and put onto a drip to rehydrate him. It was a rough first night at the hospital as he was so hungry, but we could not feed him anything.
The next day he was given an ultrasound scan, which confirmed the diagnosis. His fluid and electrolyte levels were closely monitored and balanced over the course of 24 hours in order to prepare him for surgery to remove the excess muscle.
After a stressful couple of days the operation went ahead and was a success. He’s doing well and we are establishing a feeding routine to make sure he can keep things down. Hopefully we’ll be back home by the weekend.
So why bother blogging about all of this? There are so many reasons. For one thing, I wanted to write something online, because a lot of people have been asking about it. Secondly, I want to say how important the NHS is. There’s no way I could have afforded the level of care provided to us in a private system where insurance companies rule the roost.
My little lad would have died had it not been for this surgery. It’s horrible to think that before the NHS, he wouldn’t have made it past 8 weeks old. Worse still, children who have his condition in poor countries die regularly. The same probably is also true of those in countries where private medicine dominates, where the poor simply cannot afford insurance.
There are many reforms currently being made to the NHS, in an attempt to cut costs and decrease the debt Britain faces. I sincerely hope that these do not affect patient care or the quality of the service that the NHS provides. I am extremely proud and humbled by every aspect of this amazing organisation. Britons every where need to demand that the system carries on looking after people. We should not forget about the welfare state just because we’re down a few quid.
With that said, I’d like to thank you for reading. A lot of people have been concerned and I would also like to thank every one for their lovely emails, messages and tweets. I’ve got a lot of wonderful friends out there and I really appreciate your kind thoughts. The events of the past few weeks for me have just highlighted how important life is and really puts things into perspective.
There’s nothing more important than family and friends. Their health is therefore vital. It sounds silly to state the obvious, but in today’s hectic world it’s surprisingly easy to forget. Have a great day and look after each other.
Watching Alan Carr: Chatty Man. Louis Walsh looks like a camp grey version of Tintin. Or is it just me?
Got here. Got settled. Beautiful place. Had haggis pizza for tea. Intriguing! Pictures tomorrow in daylight. Lots of snow forecast!