Donut hasn’t had the best of times over the past couple of months.
It all started in December, when hubby treated me to an early birthday present. He booked for us to go away for the night, leaving both boys with my parents. It was a lovely break… We had dinner, played Fallout Monopoly, and the following morning, breakfast, and he took me to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi, before heading to my parents to pick the boys up.
That was when it all started.
We arrive at their house, and my mum is cuddling Donut. “He’s not well…” she said.
His breathing was erratic – like he couldn’t catch his breath. He was also making a weird “clicking” noise, which sounded on every short inhale. He also didn’t want to move. He seemed really lethargic.
Mum explained that he’d been that way since about 11am – it was then nearly 4pm when I was there.
An emergency appointment to see a doctor was in order, so we called NHS 111 for advice. They agreed that they would like Donut to seek medical advice, so just after 6pm, I took him to the clinic.
Immediately the physician said that she wasn’t happy, and she called an ambulance for him. She placed a mask on him, connected to an oxygen tank, and filled a tube with what looked like a liquid, which started steaming and bubbling as he breathed.
She took his pulse, blood pressure, and checked his lung capacity. His pulse was racing, his temperature was through the roof, and his lung capacity was down to just 75%.
We waited for almost 3 hours before the ambulance arrived. I felt like I had failed as a mother. Why didn’t I just take him straight to A&E? Obviously this was an urgent matter, but as usual, I tried to shrug it off, saying, “ahh, he’ll be ok shortly…”
My husband was the one who went in the ambulance with him. I couldn’t face it – I almost had a breakdown. I just couldn’t cope. Instead, I took Gning home, and explained that his baby brother wasn’t very well, and would hopefully be home from hospital very soon.
10pm-ish. Hubby phoned me, asking to come and pick them up from hospital. He said that his battery (on his phone) was almost dead, so he would explain everything when we got there.
I parked in the “drop-off” zone, and managed to get a message to hubby to let him know where we were. As soon as we seen hubby and Donut come out through the automatic sliding doors, Gning was out of the car, running towards them. He ran like the wind. As soon as he reached them, he was on his knees, giving Donut a massive hug. Donut was smiling and laughing.
Back in the car, hubby explained to me that a virus had triggered a breathing attack. As Donut is under 5 years old, the NHS are not allowed to diagnose asthma (big concern, as hubby has suffered with it all his life), but he had an asthma attack. Instead of being diagnosed with infantile asthma, he was diagnosed with Infantile Wheezing Syndrome.
He was sent away from the hospital with a blue inhaler – Salbutamol, and we were instructed to give him 5 “puffs” every 4 hours for the first week, then drop it to 2 “puffs” every 4 hours for the second week, whilst waiting to see our own doctor.
I waited until the New Year, as the week between Christmas and New Year was fully booked at the surgery. The doctor had looked through all of Donut’s notes, and I explained what we had been doing (with the inhaler). The doctor seemed happy with his progress, so advised that we don’t have to continue using the inhaler unless we deem it necessary. We were to book another review in 6 weeks time, and in the meantime, keep a diary (of sorts) of when we use the inhaler, and how many “puffs”.
Fast forward to Sunday (14 January). Donut falls asleep on me in the front room. Hubby carries him to bed, and tucks him in.
About 10.30pm, Donut is up and back in the front room. He’s whingy. I pick him up, and his temperature is sky high again.
I strip his pyjama’s off him immediately, and advise hubby to find some paracetamol urgently – which he did. We gave him some medicine, and I lightly cuddled him. We had to bring his temperature down; so I told hubby to take him in to the “big bed”, and to lay him on top of the covers, ensuring the ceiling fan is on. Within 20 minutes, Donut is asleep again.
It was a bad night. He was tossing and turning, and snoring snotty snores… I spent most of the night awake, constantly checking on his temperature. He was still hot.
Morning came, and hubby came home from work (he works 2am-7am-ish), and Donut was still hot to the touch. We also found it very difficult to wake him up.
I called our doctors surgery at 8am, when they first opened, and explained that I needed an urgent appointment. We were given one for 9am.
Donut was diagnosed with the “flu”. He was prescribed Ibuprofen, and we were advised to alternate the paracetamol with the Ibuprofen. Plenty of water, and plenty of rest is also essential to his recovery. Just to ensure that this didn’t trigger another “breathing attack”, we also started giving him his 2 “puffs” of the inhaler, every time he took some medicine.
Thankfully he didn’t suffer for long, as he seems back to normal today (Thursday). We’ve stopped the medicines and inhaler, however today brought “incident number 3”.
They always say that everything comes in 3’s. Let’s just hope that Donut doesn’t have to suffer any more after today.
I instructed Gning to go and brush his teeth. Now, Gning doesn’t like brushing his teeth, so to make sure he was doing it properly, I stood in the doorway of my bedroom, where I was watching him in the bathroom. Donut was in the front room, and seen me. Thinking I was playing a game, he runs from the front room, in to the hallway, trips up over his empty Lego bag, and falls head first, straight in to the door frame.
He hit it hard. The bang was like nothing I have heard. The whole house seemed to shake.
I scooped him up off the floor, ran in to the front room and sat down with Donut on my knee. I had my hand firmly pressed against his forehead, and told hubby to get me some Witch Hazel on a tissue as a matter of urgency.
Ten seconds later, hubby had the Witch Hazel soaked tissue, and I removed my hand. No blood – it’s not cut, but there’s already a bump. Just as soon as I moved my hand, the tissue was placed on the bump.
I had to take Gning to school, so instead of having to make hubby constantly hold the soaked tissue on Donut’s forehead, I managed to find two Star Wars themed plasters (band-aids), which secured the tissue in place. Hubby kept Donut amused while I did the school run. When I got back, Donut was playing on Star Wars Battlefront II (see a theme here? We’re Star Wars mad, lol).
Donut heard me come back, so he tottled in to the front room, and asked me to take the tissue off his head. I gladly obliged him, as he’d had it on without complaining for almost 30 minutes.
I asked him how his head was… “Fine”, he said in his own little way.
He’s bumped, and it’ll probably bruise too, but without the Witch Hazel, it could have been a lot worse.
Let’s hope that’s the end of it.
For more information on Witch Hazel, and it’s healing properties, click here
Dear fellow parents, grandparents, friends, family, the girl on the tills at Asda, and the man down the bottom shop.
By now you can probably see – or more likely hear since they aren’t exactly quiet – that I have two boys. Yes, boys. Other than me and a tiny zebra finch named Mocha, there are no girls in our immediate family. This is not necessarily the way that I pictured our family looking (I’ll admit, I imagined hair bows and twirly skirts when I was younger), but alas, this is the family that I have. And I LOVE it. I LOVE THEM.
I do not, however, love some of the comments that are said to or about my sons.
Let me start by saying that I understand that many of your comments are innocent and well-intentioned. Like when you ask us if we are trying for a girl – no, we’re more than happy with the children that we have. Or when you presume that because we have boys we don’t deal with drama queens or sensitivity – believe me, there is plenty of eye rolling and door slamming, dramatic tears and rage-filled outbursts, around here.
I also understand that many of the things we hear are small talk, chit-chatty things, like when you ask my son what sports he’s interested in. Some things might even be meant as a compliment, like when you say, “Wow, you sure have your hands full!”
I won’t get into all of the other comments that sometimes rub me the wrong way. Admittedly, I have been known to be a bit oversensitive at times. And the comments are nothing new, either; there are countless what-not-to-say lists out there. So instead of focusing on what not to say, let’s talk about what we can say, shall we?
There really is only one thing – ONE THING – we mums of boys want to hear. In fact, it’s probably the same thing that every parent wants to hear. And some days we’re downright desperate to hear it. There are days when we feel like we have no idea what we are doing. There are days when we’re just so sick of the noise and the fart jokes and the pee-covered toilet seats. And there are days when we can’t imagine not having boys.
When you get down to it, we just want to do right by our sons. We want them to be strong, sensitive, confident, curious, loving, kind, and caring boys, and we want to help them grow into strong, sensitive, confident, curious, loving, kind, and caring men. We want to know that we aren’t alone, that we aren’t totally f*cking this all up.
So what should you say to a mum of boys? It’s pretty simple, actually: Smile, ask how she’s doing, and then, regardless of her answer, tell her: “You’re doing a great job. You have wonderful boys, and they are so lucky to have you.”
We will more than likely smile back and say “thank you.” We might blush a little or even brush your comment away.
Or we just might just hug you.
Because you have totally made our day.
It’s just that simple.
A mummy to two beautiful boys x
Write 5 ways to win your heart
1. Bring me a big bar of chocolate, and do not be judgmental when I sit there and scoff the whole lot in one go.
2. I can be quiet and shy. I can be loud and brash. I don’t know when I will be either, so this is basically an “accept me as I am” point.
3. Have an interest in something I am interested in. It could be something small, like a love for a particular TV programme, or something huge, like a shared obsession.
4. Be nice to my children. My boys are everything to me, and no one is allowed to be horrible to them. That means ignoring them too.
5. Don’t take advantage of me. Yes, I have a car. No, I am not a taxi. Yes, I have a (secure) job. No, that doesn’t mean I have money to give away. They are just a couple of examples of how I have been treated in the past.