Love in the Emergency Room

How was your Valentine's day? I hope it was a sugar-filled fantasy-land and a world away from my own, which mostly involved puke, hospitals and no romance AT ALL.

On Friday night I tweeted the following:

I thought that Sábha had just a bit of a bug, one of those 24-hour ones, that she's had before - annoying, but nothing too serious. I was full-sure when I put her to bed that she'd still be up for all the fun of love-day the next day. True, she hadn't wanted to eat her dinner and had actually asked to go to bed early that evening - for the first time ever - but I wasn't too worried. Hence joking about it on twitter... on Friday the 13th. I guess I was asking for trouble...

She woke about half an hour after I posted that tweet with a temperature of over 102F (sorry, I don't know what that is in Celsius, my thermometer only reads Fahrenheit for some reason! It's pretty high though.) I gave her some more medicine, opened a window, mopped her brow with a cold, wet cloth and succeeded in getting her temperature down enough for her to fall asleep again. She slept pretty well, though her temperature was up again by morning. I gave her yet another dose of paracetamol but her temperature only dropped a little bit.

By lunchtime she was fast asleep again. Well, more like passed out. She slept all afternoon - which is completely out of character for her. I mean, this kid is known in the family as 'the wobbly woman' because she never sits still. Ever.

By 3pm, when she was still asleep, I took her temperature and it was back up over 102F. She was very listless and kept clutching at her stomach, which she'd been doing all through the night too. She hadn't thrown up or had diarrhea though, so it was at that stage that I started to get really worried. If it wasn't a tummy bug - what was it?

When her fever completely failed to respond to more paracetamol, I brought in the big guns and gave her some ibuprofen. I'm always wary of giving her this because she has asthma, and there's a big warning on the pack about not giving it to asthmatics*... but needs must.

Thankfully, this brought her fever down, but she was still repeatedly complaining about pains in her stomach and didn't want us to touch her abdomen. I called the emergency doctor and was kept on hold for 30 minutes. I hung up out of frustration before it was answered. So I called the next best person - my mother.

She thought the symptoms sounded like appendicitis. My sister had suffered it in her college years and my mama had vivid memories of thinking she just had a virus, not paying much attention to the symptoms and regretting that massively when Cáit was eventually rushed into hospital for an appendectomy.

Once that was suggested to me I couldn't shake the worry. Sábha definitely needed a doctor.

I tried the emergency doctor again. No answer.

We decided that the hospital emergency room was our only course of action. My mama said she'd come with me. Just before we left, Sábha threw up a gutful of bile.

It was about 6pm when we got to the hospital. The nurse saw her first and took her vitals. She was relatively alert at that point because of the drugs and the massive sleep and the adventure. She loves an adventure.
Not having fun in the waiting room
After that we were sent to wait, for an eternity, in the waiting room, with all of the other children who were ruining their parent's chances of Valentines' night romance.

Over the course of the next few hours she grew more and more pale, more and more listless. She fell asleep on the seat, her head cushioned on our coats, under a blaring television and slept and slept. At one point she woke, shouted "I think I need to get sick", threw up and then went straight back to sleep again. By 11pm, when we were finally seen by the doctor, she was like a ragdoll and seemed barely aware of her surroundings. 

Her temperature was sky-high at that stage and as the doctor examined her abdomen it appeared to be very tender. Sábha whimpered when she pressed on her right side.The doctor went to call a surgeon.

A nurse appeared then and gave Sábha some more paracetamol, which she promptly threw up. Her temperature climbed to over 103F. My mama and I fretted.

When the surgeon arrived Sábha was still like a ragdoll, drifting in and out of sleep and I was half out of my mind with worry. The surgeon checked her over and mercifully quickly ascertained that she did not need surgery. He told us that it was a severe bout of gastroenteritis but that she would be fine.

I can't tell you what a relief it was to hear that.

Things moved quickly after that. Another (non-oral) dose of ibuprofen was administered and also an anti-emetic. Within half an hour Sábha was up and playing with the toys that were in our cubicle. We had to give her 5ml doses of 7up every 5 minutes for about an hour. Sábha managed to keep it all down.

Then she started crying about not having had any dinner and I knew we were out of the woods.

We got home at 2am, exhausted. Sábha and I had a quiet, romantic meal-for-two of toast and a plain biscuit each before hitting the hay.

She woke at 8am with a soaring temperature again but we got it under control quickly and she is slowly coming back to herself... although apparently it can last up to a week...

It wasn't the Valentine's Day I envisioned, but love is not just about the fun times, the flowers and the chocolates. Love is about being there during the gross times too and between my Mum staying with me late into the night, Devo's constant texts from home where he had a meal with Lile and his Mum - there was a lot of love in the air anyway.

So how was your Valentine's Day?!


* I actually found out later that night that ibuprofen is totally fine to use for asthmatics that haven't displayed a bad reaction to it. I'd unwittingly used it on her when she was smaller, and hadn't yet been diagnosed as asthmatic,  and she was fine.


  1. Poor Sábha and you too Sadhbh, what a worrying time for you.
    I hope she's feeling much better now.

    1. Thanks Nicola, she's coming along nicely thanks! Signs of being bored stuck at home are kicking in so she must be on the mend!

  2. Oh poor little Sabha! Dear god Sabhdh, just reading that I was feeling ill and nervous! Gasping like a lunatic. What a horrible couple of days you guys have had and I hope little Sabha is back to her normal wobbly self. Poor thing!

    Valentine's Day is just another day. Sure you can make up for the lack of chocolate tomorrow on Pancake Tuesday ;)


    1. Thanks Alex, it was not the most fun I've ever had on Valentine's night, for sure! We will absolutely make up for it tomorrow!

  3. Oh my goodness what an adventure you poor things, glad to hear she is on the mend xx

    1. Thanks Sara - it was a crazy adventure - but not the kind of adventure I'd like to repeat too often!

  4. What a worry for you all, glad you got it under control and hope little Sábha is fully better soon x

    1. Thanks Naomi. I'm crossing my fingers she gets to enjoy at least a day or two of her midterm break!

  5. Poor little doll - it's so hard to see them sick, and so worrying. Glad you were in the hospital though and not at home worrying even more. Hope she's better very soon.
    Plus you have an excuse to re-create Valentine's Day later on!

    1. Thanks Andrea. I kept saying the same thing all that night- "even if I'm being totally over-reactive, I'm so glad we're in the hospital!" I'm sure she'll be back to her sunny self soon and we'll definitely have to recreate love-day. Any excuse for cake, right?!

  6. Oh no :( glad to hear it was nothing serious. Always scary when you're not sure and I've never thought twice about bringing them to a&e if I'm not sure whats going on... even if i feel like it was a waste of time afterwards! ����

    1. Thank you! I know, that's what it's there for afterall, and we're lucky to have access to it! Luckily the doctors didn't make me feel foolish about it at all. The first doctor that examined her definitely thought it was possible it was her appendix. So for once I didn't feel like it was a waste of time - even though we didn't get out of there until nearly 2am!

  7. How scary for you all, I am glad it was nothing serious. I do hope she feels better soon.


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