The Lurgy

Not much making and doing has been going on in the last few days. The children have been suffering with The Lurgy. Son number one went down with it quite rapidly on Thursday night. All of a sudden he wanted me to put him to bed, pronto. It’s not like him to be that way, he usually likes his bed time to be with Daddy. A quick hand to his forehead and my Super Mummy powers of detection detected…….. a temperature.

Three years ago I couldn’t have performed this magic trick. I would definitely have needed a thermometer to be confident. However, after taking his temperature morning and night since July 2008 I am a dab hand (nice pun).

You may be wondering why I’ve been taking his temperature so often so I will explain. Son number one has recently finished his treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. The chemo drugs that he’s been taking for all this time can also suppress the immune system, making it more difficult to fight off infections. A rise in body temperature is an indicator of infection. Until recently, it was also a trigger for a trip to the Newcastle RVI. Then there would be blood tests and possibly a minimum three day stay hooked up to an IV antibiotic drip. Oh yes, son number one getting a temperature has been the source of major dramas in the recent past. Our hospital bag was always packed and ready to go.

This temperature couldn’t really have been timed better. Earlier that day he had had his monthly appointment with his consultant and had had his blood count done so we knew he wan’t low on neutrophils, the blood cells that fight infection. I took great pleasure in doing what mothers all over the land do. I tucked him up and reached for the

Now, I know not everyone approves of Calpol. I have friends who will tell me it does all sorts of nasty things. I have other friends who swear by alternative/complimentary medicine. Good luck to them I say. If I feel rotten, I take paracetamol and it makes me feel better.

I also know that developing a temperature is nature’s way of trying to fight off the bug that you’re harbouring. Some would say that giving an anti-pyretic (temperature lowering) drug like Calpol is getting in the way of that process. All that is true, but a little paracetamol in the system makes you soooo much more comfortable and that is what I wanted my boy to be.

He looked pretty ropey the next day and stayed away from school, lounging around in his PJ’s. By evening though, he had perked up a lot and was ok to go out with his Grandma rattling tins in aid of ClicSargent. The weekend arrived and he was back to normal, fully fit.

Unfortunately, it was a different story for son number two. Poor little babykins was making some terrible croupy noises early on Saturday morning. He was also rather hot. He carried on being hot for quite a few days. I kept dosing him with paracetamol and ibuprofen, alternating them in an attempt to not overdose the poor child. I finally took him to the doctor yesterday. It’s not a decision I take quickly. My logical brain was still thinking “He will fight this off, the medicine you’ve got is making him more comfortable” but the twitchy, worried Mother part of my brain was saying “It’s been five days now with a temperature”. Not only that but when he woke up from a nap yesterday he even seemed slightly ‘floppy’. A warning sign for all sorts of things. I even started to worry that I had overdosed him.

His appointment was at our surgery’s five pm ‘sit and wait’ clinic. Last time I took a boy with a temperature to that clinic, I was referred straight to our local hospital. It was the start of our leukaemia journey. Strangely, babykins saw the same doctor yesterday (he’s not our normal GP). He even remembered seeing son number one, which I suppose he would as the diagnosis was pretty rare. Babykins got a good examination and the doc decided to send us off with some penecillin. That’s another drug I am very familiar with as son number one takes it daily. Babykins does seem better today so maybe he did need the antibiotics? Maybe the bug has just run it’s course? Its a guessing game with these bugs and I really don’t envy the poor GP’s who have to try and get it right.

Four bacteria, I’d love to say I made them but I didn’t. The pattern is here


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