Friday night we ended up taking Z to a&e, he had been a little grumpy all week. I blamed tiredness as he hadn’t been sleeping either.
Thursday night he took himself to bed at 5.45 and slept at the side of me until 7.15 when my alarm went off. He came down got his drink and went back to bed. Grumped when we tried to get him dressed again I just thought maybe he’d had too much sleep.
Collected him early from school as he had a hearing test. I thought maybe he was going in for a ear infection but as he was having a test anyway there’s no need to disturb the gp. He didn’t co-operate he lay on the floor wanting to sleep I thought it was because he was up most of Wednesday night. The nurse looked in his ears, they were clear, no fluid either which was there last time.
Friday he went to school, said he’d had a good day when I collected him. He went straight to my parents, it was Friday night after all. At 7, my Mam rang asking what he had done to his arm as he wasn’t moving it. Then when I got there less than five minutes there was a small red mark and it was a little swollen.
A&E, nurse saw him quick, that was that, an hour later another nurse came, she looked at his arm now the redness had spread a little. She said it looks like an infection, I was worried about a break, as he wasn’t using it, she said it’s unlikely to be broken and infected but wanted an X-ray so when the doctor came he wouldn’t then need to go for one. This was at 8.15.
12.15 doctor one calls us, by this point Z is half asleep in his pram, she checked him over. Listened to him breath, eyes, nose and throat. Then told us she was going to look at the X-ray.
In walks doctor one with doctor two. Who told us to strip him. He asked where a bruise on his leg had come from, I said I didn’t know. He asked where a mark on his food had come from, I explained his trainers. He asked where a graze on his elbow had come from, I said I didn’t know and when I was asked when I noticed it, I said when the nurse was looking at him at 7.30, but I would be questioning school as they note everything down, and it must mean he was outside without his jacket on. His reply oh so three unexplained marks. He then asked us had we burnt him, we both said no, have you used any chemicals on him. By this point my husband was speechless I replied of course not. He told us that there’s three unexplained marks on him so we need to go to peads to answer questions over abuse. Abuse, yup, all because I didn’t know where a bruise and a graze had come from. We walked out behind him, asked him which way to peads, oh don’t follow me I don’t know the way and I’m off to my next patient, you can’t go alone you have to be escorted by a nurse. We felt like criminals.
When we got on to the ward it must have been close to 2am. Z was fast asleep, the doctor there took one look at his arm and said cellulitis, got a needle in his hand, got blood and started him on antibiotics.
When we asked on Sunday about the abuse allegations he told us that he wasn’t looking at abuse as it wasn’t unexplained it was cellulitis, and the graze on his arm had most likely caused the infection. I asked about the bruise he said he’s a four year old child, and as a doctor they expect children to have brusies.
The staff on the ward were brilliant, they tried him with different foods, all of which were left. They gave him his own cubical to make his stay easier. They tried him on a few antibiotics as he was just spitting them out after they wanted him to take them orally. The hospital gets a bad rep, I can see why with A&E one doctor for a Friday night to cover emergency care, a&e adults and children and all other admissions. But the ward staff were great.
Now I’m actually scared what happens when Z needs a&e again, he’s going to he sees no danger and is 100 mph all the time. Will the next doctor see abuse in his notes and will I be met with social services?
I understand doctors have jobs to do, they need to safeguard children as too many slip through the net. But I do think there’s ways to speak to parents.
I have complained and yes I do want an apology.