Happy (belated) New Year.
You’ll notice we’ve not been very chatty recently. As much as we love Cahootsy we found that our real babies needed us more at the beginning of this year. An innocent cup of tea really turned our lives upside down.
We’re now back at work and it’s business as usual but felt it was important to share our story with other parents, in the hope this will help avoid a similar situation happening to someone else. Editor note: This does have a happy ending.
Just before Christmas our little girl pulled a cup of hot tea* over herself. The cup was on the kitchen counter and she just pushed her foot stool up to it and grabbed it. It was terrifying. She got badly burnt all over her body and spent a few days in hospital. She seemed to be recovering well.
* if this ever happens to you make sure you rip or cut the clothes off (don’t pull them over the head), get your child under a running shower of cool not cold water for 20 minutes and then wrap the area in cling film to keep it clean. Always call an ambulance. For official treatment check the NHS site – NHS Burns Care
We then returned to hospital on New Years Eve for a routine dressing change when she developed Toxic Shock. Most of us associate this with tampons but it can just as easily happen through infection in the tiniest open wound. Still, its pretty rare – only 40 people a year in the UK are affected.
She displayed what everyone thought was signs of a tummy bug – throwing up, high temperature, headache and disorientation followed by diarrhoea. The important signs were a temperature that wouldn’t drop with the usual pain relief, and liquid that just wasn’t getting absorbed by her system. As a parent, be confident in your own instincts and never be afraid to insist on help or second opinions if something looks amiss in your child.
Toxic shock can be managed with early detection – blood test, blood pressure check, putting a patient on a fluid drip and administering antibiotics. But with late diagnosis it can lead to organ failure or even fatality. Our baby became critical and her organs began shutting down, and, in the space of 24 hours – on New Years Day – ended up on life support with a 50% chance of survival.
She never gave up and neither did the incredible NHS paediatric intensive care unit we were in.
As you know your child is utterly amazing. Our daughter, even under sedation, managed to perform her inimitable foot stamp. An act that gave us such joyful hope and was heart breaking at the same time. After endless Frozen sing-alongs, story reading, praying and huge amounts of positive energy from everyone around her she pulled through. Miraculously.
Kids are incredibly resilient and she is now bouncing around like a relatively normal 3 year old. She’s doing remarkably well and, aside from scars that will fade over time and the relentless itching of healing skin, thankfully no lasting damage has been detected.
We have felt crushed, elated, angry, numb, dazed. Our wounds might take a little longer to heal but, as someone rightly told me, you heal once your child has healed. For anyone who’s watched their child suffer you’ll know what we’re talking about. For anyone who hasn’t we hope you never do.
If you have any questions feel free to email me personally at tarikam (at) cahootsy.com or add your comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Useful sites for further reading:
Toxic Shock Syndrome Information Service http://www.tssis.com/
NHS Burns and Scalds http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Burns-and-scalds/Pages/Introduction.aspx