Saturday, 31 May 2014

We are well

I am pleased to say I'm back and my son has fully recovered from meningococcal bacteremia.

He had the initial flu like symptoms that I treated like any mother with whiny sons - gave him some panadol  and sent to bed. After a rocky night where he was obviously sick (he had headache which was quite severe- Clue number 1)  and a bit delirious he seemed to settle down and by all appearances sleeping... When I finally decided that he should have a drink and went to rouse him he lifted his head but had no real cognition and pupils were dilated. This alone was enough to cause me to be alarmed and advised my husband we needed to get him to hospital.

I initially thought we might be able to get him there ourselves but trying to get a 6"4 boy dressed  and his general state propelled us to call for an ambulance. Whilst they came I further noted a rash (Alarm bells!!) on his inner wrist which we notified the ambulance crew about...they were pretty quick to suspect meningococcal and called for backup from a senior and were able to administer antibiotics prior to transport to hospital.
Their quick thinking probably saved my sons life and at the minimum his limbs.

It didn't take long for the rash to become more pronounced and just goes to show progression of the illness can be very quick once it has taken hold.( the ambulance crew marked the rash with texta and within minutes it had progressed beyond the drawn line)  usually those that die from meningococcal are those that do not have family or friends looking out for them. If in doubt call for an ambulance..better to be told there is nothing to worry about than loose a limb or life.

We are very fortunate to live near a major hospital and the crew notified them on their soon to be patient. He spent a matter of five minutes in emerg before being whisked away to intensive care. Luckily he responded well to antibiotics and damage has been kept to a minimum. Even so, it is hard to watch your ventilated son and know that you won't know the effects/ damage of the illness until he is extubated. I was so scared he would relapse and that the course of antibiotics wasn't enough to keep the bacteria at bay. And may I say it is exhausting to spend all that time worrying- harder than going to work!

I am so thankful that we have such excellent health services in Australia and I pray that our government does not erode away at its core and essentially destroy a life saving service (budget cuts can cost lives). So a blanket thank you to all those whom participate in health care services and know that each day a family will find your efforts invaluable. Remember to treat the family as well as the patient, a hello and an identifier (who you are) can mean a lot to a worried family.

A big thankyou to all my lovely friends whom showed their concern and took the time to care.

Good health to all . xx


  1. Oh my goodness, Monique. What a terrible thing to live through.....I cannot imagine the worry and stress that you have been under...and seeing your son so sick and attached to all that medical equipment, worrying what might happen. Thank goodness as a nurse, you had the training and nous to act quickly. And thank heavens for the wonderful ambos and all the medical staff. As you say, let us pray that the government does not cut funding for health services......though from what I hear (my daughter is a nurse as well) government expenditure on health is not looking good.So, so happy for you all that your son is on the road back to health!!

  2. What a dreadful and critically dangerous time for your son and you as a family. As a nurse it was probably an even more dreadful time as having nursed patients with this you know exactly how badly it can go. It must have been horrible and exhausting operating on so many levels mother, trained healthcare professional, family support and being made vulnerable by the lack of control in a situation that relied on others. My heart goes out to you and I am so relieved that your son was too big to be taken in by car as the prompt antibiotics were most likely limb and life-saving and to the professionals who got him through this. God bless you all.

  3. How awful to see your child suffer, hopefully allis well and he will never have that again. It sounds like you were quick and speedy by your story. Emergency personnel amaze me by their knowledge and their tender care :)

  4. Hi Monique,
    seems like a awfull thing to happen.
    I am so happy it all ended well.

    Go and spoil your child, do something really really wonderful, something you both will remeber all your life long,
    Take good care of your son!
    (and also try to find the time to relax yourself, you did very well!)

    I am going to put you in my list of blogs (so I'll notice sooner when you put in a new post)



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