Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mad Dash

So a lot has happened over the past year. Not least of which has involved Eva.

A month and 5 days after my last post (Christmas Day), Eva was admitted to intensive care with pneumococcal meningitis.
Not two weeks beforehand I remember reading the pneumococcal meningitis information on the bottom of the immunisation card on my fridge while I waited for something to heat in the microwave and thinking" We'll I'll never have to worry about that, they've had all there immunisations" How uninformed was I?

The pneumococcal immunisation only immunises them for 9 of the 70 different types. Eva had a particularly 'mutant strand'. Resistant to most antibiotics. She was reported to infection control. I was told they will start working on an immunisation for that strand as it was so damaging. Over the course of her treatment she was given 7 different antibiotics to try and combat it. In the end we found 3, that combined, killed it off.

Considering how sick she was, she made a remarkable and quick recovery and has surprised all the specialists. Being told that she was less than 24 hours away from death when admitted, and that if we had boarded the Spirit of Tasmania that night like planned she would not have survived, is a devastating blow as a parent.

She doesn't seem to have to many lasting effects from it. While in hospital she had 4 IV lines put in as well as a pick line put in her neck under general anesthetic. She had numerous drugs, and continual obs taken. So needless to say she is now very clingy little girl. Particularly around new faces. There also maybe mild hearing loss, but we are going back for further testing in April. She'll have developmental checks for years to come but so far they are really impressed with where she is.

The doctors told me I must have caught the infection early. That it was my fast action that helped her bounce back so quickly. I don't believe them. She had a temperature for 2 days before waking up Christmas morning lethargic, limp and refusing to eat. I should have taken her sooner. I just put it down to teething. I am trying to deal with that guilt.

I put her speedy recover down to the fast thinking actions of the emergency ped Dr at the Austin Hospital (we were later transferred by ambulance to the Children's later). As soon as he saw her he put an IV line in and pumped antibiotics into her. He did a lumbar puncture (which she didn't even flinch for) and did numeral other tests to rule everything else out. Also maybe being able to breastfeed her once she was stable in intensive care helped to comfort her and help her get her strength back.

It's a lot to reflect on. She was in hospital for only a week, and continued her treatment at home through the pick line for another week after that. But it seems like she went through so much in that time, so many ordeals and uncertainties that it feels like years. I just don't know how to work through my feelings. Time maybe?

I also wander how I can make other people aware of the lack of coverage of the pneumococcal immunisation. I picked up pamphlets from the Children's regarding the immunisations and not once does it mention that your child is still open to infection. I don't know. Maybe I'm just dense. But it certainly took me by surprise.

She's bounced back. I think the whole experience will always be foremost in my mind.

1 comment:

cjtato said...

I had no idea it didn't cover them for the majority either. So glad the outcome was so positive. Good on you for knowing so quickly something was wrong.