The Nation's Health + Parenting 101

Fitting In Shopping

It's a fear every parent has to deal with. You child becomes sick. I don't mean vomiting, I mean big sick. Or,they may not actually be 'big sick' but you think they are! And that isn't a criticism! I was the same, if my boy farted and it didn't sound right, I panicked. He he stayed asleep I'd poke him until he cried just in case! It's what we do, we want to do everything we can to make sure they are OK and nothing will get in the way of that! NOTHING! It would be a very brave person to try and get in the way of a manic parent! Unfortunately, not all parents seem that caring. Some, quite simply don't give a dam, or so it seems. Some's priorities are so warped its hard to see what part of them is a parent. If someone in the medical profession told me my boy needed hospital that second I would move heaven and earth to get him there, that second. To me, there is nothing more important than my child's health and happiness.

"1 year old male, having seizure, in pharmacist"

This job had all the makings of a simple job. Generally a 'seizure' In a 1 year old is a febrile convulsion, normally caused my a high temperature. They are very common in under 5s and most parents end up seeing them at some point. They can be very scary to watch if you've never seen one before and it's no wonder most parents we see are running round like headless chicken when we arrive on scene, beside themselves with angst! This is what we expected anyway, but I should know by now that in this job, always expect the unexpected.

We pulled up outside, grabbed our stuff and headed into the pharmacist. One of the pharmacists gave me an excellent handover while taking me throughout to their treatment room. Apparently the kid had started having the seizure so the mum put the boy on the floor and 'wondered over to the counter and asked for something to stop the shaking'. The pharmacist picked up the child and took her into the treatment room whilst a colleague phoned for us. Lying on the bed, still fitting was this little boy. Holding his hand was one of the pharmacists who quite rightly looked very concerned. Sitting on a chair, texting, was the mother. How caring!

The boy had been fitting now for 12-14 minutes which got alarm bells ringing in my head! We gave him oxygen and administered diazepam to try and stop the seizure. To all our relief, within a few minutes he stopped. He laid the panting away, it's horrible to see. His mum, still texting had nothing to say and seemed totally un-moved by the whole event.

"Right, we need to get him to hospital, do you want to carry him or shall I?!"

"Does he have to go to hospital? He's better now."

*pause whilst my bottom jaw drops and hits the floor with a thud*

"YES! He's not very well at all."

"Alright, can you carry him, I've got stuff to carry, I'll be there in a sec."

With my jaw dragging along the floor, I carried the boy to ambulance. H was still limp. I laid him onto the bed, reattached the oxygen to the vehicle supply and connected him up to the monitoring. The mother hadn't followed us and was still in the pharmacist. I left the boy with my crewmate whilst I marched back to the shop. What was she doing? Some shopping!

"What are you doing? We need to go now!" I exclaimed.

"Alright, keep your hair on, there's just a few bits I need to get?"

"That can wait, we need to go now!"

She ignored me and wondered over to the till.

"Did you hear me? We need to go now. You son is not very well at all."

Seeing my concern and anger the pharmacist told the mother to just take the stuff and go the ambulance, which she did. I was speechless. As we got back to the ambulance the boy started fitting again.

"Right, lets just go, I'll put the call in on route"

Off we went. Me standing, boy fitting, mum texting.

"Red base, blue call when you're ready for details."

"Go ahead."

"We have a 1 year old male in status epilepticus, 1 seizure lasting 14 minutes and currently having a second seizure. Pulse of 168, resp rate of 48, oxygen saturation of 100%, temperature of 40.9 C, GCS 3 (unconscious), patients on full flow oxygen and has had 5mg of diazepam PR (up the bum), ETA 4-5 minutes"

"Rog, passing it for you now."

By the time that was done we were already hurtling up the road towards the hospital. With one hand I was holding onto the ceiling bar, the other making sure the boy stayed on the bed. The mum was still full of apathy and my jaw was still on the floor. As we pulled into the hospital, boy still fitting, she spoke....

"How long do you reckon we will have to wait before we can go home?"

"A LONG TIME. Your son is still fitting, he is not well at all, as I keep saying, it isn't a case of waiting for 2 hours then going home."

"I was only asking."

The tail lift opened and we wheeled the bed out and rushed into resus. The team were waiting for us and in a change from the norm, I started my handover the second I was in earshot of them. They knew from the call the seriousness of the situation in a child so young. Perhaps one of them will be able to drag the mother away from her phone to explain that.

I really was speechless. What is there to say? Never have I seen such apathy and disregard for a child from their mother. This poor little boy could well be fighting for his life and shopping came first. I'm often critical of various people's attitudes in society for a variety of reasons. I'm often judgmental and question the morality of what a lot of people do, but never have I seen someone so unfit to have the privilege of being a parent. And it is a privilege. I will live my life judging myself by the way my son is brought up and how I acted as a parent. How people like that are allowed to keep their children I will never know. It truly breaks my heart thinking about it.

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