“You look like you could do with a hug love”.
The words filtered down through the fog of my brain and I realised that the woman was talking to me. I smiled weakly and looked down at Kate and stroked her hair.
“Don’t worry, I have been there and my girl is 43 now. She’ll be right.” The woman looped a fluffy scarf around her neck and smiled a warm smile at me as she walked out of the doors of the Emergency Department at the hospital.
As I considered her words I realised that if she, a stranger, could tell from my face that I was so worried then what must poor Kate be thinking as she looked to me for reassurance. As I sat down on the red vinyl chairs and looked in dismay at the television screen announcing that the wait to be seen would be five hours I gave myself a stern talking to. While it was just Kate and I here then I needed to look positive and happy and calming for her. I smiled and held her hand and chatted to her. She lay, quietly watching me, with unfocused eyes. I couldn’t see the spark of light that is usually there, the mischief and inquisition and laughter. I pushed all these thoughts away and played ‘Boo’ from the side of the buggy.
The wait wasn’t that long in the end, the assessment nurse gave me some Dioralyte to give Kate from a syringe, 5mls every 10 minutes, and soon Mr C arrived quickly followed by a doctor from Pediatrics. We were told that Kate had mild dehydration and that she would be admitted to the ward. We arrived on the ward at 7pm and continued to give her a drink for the syringe every ten minutes. Within an hour she was angry at us and it was so good to see. She had been so still and so quiet I barely recognised her and that is what scared me half to death. To see her sitting up and yelling at us was a fantastic thing.
She lay in the cot, and every time I stood up and reached for the syringe she would spit her dummy out in preparation and start making urgent little noises. Give it to me now, now, now, now. My clever little girl.
By 11pm it was decided that we could go home and eventually we found our way out of the hospital and got home in the early hours of the morning. Not much sleep was had by any of us but it was good to be home.
Today we gave her small amounts of milk all day and she started to crawl and then pull herself up. She started getting into everything and for once I was happy not completely frustrated. She smiled and laughed and pooped all we rejoiced in each and every little thing because minute by minute our little girl reappeared before my eyes.
Today is a good day.