It’s been interesting reading the reactions from some of our readers from our first night of No Sirens and No Rush. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to those who gave us their thoughts, words and care. Unfortunately, we have had to leave out two of the more feisty comments as they do not meet our family friendly posting standards but they did ring to a tune of how incompetent Moose and I are as parents. However, I think this new post will shed greater light on the Norwegian medical system and, in fact, the Norwegian character but will also prove the importance of letting go of your expectations and accepting what you have.
Sunday night was a deja vu for us. Lilu’s temperature was unstable the whole evening. We were on the phone to the hospital every hour to give updates and get advice. Cool baths, cold drinks, windows open (with a minus temperature outside). Eventually Lilu had another seizure. The ambulance came and we went off to the hospital again. Even though nearly the exact same thing happened as the night before everything was better. The one thing that was different this time was knowledge.
The night before, we had learnt so much from the paramedics, the medical staff and the doctor. We got to ask all the questions we wanted and then some. We learnt that this kind of fever is very common in children and that it is not unusual for them to seizure. In fact, seizures is the bodies way to protect itself. Even though the child can stop breathing the body will soon relax and breathe again. This is very traumatic for parents and the child but isn’t considered that serious in medical terms.
We learnt how important it is for the parents to stay calm. In fact, the child reacts to the parents energy. If a parent goes into hysterics, yells at the paramedics and is aggressive to medical staff, the child feels it and it can make the child have more seizures. This is also one of the reasons why we were sent home rather than Lilu having to stay in the hospital to be ‘observed’. At home Lilu could be calm in a safe, familiar environment with her parents. Staying in unfamiliar places such as a sterile hospital can add stress to a child.
We learnt that outside in the snow is one of the best ways to cool a feverish child without having to unclothe them and get them wet. We learnt that a childs temperature peaks between midnight and 1am and so this is the time we should prepare for prevention. We learnt that these seizures aren’t as bad as we thought and that you can stop them simply by walking outside. And most importantly we learnt that we are a positive power in the care and treatment of our child. You don’t just hand over your children to medical people and say ‘fix them’ here in Norway, instead, doctors and nurses work with you by informing you, giving you the power to take preventative measures.
So equipped with this knowledge we took all the preventative measure we could. We spent the whole night taking special care of Lilu. Unfortunately, after battling with see-saw temps of 38-40oC, Lilu had another seizure. She was in my arms at the time while we were together on the sofa. The first thing we knew to do was make her cool. I made my way outside into the snow with my little girl in my arms. The cool air calmed her immediately and Lilu came back to me. There we both were, in our underwear, in the middle of the street. (As the doctor said that there was a 95% chance Lilu will never seizure again – and we had done so well in keeping her temps down, I didn’t expect that I would need to dress up for a dash outside.)
After calling the ambulance, Moose met us outside and gave me shoes (my toes were nearly going to fall off) and some clothes. When the paramedics came we went inside and discussed the situation and check Lilu. They gave some pointers on how we can keep the house cooler before we all piled into the ambulance. No sirens and no rush – this time I was very calm and got to hold Lilu the whole way. The doctor checked over Lilu. We stayed there for an hour just to monitor before going home. The doctor’s still didn’t know what was causing the fever but they instructed us to see our family GP to order some tests.
The doctors where right – the experience is very traumatic for parents and children going through this for the first time – but with proper information and education parents can do amazing things for the health and care of their children.
On the Monday we saw our GP who did the same tests as the Hospital GPs – nothing could be found. In the back of my head I kept thinking “But in Australia they would keep Lilu in hospital and run tests until they found something!” But we went home and Lilu’s fever went away.
Today, (two days later), Lilu had a rash over her stomach and back. Not really knowing what it was, fearing it could be contagious (I’m two months pregnant) and since it was after 3pm (General GP clinics close at 3pm week days) we were down at the hospital clinic again. The sign in nurse greeted us and she knew Lilu straight away. She was the nurse supporting us over the phone when Lilu had high temperatures. We showed her Lilu’s rash and she smiled. She held up a pamphlet and translated it for me in English – a three day fever. A child’s fever that lasts three days where seizures are common. Two to three days later a rash will appear on the stomach and back, spreading to the arms and neck. It is a viral herpes that is so common they call it “number 6”. It is amazing how just a little piece of information can release all your anxiety and fear.
Walking back to the car Moose turned to me and smirked: ‘Now I know what to say when all the boys want to date Lilu: no funny business, she’s had herpes!’