Friday, 26 October 2012

Oddness ...

Adam's been more active and alert again today so far. Jessica has an inset day, so she went in earlier and played the PS3 with him. He's eating bits still, nothing like normal portions, but it's bound to take time to build back up. His temperatures remain problematic. And also odd.

If I say they've been more elevated than the past couple of days you'd rightly think that was not a good sign. However, we've transferred to the Royal Marsden where they use tympanic (ear) thermometers. At Epsom they use (equally expensive) axillary (underarm) thermometers. Our own cheap-and-cheerful underarm digital thermometer, and tempadots that we've also used reliably in the past, have correlated fairly well with the temperatures recorded by the nurses at Epsom. We've picked up 39° and above, both before Adam was first admitted to hospital, and since. Now, however, we are seeing large differences between the 'official' temperatures and those we are recording ourselves. Yesterday, the nurses registered 39.9° and 39.3°. Adam was asymptomatic, wasn't burning up, feeling cold, shivering, or otherwise displaying any visual signs of fever. Our own thermometer gave a reading of 38.3°.

This afternoon after an official reading of 38.8° we got our own reading of 37.8°. Adam's pulse, which correlates very well with his temperature was 110, elevated but not to the extent we have seen previously. This morning we did an experiment. Tympanic 38.2°, underarm digital thermometer 36.6°, underarm tempadot 36.9°, and under-the-tongue tempadot 37.4°. We know from experience that the tempadot has a difference of around 0.5° depending where it's used. I tried the tympanic thermometer on myself; 36.9° in one ear, and 37.0° in the other! Nobody is suggesting that the tympanic thermometers are inaccurate, but as Adam's temperature rises there appears to be a bigger and bigger divergence between readings on different thermometers. Which means one cannot meaningfully make any comparison between the temperatures Adam is getting now, and those he was getting whilst he was in Epsom Hospital.

Adam is still having fevers, that much is true. It's just that we're no longer sure how high they are now … or alternatively how high they were before.

In other news the nurses gave Adam IV paracetamol in the night without Alison being aware, resulting in Adam having a hot flush and needing a fan on to cool him down. That won't be happening again, it's better he's left alone if he's sleeping peacefully regardless of the temperature. And this afternoon, despite us explaining everything yesterday, the nurse pushed his double-dose antibiotic instead of infusing it over half-an-hour. Adam duly responded by sneezing a few times and getting a constricted throat for the best part of the next hour. Alison was outside the room at the time discussing things with the doctor, and only became alerted to what was going on when she heard Adam sneezing. Honestly, you need eyes in the back of your head. It shouldn't have happened, but all of us who have been through this experience know these things do happen. And not just in the UK; there was one guy in Greifswald who used to come round and simply turn off any machine that was beeping … if you weren't on your guard your child's continuous hydration would suddenly come to an abrupt halt!

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