Monday, June 01, 2009

Exam Fever

Just a quickie I'm afraid as I am off work today with my youngest boy who is poorly - a high temperature all weekend culminating in nearly 40 degrees last night and a huge hot rash on his hip and leg which didn't blanch beneath a glass. This was far too alarming for Karen and I to even dream of sleeping comfortably last night and we rang the NHS Helpline number and spoke to a very nice nurse who asked us lots of pertinent questions which - much to our relief - ruled out meningitis.

It seems a ridiculous conclusion to have jumped to now but parenthood and panic seem to go hand-in-hand surprisingly often.

Good old Calpol did the trick and brought his temperature down to a more acceptable 38.5 - but still too high. The nurse advised us to get him to the doctor today so I have stayed home to see that all can be done.

He at last seems better now and is asleep in bed having finally eaten properly for the first time in over 24 hours. His temperature has at last dropped back to normal. The medical conclusion is that he'd picked up some sort of virus.

Well, isn't this always the case?

I'm just glad it wasn't the M word nor swine flu which apparently (according the NHS Helpline recorded message) has now hit the East Midlands with a vengeance.

So. This post was originally going to be about the exam I sat on Saturday - the final one for my degree course - and was going to be full of erudite wit and breath-taking insight. Alas, I am not up for such games at the moment. I feel drained.

Suffice it to say I survived and answered the questions to the best of my ability. Hopefully the waffle versus fact ratio was canted in favour of me getting a pass at the very least. I should get the results end of June - and then, all being well, I will finally graduate on July 17th.

Hard to believe that after 10 years+ my part-time degree is finally over.

It's a huge relief but pales into insignificance compared to the relief I feel to see my son sleeping peacefully and contentedly in his cot...


French Fancy... said...

My commiserations on the worry and angst you have had - for the little one's illness and for the final exam. I did think of you on Saturday - and I know you are going to do just fine.

Bon courage with Stuff

Anonymous said...

I think all of us with children have been through that meningitis panic - I know I have (several times). And yes, it seems daft the next day but at night faced with soaring temps and red patches you always imagine the worst. Hope he continues to improve.

And well done re the exam. When you posted your tweet on Saturday I did not realise the significance - that it was the last thing in your degree course. Wow. Congratulations. I will expect a photo of you in your gown to appear in due course.

It's good to be back to reading your blog. I missed it rather a lot.

Oh and Steve - you always leave some of the nicest (and often funniest) comments and the replies you leave on here are always fab.

I have missed you!

Steve said...

FF: thank you kindly!

Gina: aw shucks! Thank you - it's so nice to see you back. Will have photos from the ceremony up in due course...!

The Joined up Cook said...

The last two lines of your post sum it all up don't they.

You also did the right thing in contacting the Helpline; no it wasn't a ridiculous conclusion to make. A child with a fever is worrying and you are no medical expert - at least I don't think you are.

Ignore the hindsight Steve.

And good luck with the exam.

You say you are not up to your normal erudite wit.

I beg to differ.

I'm still thinking of you with your invisible helpers.

Steve said...

Thanks AWB: I could use my 3 invisible helpers at home today if they're around!

Suburbia said...

Gosh I just panic so badly when they're poorly like that. Not outwardly of course but inside I am full of dread and always think the worst. Good old NHS Direct, what would we do without them?!
So glad he's getting a bit better. Thank goodness he wasn't ill wasn't the day/night before your final exam, with not much sleep, that wouldn't have been a good start. Good luck with the result, by the way :)

Steve said...

Surburbia: thanks to you too. Unfortunately Tom's temp has gone back up again - only to 38 but enough to make him grisly. He's still not right. :-(

MommyHeadache said...

Congrats on finishing your degree! Treat yourself to a bottle of champers to celebrate screw the expense!

Steve said...

Emma: that's not a bad idea - though there's a bottle of whisky in the cupboard with my name on it... a wee dram may do until I get hold of a decent magnum...

KeyReed said...

This page confirms that you did the right thing. What I want is a test for swine flu since Eton has closed for a week and we have pupils with brothers who go there AND they live in the 'house' in which the case was discovered! Oink Oink!

Old Cheeser said...

Hey well done finishing your exam - I forgot with degrees that the results tend to come through very quickly. Wishing you the best of luck with your results, but with your obvious gift for writing, extended vocabulary and incisive, analytical style, I rather suspect you will gain a First Class Honours, or something very close, Steve! Yep look forward to seeing you in your mortarboard and gown...and of course English degrees are the best.

Oddly enough some of my students have been doing their A levels and GCSEs recently too, so I can appreciate the whole exam stress thing! But at least you can kick back and relax now - treat yourself to something - you deserve it! Do you want to light up another cigarette whilst I pour the wine?

Owen said...

Hey Steve,
It may have been the Zombie Headless Chickens you mentioned getting their revenge with... Chicken Pox ???

In how many ways do we become fragile when we become parents ??? Let my count the ways...

Won't even go into the story about my 14 year old coming down with acute ruptured gangrenous appendicitis while on a school sponsored trip to Manchester last year...

PS although I didn't tag you (figure you're busy enough these days), I did mention Bloggertropolis in the latest post on being tagged. And I have complete faith that your exam results will be better than you think !

Anonymous said...

Congrats on finishing your last exam, and glad to hear your young son is getting better.
When my second daughter was 4 weeks old she contracted menigitis.
She reovered thankfully without any of the many many possible nasty outcomes. It was, however, horrific to go through with her, and being so small we had no frame of reference for her recovery.
I think a certain amount of panic about menigitis is healthy, you just can't mess with it. The doc at the time told us it presents like a cold, so is easy to miss in it's initial stages,so I leap to a menigitis scenario very quickly even now.Now that they are old enough, it's easy to whip them up on the table and do the home check. Better to panic, go gray, get an ulcer and be wrong I think.
You have a lot to celebrate, get that Champers!!

The Sagittarian said...

Apparently you stop panicking about your kids when you get senile enough to forget you ahd them in the first place!

Steve said...

Tenon_Saw: I must admit we were a bit alarmed at the thought of having to potentially take him to the hospital on Sunday night given that the place was full of people fearing they had swine flu!

OC: your faith in my is lovely but I suspect given my averages I shall come out with a decent enough 2:1. I will be very satisfied with that so am hoping I haven't thrown it all away by handing in a dud exam paper! As for the wine - go ahead and let's finish the bottle... as for the ciggie, afriad I don't smoke old boy, but you go ahead if you fancy a toke!

Owen: "ruptured gangrenous appendicitis" - oh my God. That sounds absolutely horrific! Tom's little virus seems suddenly like nothing at all. Thank you for the non official tag invitation - I shall take a look-see.

Missbehaving: you're thinking is inline with ours - better to be safe than sorry, even if, as you say, being safe means an ulcerated stomach!

Amanda: what kids? Who are you? Where am I?

Tim Atkinson said...

Good to know you got some sense out of NHS Direct. Hope Tom is feeling better - and fingers crossed for the finals results!

Steve said...

Dotterel: I must admit we've always found the NHS Helpline very useful - rather alarmed to hear plans to discontinue it!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of your little one taken ill.
A fever is nothing to take lightly, that is for sure.

Hoping your exam results come out smashing. Good job for hanging in there!

And of's Tuesday...

I'm in my office I'm just now yelling:


Steve said...

Sweet Cheeks: as ever your good wishes and your expletives are much appreciated! ;-)

Nota Bene said...

10/10 on the exam.

Calpol a true wonderdrug...if onlt there was an adult version...

Steve said...

Nota Bene: there is - it's called whiskey...! ;-)

KAZ said...

It beats me how anyone actually copes with parenting.

Steve said...

Kaz: I'm not sure cope is the right word. Survive seems far more apt.

skatey katie said...

i have the pom poms out.
(the ones ya wave and dance with)
WELL DONE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
seruously bowing and chanting in your direction.
i will BE you in six months time.
am absolutely ecstatic - just got an essay back tonight - got an A - so there is a scholarly cell in my brain after all.
i am down to one assignment to to til mid year HOLIDAZE!!!!!!!!!!
oh yes.
can NOT wait.
am wanting an A in this paper so might be needing sleep in a week X

skatey katie said...

oh, and what relucs said X

Steve said...

Kate: I'm chuffed to have my very own cheerleader - thank you! I shall return the favour when your graduation day comes round... but doubt I shall look as glamourous! ;-)

Old Cheeser said...

Nothing wrong with a 2:1 - tis what I once got! And I rate it as one of my finest achievements. I'm sure you'll do similarly well, if not better.

Erm, you clearly didn't pick up on my Beverley Craven lyrical reference there did you? Ha ha!!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully he is doing better !! My afternoon surgery today was full of little ones..even 7 week olds...very busy.

Wishing Ben a speedy recovery ! And good luck for the exam :)


Steve said...

OC: I'll certainly be very happy to get a 2:1... and reading back over your last comment the Craven reference suddenly leaps at me! Can't believe I missed it. Doh!

Janete: thanks for your good wishes - though it was Tom who was ill, not Ben! ;-)