Skittle is severely neutropenic. For those who aren't in the know, one's neutrophils are supposed to be above 2.5, a measure under 1 is considered severe and Skittle's most recent blood test showed his were at 0.7 so there's room for improvement shall we say. Neutrophils make up most of your white blood cells and are responsible for fighting infection. All prems are prone to a phase of neutropenia, usually whilst still pre due date and quickly grow out of it. There is a rare condition where babies are born with low neutrophils but Skittle isn't one of them. Heamotologists think his is a product of having sceptacemia but are baffled as to why his immune system is still suffering.
He also has chest recession. It's just mild. Apart from last night, when for a little while, it wasn't. He had been rather off colour the last couple of days. Feeding was a mission, cough was developing, snot was accumulating. If he wasn't prem we would have just said oh it's a cold he's fine. But he was prem and he has worryish parents. Despite being an excellent paramedic, who deals with sick children often, hubs can't think like a paramedic when it comes to Skittle.
So when Skittle was coughing so much during his bed time feed that he brought it all back up again and was gasping for breath in between, I panicked a little. His chest was sucking in and he wasn't looking himself.
So off we popped to A&E, emergency card in hand. Better to be safe than sorry I was thinking as his chest rattled in the car on the way to the hospital.
When we got there we were seen quickly by the nurse as I clutched and caressed my little man. Then we had to wait half an hour for the Dr to come down from the ward. And while we were waiting thankfully/typically Skittle cheered up a little. And then he cheered up some more. And by the time the Dr came in he was rather perky and somewhat smiley.
If it wasn't for the neutropenia I wouldn't worry so much. And seeing as he didn't have a fever I knew it would probably be fine and we would be back in our beds in no time. But it didn't stop my mind racing with NICU memories.
The Dr was brilliant. She reassured us his gasping and rasping wasn't that bad and we could go home unless the recession was worse for a prolonged period or he developed a temperature, then we must go back.
Many sorries were muttered as I apologised repeatedly to the Dr for taking up her Friday night.
So until the neutrophils go up, we will carry on staying well clear of germs, children and baby groups and buying Mr Boots out of antibacterial hand wash.
This morning - a peaky, slightly dopey looking Skittle rocking out his PJs.