Well it has been one bizarre week in the Korber household. With Ella recovering from a recent bout of croup and a double ear infection, we thought that things were looking up and our little girl was on the mend. Sleepless nights were becoming (a little) more manageable, and whilst she was still sleeping in our bed most nights, we were happy that our little girl was looking healthier. That was, until Thursday rolled around when we got quite a scare…
The day panned out like this. I dropped Ella off to Mums and headed to work like I normally do. At 10am I received a phone call from Mum to tell me that Ella had broken out in welts. She thought I should come home so we could take Ella to the doctor right away. You see, my Mum is a nurse and given the fact that we were never allowed to have a day off from school, I knew that if my Mum called me to come home, then something must not be right. What I was confronted with was nothing short of scary. Ella had broken out in what looked like an anaphylactic reaction…huge blotches and swelling all over her body. Mum said that she was going to send me a photo, but I’m sure glad she didn’t. As a Primary teachers, we are trained each year in treating students who have anaphylactic reactions. This instantly reminded me of this and all I could think about was getting Ella to the hospital as soon as we could. Lucky enough, Mum lives only ten minutes from the Royal Childrens’ Hospital in Melbourne. So we rushed into to be seen within a few minutes. The clerks, nurses and doctors can only be described as amazing. Their calmness and care for both Ella, myself and my Mum was truly sensational. Lucky for us, Ella’s reaction was not life threatening, and looked a lot worse than it actually was. After a thorough screening, we were sent home with medication and advice on managing her comfort. On the way out, Ella loved looking at the huge aquarium that now adorns the walls of the newly built hospital…a god send for both sick children and their worrying parents. Ella proceeded to get better throughout the day, with the swelling subsiding by night.
The next morning was a different story. If you can imagine a boxer after a long fight, then you can almost visualise what I was confronted with when I brought Ella out of my room. Her entire face had swollen to the point where her eyes had virtually closed over. My poor little girl became unrecognisable. We instantly raced back into the hospital where we were greeted with the same care and concern, helping Ella with her symptoms and easing her pain. Things were not made easier by the fact that by this stage both myself and Ella’s Dad had both come down with Gastro, so the explanation of a virus spreading through the Korber household seemed to make sense. It was just unbelievable that Ella’s little body could react in such an extreme way. Once again however, it was great to be reassured that it was not life threatening, and after a while we were sent home to rest. We are so lucky that this is just a virus and that she will be fine.
I write this blog to share moments in our life as we grow as a family, and I am aware that this has meant that as a blogger, you tend to ‘wear your heart on your sleeve’ so to speak. I feel that there is a fine line between what you share with the world and what you keep private. Whilst I want to share this story, I have purposely not posted any photos as I think that is respectful to Ella. The doctors did ask me if we took some snaps for ‘prosperity’ to show her in the future. We did indeed do this and will share them with her in the future. I’m sure that my explanations above have been sufficient enough to give you an idea of what we encountered over the past few days.
It was certainly a scary moment in time for both Ella’s Dad and myself, but we cannot explain how eternally grateful we are that we live in a city with access to such an amazing hospital and staff who are passionate about caring for sick children. I can only imagine the things that they are confronted with day in and day out. It takes a different kind of person to deal with sick kids and their scared parents. We are so lucky to have access to quick and expert care for our kids. I wish all families in the world lived in areas where they too could benefit from equal care and support to comfort them in equally scary times.
Each year on Good Friday, Victoria holds an appeal to raise money for the Royal Childrens’ Hospital. This hospital has been recently completely rebuilt and whilst it houses an aquarium, meer kat enclosure and film theatre, we also hope that it is a place that no family actually has to visit. Let’s just say that whilst our little trip to the RCH was thankfully fleeting, this thankful Mum will be digging a little deeper to ‘give that they may grow’ next year. We are truly so lucky that we live where we do…
*The above images are taken from the Royal Childrens’ Hospital Melbourne Website.