Not a normal Thursday evening 

I can’t sleep. 

Sharing a narrow single bed with a toddler is never easy. It’s even harder when there’s a machine next to the bed that beeps every time your toddler struggles to breathe. Which is quite a lot. 

There’s also another parent behind the curtain opposite ours that is snoring loudly. I am both jealous of their ability to sleep and cross because I’d have a better chance if they shut the hell up. 

Iris is asleep. Sort of. She’s coughing and wheezing and struggling for breath, but she’s so tired that it can’t keep her awake. 

The ‘cold’ Iris developed on Tuesday evening isn’t actually a cold. It’s some sort of respitory infection. 

She’s been lying on the sofa for two whole days watching various films and getting herself into a state every time there’s a sad bit. I’ve been trying to convince her that the mammoth in Ice Age 4 does find her daddy mammoth in the end, and Elsa and Anna make up and nobody melts, Woody and Buzz become friends, and they definitely do find Nemo. She doesn’t believe me until she sees it for herself. 

Usually I can’t get her to stay still long enough to watch a whole episode of Octonauts, let alone a film. 

Her high temperature stopped dipping after Calpol, and as the second day of her bug went on she just got worse. She didn’t eat a thing all day and barely drank either. She had two long naps and then asked to go to bed at 6:30. With an empty belly. 

She wasn’t right. 

Then her breathing got faster, and shallower, and it was clear she was struggling to breathe. But I couldn’t wake her. She was too sleepy. 

Time to make the call. 

We came to hospital in an ambulance. Had Iris not been so sleepy she’d have loved that. She loves an ambulance. When they go by with lights flashing she cheers and I feel guilty about her finding joy in somebody else’s misery. 

A chest X-ray thankfully revealed that the doctor was wrong about pneumonia. Phew. 

But she was still struggling, and was still pretty lifeless. So off we went to a ward. 

After a nebuliser, she perked up a bit and even asked for food. She wolfed down half a sandwich and some crisps before her monitors started beeping again. After another nebuliser she’s now on oxygen for the night. 

It’s so weird seeing tubes taped to her face. She’s such a healthy, energetic girl. She’s never ill, and even when she is it never holds her back. 

I can’t sleep. 

Every now and then she wakes up slightly and tries to pull the tubes from her nose. Every hour all night long she’ll need a nebuliser. 

We could go home tomorrow morning or we could be here for days. Nobody can tell. 

It’s not meningitis or pneumonia or any number of other scary things. It’s just a chest infection, probably. But oh my goodness I was so scared there for a bit. 

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