I’m becoming a little obsessed with checking everyone’s temperature
Well, not everyone, I’m not walking down the street armed with a thermometer checking how hot or cold people are.
I check the kids at the first sign of them being under the weather and I get Mr C to check his temperature. Everyday.
There’s a window you see, for Chris. Normal temperature is anything between 36 and 37.6.
Anything over or below can be a sign of something nasty so if it goes over or under he is supposed to ring the 24 hour helpline at Christies.
It’s in case an infection is starting, either in his central line or just because he’s picked something up. It can be very serious.
They made that really clear.
As he was signing his consent form for the chemo to start and they went through all of the side affects, tiredness, nausea, loss of hair, mouth ulcers, death.
Death due to chemotherapy is usually because of an infection.
I remember the specialist nurse stressing how important it was to ring the helpline if there was a change in temperature.
To ring if he started feeling like he was coming down with, say a cold.
Because he wouldn’t be able to fight it off.
Even if he thought it could.
His body would be unable to. It wouldn’t work like it normally would.
A common cold if not dealt with quickly could lead to a stay in intensive care!
So I nag him about taking his temperature.
We had a good weekend, Lily had got a bit of a cold but nothing too serious. By the end of Monday Chris wasn’t feeling great and a cough had been getting progressively worse all day. Once Sam was in bed (Lily was having a sleep over at my mum and dads) and we were settled I made him take his temperature.
I’m still not sure how I keep managing to control the fast rising panic.
He’d not long taken some paracetamol so we decided to leave it half and hour and if it hadn’t gone down he should ring the helpline.
It didn’t go down.
By 10pm on Bank Holiday Monday I’d driven Chris to Christies, (plucking Sam from his cot and dropping him off with my mum and dad on the way) he was having his bloods done, his lines flushed, his obs done and hooked up to an IV antibiotic drip.
The doctor came when the bloods were back, there was a little wait with it being the middle of the night on a Bank Holiday and more than one emergency admission to assess, treat and keep alive.
I was home for 2:30am to an empty house.
By morning his temperature was under control, luckily anything nasty was caught really early and didn’t have chance to develop. He was allowed to come home as he’d (I’d) been sensible with his temperature, with an armful of antibiotics.
On good weeks I sometimes forget.
Then something like this happens and our new reality hits me all over again.
I know how quickly it could have become much worse.
Now we’re going to try to get everyone better so we can enjoy a few good days of the Easter holidays.
And try to worry less about everyones temperature.
For a little while at least.