Admitted to Hospital

Fortunately, the Optician, who saw Abi on August 10th, 2009, was the first medical professional who listened to my concerns. “She stopped walking a long time ago. She’s been suffering from headaches and vomiting too,” I told her. “That’s unusual,” she said to me, examining Abi’s eyes with an ophthalmoscope. I thought I saw a worried look flash across her face. “I’m just going to ask our on-duty paediatrician to take a look”, she said. The paediatrician arrived shortly afterwards. She spent a few minutes examining Abi, then asked me a few questions about her recent health. “I’m going to admit Abi to the children’s hospital across the road so they can take a closer look at her,” she said to me after I recounted my daughter’s recent bout of ill-health.

A nurse took Abi into a games room to play with some toys while Sarah and I were led into a cubicle. “The Optician’s have spotted fluid on your daughter’s optical discs. That indicates raised intra-cranial pressure, which could be due to a variety of reasons,” we were told, by a doctor. He continued: “We are going to keep her in overnight for observation and then have her scanned tomorrow so we have a better idea of what’s going on.” “Is it serious,” I asked, worried. “Mr Langston, let’s wait until tomorrow’s MRI before drawing any conclusions,” the doctor said to me. “She will be well looked after, so please don’t worry,” he said, reassuringly. Then I remembered: “It’s Abi’s sisters’ birthday today. She is waiting to blow out the candles on her cake at home with her grandparents. She wants Abi to help her. Can we take Abi home to do that quickly?” I asked. The doctor looked at the nurse who was in the cubicle with us. I recognised the look of concern on their faces, but they agreed: “Please don’t be too long,” the doctor said. So we took Abi home for a couple of hours. I can still remember her trying to help Kara blow out the candles on that birthday cake. She did not have the strength to manage. The memory haunts me because now I know just how unwell she was.

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