Really Testing Times… (Testing the Dutch medical system)


So, if you’ve read the blog, you’ll see that we’ve had a few issues with poor old Anneke.  She’s been hit pretty hard with a cold – apparently it’s doing the rounds, but at one stage we were in emergency because she couldn’t breathe and then 2 weeks later, at the GP (3 times in 2 weeks) as Anneke had coughed so much she threw up.

Anyway, she has been given antibiotics and seems to be on the mend.  She’s finally eating again and her cough has settled down somewhat.

Our saving grace through all of this was that Elsie was perfect… Until this weekend….

She’s always made a wheezy sound every now and then, like she’s struggling to catch her breath.  Our ‘sleeping beauty’ (as she has been dubbed by our friends) became super unsettled on Monday night and it seemed that she was in a lot of pain and wouldn’t sleep for more than an hour and really struggled to catch her breath.  Dave or I felt we had to shake her or blow in her face to kick start her again.  I (and Doctor Google) diagnosed her with silent reflux

We went to the GP (we have never seen the same GP twice, it’s super frustrating).  She agreed that it wasn’t normal for her to struggle so much, and also that morning, Elsie had developed a cough. She rang the paediatrician at the hospital to discuss Elsie’s situation, the paediatrician asked us to come in at 2pm.  Long story short, they thought she might have a virus, which at this age can be quite serious.  They asked her to spend the night for observation (which they’ve since explained, they do quite readily with such little babies).

They are monitoring her heart rate, oxygen levels and respiratory levels.  They have been fine – all night. 

They tested Elsie’s blood and it all came back good – no sign of a virus! 

So, they’ve moved away from reflux but have agreed that the abdominal pain could be more of a factor than first thought.  It can cause her pain and unsettled sleep as well as explain her breathing issues.  She could be pushing against her abdominal muscles which would explain why she breathes irregularly.

So we are now just waiting to be discharged.  Whilst spending the night in the hospital is never fun – it’s been great to have the professionals see what I see.  Elsie performed all her tricks, she wheezed when she breathed (nurses explained that she was actually shallow breathing and then sucking in a big breath – hence the wheeze.  This is normal for babies as their respiratory system hasn’t developed properly).  They witnessed her in agony with her tummy – and gave some great tips (she’s now sleeping like an angel)- they also did a check to make sure it wasn’t serious.  They watched her feed, and assured me that she’s doing great.  They weighed her before and after every feed to make sure she was getting enough milk.

So, in summary – she’s fine.

It was a little traumatic to be back at the hospital and super hard to explain to Anneke why we wouldn’t be coming home with her.  I miss home a little bit.  It’d be nice to have family to hang out with Anneke, but as it stands, Bec (our amazing mate from Perth) has stepped up again and picked Anneke up from school and taken her home for lunch)

The medical system here hasn’t let us down yet.

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