When Mirella’s was about 12 months old he started to develop croup and suffered from a series of colds. He was eventually diagnosed with asthma and has experienced several episodes of flu-like illness since.
When Mirella’s son was about 12 months old he started to develop croup and suffered from a series of colds. This escalated to chest infections and wheeziness which resulted in several hospitalisations. He was eventually diagnosed with asthma.
Mirella explains that she often finds it quite difficult to tell whether her son is suffering from flu or flu-like illness or just a cold, as his breathing is often laboured by colds. She said that a key indicator for her is his temperature and that her son’s condition deteriorates quite rapidly when he has a flu-like illness. As soon as Mirella notices signs of flu or flu-like illness in her son, she will up his inhalers and monitor him closely. She describes how over the years she has developed a gut instinct’ and tries to manage symptoms at home before taking him to hospital. She explains that she has very good relationships with her GP and the hospital, which has been extremely helpful. Her long standing relationship with her GP means that he knows the children’s ill states well.
Mirella initially found the flu episodes quite upsetting and stressful but has developed a relaxed and methodical approach when Ben becomes unwell, in that she knows it gets worse before it gets better. She says that although you get used to managing flu episodes, every episode is different. She describes how the last episode had been more severe than previous ones. After a visit to the GP, she had been managing his symptoms with antibiotics and inhalers at home. She had monitored him throughout the night but had been unsure whether she should take him to hospital. In the morning, she contacted the out of hours GP who recommended she take him to hospital. He was suffering from laboured breathing, a temperature and his ribs were going in’. He was also very quiet, which was unusual for him as he is usually fairly active even when unwell. Mirella explains that they have had many stressful episodes but they have always managed. As the last episode was unusually bad Mirella is a bit more concerned about future episodes.
Mirella tries to keep life as normal as possible for her son but will keep him at home if she knows that there are illnesses going around at school or amongst friends. She has a good relationship with her son’s school, which provides her with confidence that his condition is being monitored and managed appropriately. She and her partner have found it challenging to manage their work around their son’s illness. She has had to use up her annual leave to take care of him, which has meant she has had to take unpaid leave for holidays. As Mirella’s family lived abroad, she has found the support from her friends invaluable.