Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A trip to the hospital

T gave us a bit of a scare last night, but worry not, he is fine now.

While happily eating his tea, his whole body suddenly went stiff, with his head back and his eyes fixed and staring at the ceiling. At first we wondered if he was falling asleep (which has happened before), and then we worried that he might have something stuck in his throat. He was breathing normally though, and his colour was good... he was just completely unresponsive.

H called for an ambulance, which came promptly, luring all the neighbours out of their homes. Before it arrived though, T gave a little cough and slowly began to come around. Carrying T, I went outside to meet the ambulance-men and there, in the parking area, he was sick. The ambulance-men's main reaction was 'Wow, he eats a lot!' and mine was 'Well done for not doing it in the house or in the ambulance'.

T continued to improve after that, but they still took us to a nearby hospital. The siren and running of red lights felt rather unnecessary! There the doctor decided it was probably a fever-induced seizure. Apparently 1 in 10 children under the age of 5 experience this type of seizure and it has no harmful after-effects. It's caused by a sudden fever; indeed, I didn't realise T had a temperature until I picked him up during the seizure. There's a 30% chance of reoccurrence but it stops as children get older. T had had a slight trembling in his arms, but none of the convulsions usually associated with seizures. And the cause of the seizure-causing fever? Doctor: 'the common cold'.

The doctor ran some tests to rule out other causes (all clear) and gave T a drip to replace fluids lost from being sick. By 10 o'clock we were all done, and H came to pick us up, while K stayed at H's parents' place. T fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep while H put him into bed, sleeping right around until morning. Today he has been playing happily; a little under the weather with his cold but eating well and generally happy.

The silver lining to all this was the reminder of how good the medical system here can be. The ambulance came quickly (they even phoned us on the way to check how T was doing) and the paramedics were calm, friendly and reassuring. The doctor and nurses at the hospital were also very good, taking the time to explain things well and checking that I understood, without being patronising or panicking that they had to deal with a foreigner... And the cost, under public health insurance, for the ambulance, various tests, treatment and prescribed cold medicine? 530 yen.


  1. Thank god he's OK. Scary stuff, that.

    And thank god for a humane insurance scheme.

  2. I'm so glad he's okay. That must have been so scary. : (

  3. What a scary experience all around. I'm so glad T is fine now. Someday he'll tell the story about riding in the ambulance, I'm sure. :-)

  4. Thanks everyone. He still has the cold, and he slept all afternoon today, but he's basically fine now. Hope you and yours are all doing well!