Finding out your 3 year old girl doesn’t have leukemia

It all started with a rash. Most trips to the doctors often begin this way and Tuesdays trip after hours was no different. Thanks to a great course I went on, I was happy it wasn’t meningitis and actually had to reassure the GP when he started making sure the spots blanched properly.

Fifi has had an on and off rash for a little over a month now. At one point we thought it was the return of chicken pox, just in time for Dangers Christening but it had more or less vanished the next morning. We sort of assumed it was an allergy of some kind and have stopped using bubble bath and soaps on the wee lass.

The GP did a lot of examination and seemed a bit more concerned than he should have been; he put us out back into the waiting room and called the local paediatric A&E for a very long telephone call. Initially we were to go straight there (at half seven in the evening) but after talking to them, they said they would fit us in as an emergency in a paediatric clinic either on Wednesday or Thursday. The GP faxed his referral letter over, gave us a copy and sent us home to bed.

at the doctors. with a rash

The referral letter mentioned Henoch–Schönlein, which looked nasty but also Lymphoproliferative disorders which scared the hell out of us because that includes several forms of leukaemia common in children. The letter said the consultant on the phone said both were unlikely as Fifi was well in herself but did go on to say that the GP had seen Lymphoproliferative disorders manifest in this way before and wanted to be safe rather than sorry.

That lead to a very poor nights sleep. Fifi is such a bright and happy kid that I realised if any of the children were to get ill, we’d need her energy and optimism to get through it. Leukaemia to me conjures up images of pale sad kids with no hair almost living in hospital, which is the complete antithesis of Fifi. Suffice to say, it was one of the worst nights of our life.

The next morning I had a missed call from the doctors surgery whilst having my picture taken for #Movember. When I called back I was told the hospital would call for an emergency appointment over the next two days and I should carry my phone with me everywhere. “how can a phone call from a paediatrician be “urgent” if it is going to happen at some point over the next two days?” I tweeted.

Obviously the god of awkward mobile phone conversations was listening though because as soon as I got comfy on the toilet, the phone rang and it was the hospital. Thankfully nobody else was in the gents and business was done, metaphorically and actually. We were added as an overbooking on an already overbooked clinic. The unspoken subtext was you may be here for some considerable time.

I took the afternoon off work to take Fifi to the hospital paediatric clinic and I have to say the car trip was so so hard. Being cheerful with a happy 3 year old in the car that your GP suspects of having some horrendous illness isn’t easy at all. It must have been traumatic because I didn’t even get the hump at the car parking costs, which even the hospital staff tell you to avoid by parking somewhere else.

We only had an hour or so to wait though until we saw a lovely consultant. She immediately said it was most likely to be an allergy and she was a little baffled why the GP thought it might be something much more serious. After a bit of prodding and examining, she proclaimed it likely to be an allergy and said she would arrange another appointment in a couple of months to see if the rashes were still happening and refer Fifi to an allergy clinic.

The relief has made me feel light-headed.

Our GP did what he thought best and I thank him for it. I’d rather go through the mill on something like that to be sure than to have one of our children terribly ill without us knowing. Thank God Fifi is okay though!