Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Moving On

As the Bard wrote:

Things without remedy, should be without regard; what is done, is done.

'Letting sleeping dogs lie', 'Not crying over spilt milk' and other such metaphors seem to be a recurrent theme at the moment. Nik and I have had a host of experiences and emotions that we've been encouraged to bundle up, stow away and move on from over the past few months. We are even inclined to gently present such suggestions to each other at times of stress. The stock response, spoken out loud or otherwise, is 'I know, I know but...'.

The biggie, of course, is Tom's meningitis and, more specifically, the two days he was ill prior to us getting him to A & E. That short time period, which Nik and I can recall with unwanted clarity, is ripe for dissection and initiates sessions of self-flagellation and tear-sodden recollection. We just weren't aware enough. The early symptoms of meningitis are so much like a host of other, less serious infections; most of which lie in the 'Doctor thinks I'm an over-protective parent' zone. The more commonly known rashes, stiff neck and aversion to light don't always appear in babies and young children and, if they do, may appear later in the illness when the prognosis is so much worse.

Parents, for your families sake, commit the symptoms to memory , trust your instincts and don't allow your fears to be played down by anyone.

Better still, take advantage of the (British) Government's belated inclusion of the pneumococcal vaccine in the new children's vaccination schedule from the 4th September. This vaccine has been available for six years in the USA and organisations such as the Meningitis Trust have been lobbying for its introduction here for some time. Why so long? Presumably the equation of number of deaths and permanent disabilities versus cost finally tipped the right way. Only now do 500 cases of pneumococcal infection and 50 deaths a year in the under two's cut it.

Just be thankful it doesn't depend on where you live too.

See, I told you I was moving on.


IvanC said...

You've convinced me. I've been thinking about getting my daughter vaccinated for meningitis but now I'm convinced I should do it.

Jason said...

That's what I want to hear. If the story in our local paper has a similar impact and persuades even one other family... then its worth the deeply unflattering photo that shows just how little hair I have left.