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A "non-blanching" rash, a fever and a scared mummy

Posted by Esther Walker
Esther Walker
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on Tuesday, 01 May 2012

Kitty has been ill again. This time it was quite scary. There was a temperature of 104 and a rash that didn’t disappear when you pressed it – the technical term for this kind of rash is a “non-blanching” rash and it’s a symptom of meningitis.

But Kitty didn’t have meningitis – of course not. She wasn’t ill enough for that. But she was ill, no mistake. Day after day of fever cascaded in on us, accompanied by the horrible rash and glued-up eyes. Sitting on the sofa rocking and soothing a boiling hot and miserable toddler went from being a novelty to being my entire reality.

When your child is sick, it is impossible to gauge how to react. On one hand, you are acutely aware that you are a new mother and that every new and different illness is going to be frightening. On the other hand, that vision looms in your head – you know the one I mean, the one where you are in hospital at the bedside of your child, who is comatose possibly on a drip, while a serious man in a white coat turns on you and barks “Why the hell didn’t you bring her in sooner?”

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