"Making sure my son had something to eat"

About: Kent and Medway Pembury Hospital / General medicine

(as a parent/guardian),

My son is in his mid-thirties with various physical, learning and emotional problems but is usually bright, chatty and sociable with a fairly good appetite.

When he has a chest infection plus sore throat, he refuses to eat (it hurts his throat) and needs to be rehydrated. Much as we are wary of antibiotics, a course of them has always seen him back to full health and appetite within a couple of days.

On this occasion he was not prescribed antibiotics, as the hospital doctor had diagnosed gastro-enteritis and said his chest was clear. My son was offered food by the nurses but they had no time to spend on feeding him (he was too weak to feed himself) and took it away again.

Luckily he had constant visitors during the day and between us we coaxed him into eating high-calorie yoghurts supplied by the hospital, teaspoon by teaspoon, to get some nutrition into him.

He was discharged while still unwell, as the doctor was afraid he would pick up a hospital infection. His own GP then diagnosed a chest infection, prescribed a course of antibiotics and he recovered quickly.

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