In our last episode…. Actually just have a look a the last post for what happens.
Rather than a full blow-by-blow account of what happened the day after scans and everything I thought I might break it down into segments of action:
1.) The Negotiation
Thursday is The Lad’s day-care day. He attends a local family daycare, and his educator had graciously agreed to pick him up and take him with her this morning. This saved us having to put The Lass in a car again, after the hell of Wednesday’s various car trips. We ran into some issues best summed up by this conversation:
Me: “You’re going to go to daycare!”
Lad: “No! I don’t want to”
Me: “But you’ll get to play with your friends”
Me: “Who’ll be there today?”
Me: “Will Kid A be there?”
Me: “And will that be fun?”
Me: “So, do you want to go to daycare?”
Lad: ………. “NO!”
In spite of my son’s resistance to logical argument and my increasing sense of frustration, we got him bundled into the car and off. This was a relief as we were both waiting nervously for a phone call.
2.) The phone call
Our doctor called early in the morning to pass on one simple message: We had to get The Lass into hospital quickly. The abscess she’d developed in her “natal cleft” (butt crack) contained a cyst of some kind and it needed surgery. Sooner the better.
So that was that then, we knew what we had to do. There was a flurry of bag packing, it was agreed that I had to stay home so someone would be around to receive The Lad at the end of daycare, and that was it. The Mamanator took the car with the car seats in it (for obvious reasons) while I sat home and thought about housework. I even did some of it. I was still crook, so I wasn’t particularly productive.
3.) The Text Message.
Then I got a text message. The Lad was not having a great day. In fact it was a terrible day. In fact it was so bad he really needed to come home. The day-carer knew our circumstances and how difficult things were for us – so I knew it must have been pretty bad.
Apparently our dear child had decided to assimilate the hurt of everyone he saw. He knew his sister was in hospital, he insisted he had to go to hospital. He knew was going to see a doctor, he had to see a doctor. His carer had dropped something on her own head earlier in the day – so he complained that he had a sore head. One of the kids had scratched their fingers on something – so he complained he had hurt his fingers. Charming.
He was also bawling his eyes at at the prospect of taking a nap – and was crying for his mum and dad. Clearly the last day had it’s impact on him too. We were in a bit of a bind as The Mamanator had taken the family car – the car left at the house had no car seats. I had to borrow one for The Lad, who appears to be big enough to fit in some kinds of booster seats. It was a revelation.
4.) The Doctor’s appointment
You know the saying terror at home angel away. Well in this instance I got: terror away angel at home. Why? Because children exist to prove you wrong. Maximally wrong as often as possible, but today I was on the right side of wrong this time – if that makes sense.
We went shopping, first to the fruit and veg shop and then to the supermarket. Finally it was time for me to go to the doctor. I dreaded the idea of bringing him with me as this was the same clinic where he had once managed to unplug a doctors computer from the power point. Given his lack of a nap I was certain he’d be ratty, tired and terrible.
Turns out I was wrong and the angelic behaviour continued. It was great, he told the doctor he was sick while we were there though, the doctor saw through the lies. Turns out I was sick, running a fever and need antibiotics. In the words of Spike Milligan “I Told you I was Ill!”
5.) The updates.
Throughout the day I had been getting a steady stream of information. The Mamanator had arrived and The Lass had been triaged. They were in emergency. She had spoken to a doctor. The had found a surgeon willing to do the operation. They had to find an anaesthetist who could work on a 15 month old, and it may take a while. There were also pictures – playing in ED, napping on a bed, a photo of where they’d attached a monitor to her toe to take her vital signs.
Even the monitors are cute when you’re a baby.
I felt so far away. I yearned to comfort my child and wife – and to be comforted by them. I wanted so badly to be there, to ask my own questions and to try to boss hospital staff around. I longed for the power to help. I also kept at bay the strong urge to call up every 5 minutes for an update. The information was coming, and it was complete, but I wanted to know more. How was she? Was the room warm enough? Did they doctors seem trustworthy? What about the other patients? Did it smell okay? Was the lighting just right? Was she okay? Did she need any toys? Was she okay?… Did she miss me?
However The Mamanator had her hands full with a baby, in a strange place, who wasn’t allowed food or water (because of the anaesthetic she was going to get later), while contending with her own worry. So I thought the better of it and didn’t badger her.
6.) The wait.
Then there was the update of updates. She was going into theatre. They surgeon thought the procedure would only take a few minutes, she’d call me as soon as it was done.
I waited. A few minutes passed. Then a few minutes more. Then a few minutes more again.
I’d managed to get the cricket on the TV because ABC4Kids was showing a show called the “Ha Ha Hairies’, which The Lad hates. I used it as an excuse to put the cricket on, and then not switch back. But I digress from the passing of minutes.
Before long half an hour had passed. I was breathing. Breathing in an out. Trying to suppress a rising panic in the back of my mind as more time passed. Why hadn’t the phone rung?
Something happened. She’s hurt. She’s allergic to something. They found a tumour. They found another problem. She’s not come out of anaesthesia. The Mamanator’s hurt herself…..
And the darkest thought of all. I won’t write it, but you can guess what it was.
So I buckled. I’d resisted pestering The Mamantor for most of the day, but I couldn’t do it any more, I had to know. It was 45 minutes into a 10 minute wait for news, so I did it. I dialled and held my breath.
She was fine. She was in recovery. I needed to get off the phone and let The Mamanator deal with it because she was cranky and ravenous.
And finally I could move on, dinner followed shortly after along with bath and bedtime for The Lad.
He ate well, thankfully.
7.) The aftermath
The wait happened because while the procedure was quick, recovery took a bit of time. The hospital doesn’t let non-patients into recovery. In the case of infants they do it because the site of a child coming out of anaesthetic can be quite confronting.
The Lass went through it all really well, and an hour after surgery I was sent this picture:
She seems much better (1 hour after theatre)
She had thrown up a lot though, all over The Mamanator and herself, so she was sleeping in donated pyjamas. The Mamanator also had to find alternate clothing, and the hospital lent her a set of theatre scrubs because they were the only thing handy. They were staying the night, the operation hadn’t happened till 4:30, so discharge the same day was going to be impossible. It was boys only tonight at the -inator household.
The night went really well, my boy was placid, happy and obedient. The morning was a different story though. I made a decision to drive straight to Bendigo, stop for breakfast at the golden arches on the way and get to the hospital as early as I could. I packed bags and got ready, The Lad was confused due to lack of breakfast, but climbed into the car and we got on our way. I needed to stop for petrol, which lead to meltdown 1. The Lad wanted a lollipop. He always wants a lollipop, and I always say no. He also was hungry and saw there was a café at the petrol station and began to shout at the top of his lungs “I WANT TO EAT HERE!!!!”, but I decided we’d do better stopping closer to the hospital.
So I endured a bit of screaming as we got back onto the freeway, and away we went. 20 minutes later we were sitting happily eating bacon and eggy things. The Lad played on a (quite spectacular) playground as I sipped coffee and organised a take-away breakfast for The Mamanator (she was not a patient of the hospital, so there was no breakfast forthcoming for her). Then came the “extraction” – I use the word knowing that it also means pulling teeth. Suffice to say it was not easy or quick. With a combination of gentle cajoling, assertiveness, a babycinno and the promise of mum at the end of the journey, some gentle cajoling, a piece keeping offering of a babycino and the knowledge that mum was at the end of the journey. That and the promise that the hospital had more toys.
So I arrived. The Lass was about to have a bath, which I ended up taking care of. She was a shade nervous until she realised who I was, then she was overjoyed. The children’s ward was (as promised) full of toys, with a TV. The surgical wound was a little under an inch. There was no bleeding by the time I looked at it. It would need re dressing every day. She was running around, looking at the Christmas Tree, the toys, the various Christmas decorations and all kinds of paraphernalia. She managed to break a bauble. Before too long it was discharge time and the drama was over.
Godzilla vs. The Hospital Christmas Tree