Friday, 17 June 2011

Drama and martyr

Well now. I am at home in the comfort of my own living room once again after a midnight dash to the hospital with Ted on Wednesday night. He had a cold in the day and then, never one to do anything mundane, it spread to his lungs and before I knew it, he was wheezing and struggling to breathe. I didn't do anything at first, I wanted to sleep and he has had a horrid chest a number of times before so I just put more Vicks vapour rub on. Then at about 2.30 am it became very obvious that his struggle to breathe was serious so I awoke K who wanted to do nothing else but go back to sleep so kept assuring me he was perfectly fine, that wheezing and 'clicking' were all normal aspects of breathing and that as he could cry when we picked him up he was 'fine'. K grew more agitated as I lost my temper with the idiot on reception at the emergency doctors and was 'helping' no end by telling me to just 'relax'. In the end I gave up and put down the phone to the stupid emergency receptionist man who was a blatant liar - there was no doctor ringing me back immediately - told K if he told me to relax one more time I would kill him and ran out of the door to A and E to K's total bemusement.

Mercifully Lewisham's Children's A and E department was a joy to behold and was also totally empty so I had a dedicated doctor and two nurses. I say 'I' but obviously I mean poor old Ted. Who was actually loving the entire drama and the only thing he objected to was them putting the mask on him to get the medication into his lungs. Unfortunately they had to do it every half an hour which kept interrupting him watching Happy Feet. Every cubicle had its own TV and DVD which I was very impressed with. If only they made the adult department as nice I would go far more often. Anyway, long story short, I was right (naturally), K was wrong and poor Ted was getting fixed. I was thrown by the amount of time we had to spend in there though, I was assuming it was a quick turnaround kind of illness but his oxygen levels weren't great and his breathing was really not great so we were admitted to the ward. (After a mad run to the car that I had left on a bus lane, move to a car park and then mad run half a mile [slight exaggeration for dramatic effect] back holding up my jeans and down my boobs - I was still wearing my pyjama top and K's hoody on top - to get to a screaming and very angry Ted who assumed I had left him there with a smiley bubble blowing nurse and a nurse who kept holding him down to put a smoking mask over his face).  But worse was to come as before we were moved up to the ward they had to take some blood and put a cannula into his hand in case an IV drip was needed. That was horrid. To be woken up at 2.30am and driven into Lewisham to watch Happy Feet and see some bubbles is one thing, but to be stabbed repeatedly is entirely another and Ted was exceptionally angry and remained so for some time.

On the ward it quickly became clear we were not going home any time soon so we settled in and made the most of the playroom and the 'play specialists'. I am not saying that there is not a need for happy souls who go around the ward asking irritating questions and trying to befriend children who think they are akin to Voldermort - however I do question the need for three years training to learn how to do so. One 'Play Specialist' took great pleasure in telling our nurse that she had not gone to college for three years for nothing. I would hasten to disagree. I believe I could be a play specialist without any training at all. That said she was very helpful at accommodating Ted's play and even helped me sort out a VHS player so that we could watch the Toy Story VHS I had found lying around and jumped on in excitement. I can't remember if I have bored you with Ted's latest obsession yet, but it is with 'bun, bun and at'. Buzz lightyear, Woody and his hat. He couldn't understand why I didn't have them with me and was running around the ward yelling 'bun' as if they might magically appear, when I happened upon the VHS so I almost kissed the play specialist when she said she had sorted the player we could watch it on. The drugs Ted was on made him totally hyper active for about an hour where he would almost fly with energy so having something for the 'come down' afterwards was amazing. We watched it five times. The little boy opposite was pleased for the first go around and then I think all other children and adults were totally over it.

I walked around the ward endlessly trying to get him to sleep at various points throughout the day so I got to know the place very well. There was lots to read for 'parent's and carer's' and many cards of 'thank's' to the staff. So sad there was no one there to laugh at them with me. There were also lots of very sick children which made me bloody thankful for a relatively well child and two healthy ones at home. I quickly became institutionalised and was fearful of leaving the main double doors. Eventually I plucked up the courage to run over to the cafeteria and it was a revelation. (Ted was left strapped into a buggy in front of Toy Story with a nurse aware of my absence - fear not). Finally there were some people worthy of Grey's Anatomy. There had been a total dearth of good looking doctors and 'extras' up to that point and I was beginning to think my favourite show might not actually be an accurate depiction of real life when I happened upon some very pretty people who would have fitted in nicely to Mercy West Hospital - phew. That was secondary to my relief over the food choice - I was desperate for food at that point and I pounced upon the fruit - sorry to be dull but pre-cut fruit is usually so expensive and it was jolly exciting to find big bowls of fruit for £1 -  I bought five. I may have over done it. But Ted and I couldn't cope with the food situation. The food on offer in the children's ward was horrideous. Jamie Oliver clearly hadn't been anywhere near. The woman was shocked when I said no to vegetables - she kept trying to get me to give him some as if I was one of 'those' mothers. I didn't want to argue and explain that there were no vitamins left in the tinned and over boiled crap she was trying to peddle so there was little point in trying to get Ted to eat any. Although she has something of a point. I realised that the children ate a lot healthier before I lost the weight. Before, I was very good at making sure the children ate loads of fruit and veg and and that I ate all the crap in the house to save them from obesity. Now I ensure they eat all the crap so that I don't get tempted and I eat all the fruit and veg to save me from obesity and I quite often forget to make sure they've had any of their five a day.

I digress, by 3pm there was hope that if Ted could make it to 7 without needing an inhaler we could leave. But by 6 it was clear he wasn't going to make it and we were there for the night. At first I was mightily disappointed but after K had brought my moisturiser, spare pants and phone charger in I made up the bed next to Ted's cot and as it turned out to be quite comfy I realised it might well be the easier option. By 9.30 Ted had finally calmed down and gone to sleep, I followed shortly after and the nurse came in and out through the night to give him the inhaler and take his vitals and by 6.20am he was deemed fit enough to leave and we did, very quickly. In fact Ted wouldn't sit down for a moment whilst I packed up in case I changed my mind. He stood there in his pjs, socks and dressing gown clinging on to Bun and substitute bun (Jessie - K couldn't find Woody as Ted had hidden it in the understairs cupboard) and shouting 'go' at me until I did. I realised I was being quite pathetic as there are people who have to spend weeks and months in that ward but 24 hours was plenty enough for me and it felt like a massive relief to be able to walk out of the doors for good.

When we got home everyone was still in bed and G was even asleep. Ted had no interest in seeing anyone but Buzz on the tv so he plonked himself in front of Toy Story 2 and I washed, dressed, tested Bea on her spellings - she did well - fingers crossed people, made packed lunch, fed the children, sorted out suitable items for show and tell, loaded the washing machine, put away dirty plates left out from yesterday (thanks K) and then did the school run. I know no one likes a martyr but I think I might be one. At the very least I am a superhero. Obviously I'm sitting on my arse ignoring G now as Ted sleeps but let's gloss over that. I have cut out some holes in a cardboard box for G so he's happy for a few hours and doesn't seem to need me. The delivery I had been dreading last Friday arrived today - hence the box. My hallway is now filled with 30 cardboard boxes and only one of them has G in it so I am not keen on investigating the rest. I am going to get K to move them to the car tonight. Out of sight, out of mind. Oh and it's the school disco this evening - the children have one each which means a lot of fiddling about at a time I could do with them sitting on their arses glued to the TV. Anyway - I mustn't grumble - actually I must otherwise you wouldn't know I was a martyr and all martyrs grumble so that you know that they are one. That is the very point of martyrdom isn't it.

Have to go and do the school run in the rain. I know, I know - I'm a saint.
Good bye and good health to you all xxxx

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