Sunday, 17 June 2007

It's not unusual

Potties, trains and antibiotics.

Before starting to look after the boy, I was having coffee thinking about work and the need to be at home more over the coming months. Worrying about how to manage it and deliver at work. Tired, my get and go having got up and gone.

For reasons that we don't understand, his secretions on Friday night and Saturday morning were copious. Every few minutes his cough sounded as if he was gargling with mouthwash. The amount of suctioning left me knackered by 10am.

I was wondering with dismay how I would get through the day when the boy looked disconcerted, pulling at his trousers. I asked if he needed a wee. He said yes. I asked if he wanted to use the potty but with no great expectation, as he had refused previously. To my surprise he said yes. I whipped his trousers and nappy off, plonking him on the potty before he could change his mind. He concentrated hard for a moment, brows furrowed, looking down between his legs. Then he did a wee. He was excitedly trying to tell baby panda what was happening. It was all I could do to grab him to keep him on the potty before he half-stood up and sprayed me.

Once he had finished he looked at me with an earnest expression and said "Clean my potty." The first sentence I have ever heard him utter. I felt ridiculously proud and asked him to repeat it. Sighing, he did so, quite slowly, as if talking to a someone who is a bit simple but needs to be humoured.

Later his friend Z came round for the first time in a couple of months. Z was having a clingy time and it was interesting to see their roles reversed. The boy was the adventurous one. Z was the one not prepapred to leave Mummy's lap to get a toy.

When they went home, me and the boy went to the shop. The boy is quite the confident shopper now. Knows what is required. Milk and cakes for auntie. Magazine for him. If I try to get anything else he shakes his head crossly, saying "No more. No more." stomping off to the checkout to pre-empt further discussion.

Spent a while at aunties. Just about to get ready to go home. My thoughts turning to my rumbling stomach and handing the boy over to the wife for a break. Then the wife rings to say that the blood cultures taken earlier in the week have grown something. Possible line infection - gram positive something or other. He needs to have an IV antibiotic. And that means a trip to the hospital.

Thoughts of my late lunch dispelled, I ask the boy if he wants to go on a train. He readily agrees, especially as auntie is going to come. Realise it is probably a year since he last went on a train. He was very excited. Wanted to sit on the seats and bounce up and down. Slightly disconcerted by the noise (an ear test last week showed his high end hearing loss is not too bad). Very, very upset to get off. Only bought off with promises of ambulance hunting. Pickings are slim with only an ambulance car tracked down. Happy to press buttons to go up in the lift. Screams, tears and hitting his head when he realises we are going on the ward. I try to explain we will be very quick but he is having none of it. Only resolved when I go and hide. Then he wanted to look for me. Only on the ward for 10 minutes. Luckily, the antibiotic is a "push" not an infusion. And then off home.

So, he probably hasn't got a normal kiddie illness. Not a surprise. Our efforts at normality seem constantly doomed to fail.

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