“She will do really well if you follow the instructions of the doctors, you’ve just got to get your head around it.”
It took a while to sink in, and every now and again I’d get a chin tremble at the notion that she wasn’t going to be an ‘apple juice instead of sugar’ baby like her brother. We came home from hospital ladened with meds and info and my life as a Quack started.
When Blue was a baby I used to delight in giving him new foods, organic homemade obviously, and sometimes these new foods would set him off gagging. I laughed until I nearly weed when I gave him scrambled egg, the poor child nearly turned himself inside out with the retching (he still won’t eat egg), however when I gave Pinkie a dose of Flucloxacillin and she too gagged until her eyes watered. I cried. I put a dot on my finger and tried it, it was disgusting, like licking a finger that had recently been in an ear (try it if you haven’t before!).
We progressed onto the tight lips, squeezing a tiny amount into her mouth with an oral syringe until one day she opened up like a little birdie and gulped it down with a smile. I cried. I tell you this because no matter what you are told to do, however hard it is at first, you adapt and add it to the day’s routine until it is just that, routine. Then when your child is poorly, you know you have tried your best and that it’s just the shitty stick come a-knocking and you have no need to feel guilty and can push forward to better days. Well that’s how I see it anyway.
I did have a cloud that hung over me all the time when Pinkie was smaller. I really did believe that if she were ever to need IV antibiotics and to stay in the hospital that I would unravel quicker than a ball of wool left in the care of a naughty kitten. When the time came, and there has only been the once, last year, I was actually relieved that we were going in as she was struggling. She wasn’t desperately ill and was still her sunny self but she had a cough. Now this cough was like a squatter, resident in a premises it refused to leave, a residence it had no business being in the first place. It was time for it to be moved on and the IV’s were the bouncer that was going to kick its butt out, then nail the door shut behind it.
Pinkie has a fear of needles (that’s a whole other story that I’ll get to another day), so we missed our surgery slot by her cowering under the bed assuring us that she had felt the cough get out and that she was actually fine now. The nurse offered her hand a milkshake, a pre-med to you and I, which Pinkie thought her hand might enjoy and a short while later Pinkie still cared that she had a canuala in her hand but was too floppy to kick and thrash as she had before. They took her down. I stood outside the operating theatre looking into the obscure glass window like a teary meerkat.
It was hard, and as Mr was at home with a very worried Blue, I was on my own. Apparently I do that, when there is something wrong with Pinkie I put barriers up around her and I, and act like she is MY baby only. It’s caused rows between Mr and I but I can’t help it. It feels like I personally have failed, have let the team down by allowing bugs to get near her. I know it’s not my fault, it just feels like it is (we’ll call that work in progress shall we?)
Our stay in hospital was alright, apart from the lack of sleep because a hospital is as noisy at night as it is in the day, we were fine. We were allowed out for day release as we live pretty nearby so we could bath at home, eat dinner and return in time for evening meds and sleep. It was the best thing for Blue as much as Pinkie because he really had worried himself into a state and he could see she really was on the up.
After a few days of to-ing and fro-ing it was suggested to me that I learn how to give the IV’s so we could go home and have the district nurse come daily to administer the other meds, the ones that required a qualified nurse. I agreed, because Blue really needed us home. Now, if I said I needed brown trousers and bicycle clips for the mixing up of powders and liquids with sharp needles that I then had to squeeze into my child’s arm, ensuring there were no air bubbles of course, I am not exaggerating. I would have rather faced a month in the wilds with Bear Grylles than inject my child with anything, ever. However, I did it.
I can’t say I was sorry when the two weeks were up, but I had done it and best of all Pinkie was better. She was rosy cheeked and sparkly once more. Little old Blue eventually opened up that he had been frightened out of his mind and convinced we weren’t telling him everything, after much reassurance and cuddles he slept like a cat in a patch of sun for a whole afternoon.
Fortunately, we are normally really well and as long as we strictly adhere to the instructions given I see no reason why that can’t continue. We have no days off from physio and nebulisers just like we have no days off from cleaning our teeth. Sometimes I think how nice it would be to be spontaneous, to be out for the day and just think, yeah lets buy toothbrushes and stay in a hotel, or be at friends and decide to have a drink after all and stay the night.
We can’t do that, its just the way it is, and if ever I feel hard done by, I just look over my shoulder because someone worse off is bound to be along in a minute.