It’s Oh So Quiet…

…because everyone’s sleeping! Except me. We’ve had a busy old week and today (28 Nov) was probably the climax.

This week Mini Minx cut 2 more molars and has been practising saving up her normal 3 poos a day into one mega nappy-busting plaster. She’s achieved 100% success with getting it to happen at the worst possible time every day this week. 10/10 for effort, 3/10 for artistic interpretation.

I’ve had 2 busy craft fairs. I made enough sales to keep Maxi and Midi in ballet lessons till Easter, and buy a pair of cheap ballet shoes each, so that’s perfect. Even better, I spent 2 whole days chatting with people about babies and knitting. I had the inspired (!) idea of displaying my eSocks on a bunch of bananas. I quickly had to add a sign explaining what they were – the horrified looks from many of the elderly knitters tutting at my wares made me realise The Boss was right, and they looked like willy warmers. Och well, it certainly gave me something to joke about and say something to browsers with. One woman had me in choking knots with her quips: we were imagining this one proudly, um, displayed on Christmas morning, with tinsel draped off the bobbles… Ah, me, what a weekend! [edited to add: my website’s down for a day or 2, moving to a shiny new server. If you can’t see the socks, try again tomorrow xxx]

But the biggie this week was my wee baby (OK big tall girl) Midi going into hospital to have a general anaesthetic to get grommets in and possibly adenoids out. I wasn’t worried about the routine procedure, it was more the GA that left me feeling a bit wobbly. I’ve had 8 in my time (I tested a couple at university – seemed like a good idea at the time, I had rent to pay, and it paid more than my usual shelf-stacking. Anyway…).

What a 3 year old packs for a hospital stay

We all chatted about it as a family over the last month, describing to the girls what was going to happen: first in really broad terms (“The doctor will fix your ears so you can hear properly”), progressively adding more detail as she asked for it, and as it came up in conversation. Last night I warned Midi and Maxi to get to bed as they’d a long day ahead of them. Midi nodded, “Yes. We need to get up early so I can eat breakfast an’ drink mlk (sic), so Special Medicine will work, anna Doctor gonna put a Big Special Needle *right through* my ear drum. And he’s gonna suck out all my ear bogeys! Then I can hear! Yeeeeeay!” She looked gleeful about it, whereas Maxi pouted, leaned over and stroked Midi’s arm and murmered, “I’m worried about you, Little One. I love you”. Little One? Little One?! Where did she get that from?! Nevertheless, the sight of the pair hugging each other in mutual comfort brought a tear to my eye. As did the fact that they’d been play-acting hospitals – Maxi had her little sister strapped into a pretend car seat (she’d knotted socks together into a rope and tied them round her bed-head to hold Midi in like a seat, and added extra ones like an aircraft infant safety belt for Midi’s dolly). Midi had already packed her toy wheelie suitcase with dolly, teddy, books, real stethoscope, toy train and some plastic doctor-implements. And her sister’s camera (!)

That first adult tooth, behind the seriously wobbly one

The girls were fine this morning: we woke them at 6 so they had time to eat before cut-off time at 7am, then out the door at 7.30 to get to hospital in time for 8. Back home, crazy tidy up, then off to school, drop Maxi off, back to hospital, and… wait. We then got to keep 2 little girls occupied in the play room till 1pm. They were actually really good. Had me and The Boss not been so dog-tired it would have been fun, just hanging out with the girls, playing tea-parties and colouring in and playing doctors. As it was, it was an exercise in staying awake. (Mix of teething children (plural – Maxi’s cut her first adult tooth), noisy storm keeping me awake, toddler bad dreams, stress over organising a craft fair with some unwelcome outside mixing… The usual rubbish!).

I couldn’t face seeing Midi put under a GA unless I had to (my acting skills are excellent, but being nonchalent about my baby going limp whilst open-eyed is a bit too evocative of death for me to comfortably cope with willingly), but luckily she’d always said she’d wanted her daddy with her, and he was happy to. I couldn’t even cry when she toddled off holding his hand in her cheerful hospital jammies because sleepy, needy Mini was with me.

I waited 45 looooong minutes, then had to drive back to pick up Maxi from school. Typically, when I got back, I couldn’t get a parking space. Anywhere. And the amount of selfish double-parking going on meant I struggled to *get* anywhere, either. The Boss had agreed to text me if I needed to know anything, even if it was terrible news. “So if I don’t hear from you, I know she’s *still* not out of recovery, or she’s fine. OK?” So when he texted me as I was futile-ly crawling up and down local roads (given up on the carparks), my heart nearly exploded. Silly sod had forgotten our agreement: when I pulled in and checked, with shaky hands and blurry eyes, it only said, “Midi’s fine, adenoids out, no grommets and itchy nose”.

When I got to the ward with Maxi and Mini, a very sleepy, woozy Midi croaked at me, waving her cannulated little hand in my general direction. Despite epic failures on a previous hospital visit, this time the anaesthetist got a cannula in first time, it hadn’t hurt her, she was fine, went to sleep with her eyes wide open. The surgeon hadn’t found any fluid behind her eardrums at all (?!) but enlarged adenoids and a ‘huge’ lump of earwax. So the earwax and adenoids got hoiked out and the eardrums left alone. So that’s good, I guess! And I have no idea what constitutes ‘huge’: pea sized? Golf ball? Planet?

The Boss took a video of Midi coming round: typically, our little minx managed to focus her eyes (mostly), look at The Boss, licked her parched lips, gazed into the eyes of her beloved Daddy and croaked her perpetual daily demand: “I hungry!”

So that was 3.30. The Boss drove the other 2 home at 3.45 when Mini upset Midi by hauling around her suitcase (“coo-case”) and Maxi wailed “I’m bored! I’m so bored! I’m really bored! No, really, really bored! In fact…”. I stayed at Midi’s request. Around 4 she’d drank a few sips of water and was mostly awake. The nurse agreed to get her some toast. I explained that she’d need more than that (Midi eats as much as most adults. She’s around 98th centile for height and 91st centile for weight. That growth needs a lot of fuel…), and nipped down the cafe literally 50 steps downstairs to grab a sarnie and half litre of milk for myself (2 coffees and a teacake all day make for a VERY Grumpy Old Trout). Midi ate the toast, and the calories gave her the energy to eat my 2 ham sandwiches, the rest of the water, the entire bottle of milk, 2 sausages, plate of beans and 2 potatoes. And a partridge in a pear tree. After that, she bounded out of bed and generally acted like a manic thing on drugs. Strong ones.

Meal 3 – she polished off the lot after she finished scratching her very itchy nose

She’s not reported any pain, but then she was given morphine and 400mg paracetamol (according to The Boss), which may explain why she had an incredibly itchy nose for a few hours. Like me after each Caesarean!

Before she ate the entire hospital kitchen, she got discharged after a bit of a sleepy cuddle in front of CBeebies and another sudden charge around the ward, thrusting her tiny oxygen mask and tube onto anything vaguely humanoid, demanding, “Right, breathe deeply for me, darling!”

So, she’s to go back to the professor for more hearing tests and a review. Not having spent 6+ years at medical school, I’m surprised that we had 4 consultant visits (plus one earlier at another hospital) that all recommended grommets, only for them not to be needed. I wonder why – is it that common for earwax to not be noticed and to cause such problems? Or maybe the glue ear finally spontaneously resolved itself just in the nick of time? Och well, I’m glad. I guess 7-Lunch-Lil will be happy to be able to swim after all, and she’ll love seeing Prof L again. (Or at least getting another silver sticker).

4 thoughts on “It’s Oh So Quiet…

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