being a parent is hard at the best of times... but sometimes you get an itty bitty taste of what it is like for those who live with ill children and constant hospital visits... mine was yesterday. in february (while madeline and i were in america and joseph was staying with my parents) joseph had a fall and landed on his mouth. he received a trauma to his two front teeth and mum and dad took him to the local hospital, who in turn sent him to princess margaret hospital in perth. it was pretty serious and they had originally had thought they would have to remove them then, but everything was looking good. at two follow up appointments all was still well, but the dentist showed me what to look for, as there was still a risk of infection.
thursday afternoon, joseph got a carrot from the fridge and bit it on the side, instead of with his front teeth. alarm bells rang, i checked his gums... and found an abscess above one of his front teeth, with a second fast developing. a quick call to the dentist confirmed what we already feared, they would have to come out via emergency dental surgery - and off to the hospital emergency department we went. the drs checked him out, the hospital dentist was called - and we were asked to come back the following morning with a referral to present to dental at 8am, to ensure the teeth were removed asap. on top of this, he would have to be fasting, with no idea of when it could be done!
the next morning arrives, his infection had already doubled in size (overnight!!!!) and off we raced to pmh. because he was not in a life threatening situation, we had to wait until all scheduled appointments had been seen, so it was past 1pm before we even saw the dentist. they said it was not as serious as it was made out to be, but that they certainly needed to be removed... and normally he would have been added to a waiting list (with a current wait time of a month!) but as he was already there, had already been fasting for 18 hours and was quite distressed, they would tack him onto the end of the scheduled surgeries for the day and we would just have to wait. in all honesty, i would have happily waited until midnight, without a complaint, as i was just so happy they were going to do it that day and not make him wait. i actually can't even imagine how bad the infection would have been in a month if it had spread that much overnight!
we were moved up to the ward, where we sat with all the other children awaiting surgery and waited and waited and waited as each of them went through... eventually as it hit after hours, they closed down all the theatres except for one, and the children started to go through one by one, instead of a few at a once. finally there were two of us... then just joseph, the final (because he was added!) surgery for the day. he was beyond done by then, even though he had truly been amazing, it was 7pm, we'd been fasting for more than 24 hours (with just 3 cups of apple juice for him that entire time!)... and the surgeon arrived. 7:15, we went into surgery and i held my brave little boy as they put him to sleep and then wheeled him in. 10 minutes later, the dr came out to tell me it was all done (such a simple procedure that the paperwork takes longer than actually pulling the teeth!) all had gone well, his teeth were out, the infection flushed and he was in recovery.
another 15 minutes later i was called through, he was awake and sitting groggily on the lap of one of the nurses, but quickly held his arms up for me. he was given a icy pole, which he eagerly ate, plus some more juice... and then we were wheeled back to the ward. after a few more checks, blood pressure, walking unassisted and having the port in his hand removed, it was finally time for us to go home (around 8:30pm).
he was asleep before we even made it home and the next morning woke up like nothing had ever happened! came barreling into our room singing away and got his toys out and proceeded to play with them and then ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast. it never, ever ceases to amaze me how quickly children bounce back!
i feel so beyond lucky living in this amazing country... where we walked into a hospital, were seen and attended to that day, and walked out without a bill. we are blessed beyond measure and i know that we have someone watching over us! ♥