Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to ER we go...

Paul must be getting to know the staff at the Children’s Memorial Hospital by now, having visited twice in as many days. The reason was to attend to a rather injured middle child: aka Nicolas. I had taken Nic to his gym on Friday morning for a jumping session. We adjourned to the local Cosi cafe for a coffee / bite to eat with my friend Polly and her son Finn. Nic and Finn were racing around like.... boys! Polly went to supervise as I needed to feed Mietta. As a dodge tactic, Nic decided to take on a wall instead of Polly. The result: a deep gash down the middle of his forehead and a copious amount of blood. Polly felt a little cursed as she had been through the exact same scenario with her son Callan only weeks earlier. I thought it a blessing as she was totally calm and knew exactly what to do - and applied compression to Nic’s wound.  I called Paul, gave him our location, a brief recap of the situation and requested his help - PRONTO! 

Luc was having a day off school, so he too came with Paul. We all loaded into the car and I dropped Paul and Nic off at the Emergency entrance to the Childrens Memorial Hospital. I then took Luc and Mietta home and waited anxiously for Paul to call with details. My experience of the Emergency Department was that things could take a very looooong time to happen. Thankfully, Nic was examined and treated quickly. 

Paul was given the option for Nic to have plastic surgery. Given the location of Nic’s wound (prominent on his face), and Callan’s recent awful experience (where the stitches had popped-open and needed to be followed by plastic surgery), Paul chose plastic surgery in the first instance. Nic was super-brave throughout the whole experience, and even reassured Paul by telling him, “I wont die”. 

Being a children's hospital, the staff are very adept at treating children, with specialist facilities to make it easier. To prepare Nic for his stitches, he was ‘swaddled’ like a baby, with arms bound by his side. To secure him even further, he was put in a straight-jacket-like velcro restraint, with a staff member holding his head. It was decided that given Nic’s endurance, he would receive a local anesthetic for the procedure rather than be sedated (requiring a fasting period). Paul’s description of countless injections inside the wound were enough to make me really happy I wasn’t there (as if the blood wasn’t enough).  The gash required a number of internal stitches to repair the lower skin layers, with a very tidy seam externally. Paul was super impressed at the neatness of the whole job. When Nicolas sat up after being released from his ‘straight jacket’, Paul was so proud when he shook the doctor’s hand and said “Thank you Doctor Mike”. The doctors were pretty astounded themselves!  

Saturday night, and we were due to go out to a ‘pot-luck’ party with other parents of Luc’s school mates. Nic came down with a high fever. This was one of the go-to-hospital scenarios following a head injury. Cate arrived to babysit the boys and we made our way to the party while Paul tried to contact our pediatrician. We arrived at the party and Paul finally spoke to Nic’s doctor who recommended taking Nic back to hospital to be checked out. So... Paul caught a cab home, roused Nic out of be and walked him to hospital. Nic’s dressing was removed and it looked fine. His fever was put down to some other random illness not related to his injury. Paul then took Nic home, caught a cab back to the party, to arrive in time to see the majority of the other guests leaving! Our hosts Todd and Christine were lovely and made Paul feel very welcome while feeding him leftovers. 

Photo: A bandaged Nic with newly acquired scar-to-be. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mietta’s first month

Mietta turned five weeks old today. We had her one-month-check-up last week and all was well. Mietta is growing at a brilliant rate. She has excellent neck strength and head control for such a young baby and is smiling away - much to our content (and to Nanma’s who was able to witness some smiles and baby chats before she departed for Australia last Friday). Mietta is also ‘playing’ - reaching for and batting toys while lying under the baby gym. We have been astounded at her reaching these milestones already. At a birthday party on Sunday morning, some other parents were amazed to see her tracking with her eyes and reaching towards some bubbles being blown. Perhaps she is aiming high considering the possibility that she might have been born much earlier?!?

The boys continue to adore their little sister, although Luc did ask Nanma why she “always had to cuddle the baby” - so perhaps the novelty is beginning to wane for him. Nic is still so adoring and asks me whenever he sees me without the baby “Where is Metta?” On a couple of occasions where he has been a little too loving and has unwittingly hurt the baby, Nic has given himself an immediate ‘time out’ and disappears to his corner. 

Today Luc gave me a demonstration of his latest creation - a ‘transformer’ made from his beloved ‘stickle bricks’ - that actually really did transform. I was very impressed and told him “I love that you have such a wonderful imagination”, to which he replied “No. I don’t”. I said “Yes you do!” Luc said “Robots do not have imaginations” “Oh. So you are a robot then?” “Half robot.”  I looked at him quizzically “Half robot. Half alien” he explained. 

Photo: Nanma (Grandma as Nic calls her) with Mietta and Nicolas