So the drama continues at Park Towers, what’s a week without drama?
The glasses have remained firmly attached to Ruby’s lugs (apart from a quick jaunt in her lunchbox), her chapped skin is pretty much under control, all is well at school but this time it is Alexander who is taking over the drama mantle. Thank goodness they only have dramas one at a time!!
Alexander has had stomach pains for years – nothing in particular seems to set it off, (we’ve tried food diaries, cutting out common bothersome things, etc) and most of the time he is an energetic, well boy. However, once a month, or sometimes more, he will be in screaming agony unable to move and totally beside himself with distress. It’s horrible to see and can’t be any fun to experience. Every now and again he will also lose weight – most recently he has dropped 3kg (about 6lbs I think) which is a lot for a boy who doesn’t carry a lot of weight in the first place.
We’ve taken him to doctors before. There is nothing obviously massively wrong and last time we went to the Sick Kids in Edinburgh we were told that, as we have more nerve endings in our stomach than anywhere else, and he is a pretty highly strung boy, he was just feeling his feelings through his tummy. Erm, ok then!
As he is getting bigger, and has the opportunity to go to more events and groups without us, it is becoming more difficult to handle. A couple of weeks ago he had ‘an attack’ (for want of a better word) at soccer when we weren’t with him and other people had to deal with it – not easy! So we decided we needed to look into it again.
One of my bosses referred us to the top paediatric gastroenterologist in Victoria – I phoned for an appointment, the next one we could get on the public system was August 2013! We could pay to go private and would be bumped up the queue so we did that and got an appointment within two months. We set about fattening him up (AGAIN) and waited.
We went in to see him last week. He consults from a room in the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. It is an AMAZING facility. It doesn’t look, feel or smell like a hospital at all! More about that in a minute. We had a really good meeting with the chap. He asked us lots of questions, had a good poke at Alexander’s tummy and then set about writing up a load of tests he wants A to have. We made a further appointment for two months time and then went downstairs to get started on the tests, he could have the blood taken straight away.
He didn’t flinch as the phlebotomist drew vial after vial of blood from his arm. The only time he blanched was when she put a ‘Cars’ plaster over the puncture mark – he deems himself a bit old for all that now and pronounced that he was going to let it air as soon as we left the room!
We made an appointment to return for the next wave of tests – that was today.
Alexander wasn’t concerned about going back for these at all – he was looking forward to seeing everything in the hospital again and had told the doctor that he didn’t care how awful the tests were, they wouldn’t be as bad as the stomach pains – I was a little bit heartbroken when he said that, poor boy.
We were to hand in two samples of his poo which we did – he took care of all of that himself, wee soul. We had a bit of time to kill before his appointment so we went for a wander round the hospital. In the main concourse there is a MASSIVE aquarium – two storeys high and filled with beautiful fish of all sorts!
MEERKATS!! These are Alexander’s favourite animal and the Melbourne Zoo has an enclosure at the RCH – SUCH a brilliant idea! They are fascinating to watch, always on the go and not freaked out by all the little kids with their faces squished right up to the glass.
We watched ‘The Sentry’ freaking out at a little plastic bag that was blowing about in the wind – he was not going to let that bag anywhere near his pack (Hmm, that’s not right, I am sure I did know the collective noun for meerkats …) then it was time to do what we came for – go for the Barium Meal xray.
Now, I’ve never had one of these but everyone I know who has says that it is a pretty horrible experience. Alexander was unfazed. Considering that he refuses to eat pasta I didn’t hold out great hopes that he would find it remotely palatable.
The nurse offered him chocolate or strawberry flavour, he chose chocolate, lay down as instructed and got started.
Watching the liquid travel to his stomach was really interesting. The monitor was right beside the bed so Alexander could see it too. It dropped like a stone to his stomach and then swirlled about before going into his intestines. It looked like he had a jellyfish inside him! He was a perfect patient and chatted away to the doctor about what he could see, spotting organs and bones whenever he could!
After we were finished with the initial investigation we had to wait for a while and then he would be xrayed again. The doctor asked if he had any questions, A replied, “Do you think I’ll be finished by 1.30pm?” When asked why he answered, “Because the McDonald’s McChicken deal finishes at 2pm and I’m starving!” Big laughs all round, but he was deadly serious! He hadn’t eaten since 5.30pm the night before and it was now nearing 1pm!
We were finished after the next x-ray and got to McDonalds in plenty of time!
Now we await the results, I don’t know if I am more hoping that they find something or that they don’t …