Tuesday, October 18, 2005

News, news, more news

I should have known it was going to be one of those days when I woke up and stepped in dog pee. Our beloved hound, Pepper, has been toilet trained since she was six weeks, so I rechecked the smell three times. Definitely urine-de-canine. Already late for doctor number one, I rushed into the kitchen to get some roller towel and was met with the entire contents of the garbage bin on the floor. Vegetable mush mingled with nappies and Indian take-away. Seems Pepper tipped the bin, which then blocked the back door, thereby cutting her off from her en-suite in the garden. I cursed my heightened sense of smell and started cleaning up.

Rush. Rush. Rush.

An hour and a half of driving to get to Westmead hospital where the surgeon tells me he will schedule O’s next (and hopefully final) bowel operation for December 6th. Only 2 more months of the dreadful colostomy bag. Hoorah ! (Bizarre that I have now started looking forward to the surgery). He also said he may cut a part of her bowel out, to help with the constipation problem. A quick call to my dad put an end to that idea. Dad quoted me something in Latin about doing the least amount of harm. I agreed, then quoted him something off a Marlboro pack – Vini, Verdi, Vice.

Drive back to Prince of Wales Hospital for neurosurgeon. Realise I have half an hour to spare so pop to the local real estate agent and peruse their three bedroom rentals. (Throughout this medical ordeal, we’ve also been house hunting. We need a bigger place as O can’t share a room with the twins. Each house makes me feel like I'm visiting murder scenes. I describe them to R according to the type of murder. Stabbing on the Carpet, Death by Boredom, Asphyxiation in the Kitchen. I almost convinced myself that Suicide in the Study, one of the less offensive places, was worth taking). Nothing suitable so I head back to the hospital. By this stage O is ready for her afternoon sleep but there’s no chance of that.

She fills the waiting room with loud screams. I rock her, hold her, feed her, dance with her (note to parents: ‘Thriller’ is not a dance that comforts babies). She won’t be consoled. My dad joins me. An hour of waiting and the neurosurgeon sees us. A lot of technical jargon while I bounce O on my knee. Something about tethering at the L2. Something else about the difference between a normal spine and O’s. A lot about the risks of the operation – leaking cerebral fluid, infection, possible paralysis if they get the wrong nerve. Sounds horrific so I ask whether the risks outweigh the benefits. He tells me leaving it is not an option, then lists more horrible possibilities if it’s left. Permanent nerve damage, muscle wastage. Then, with the words ‘permanent nerve damage’ and ‘possible paralysis’ still ringing in my ears, he says – how about two weeks tomorrow? Sure, I nod. Zombie like, I take the paperwork and leave.

It’s good. It’s better than waiting, I tell myself. It’s for her benefit.

I was never a person who courted catastrophe. I realise now that most people aren't. The events of our lives find us, wherever we hide, and play themselves out, however they need to.

6 Comments:

Blogger Lin said...

The final sentence of your posting was brilliant and it also so perfectly describes life. The perfection and imperfection of it all can catch us completely unbalanced...balance can be regained, though. Gentle hugs to Baby O and her parents. All this has got to be so very tough for you.

1:48 am  
Blogger LJ said...

God.
But she's a game little thing, your O...and better the surgery is done soon, I'd expect. I'm crossing all available limbs for luck. And remember YC, surgeons ALWAYS have to tell you the worst case scenario. It's their duty to scare the crap out of you (and I suspect it has to do with preventing lawsuits).
And lin is right about your last sentence.
May you find a home, by the way, with a movie theme.
Best,
L.

2:48 am  
Blogger Calliope said...

Sending healing & positive vibes to little O.
(& the idea of doing the dance from Thriller made me spit coffee!)
Hope you are getting enough rest, YC.

8:36 am  
Blogger Urban Chick said...

it's so hard to see your littly got through this and hard not to feel as if you are the one putting them through it all

one of the chicklets had a hospital file as thick as several telephone directories before his first birthday

ultimately, as you say, you have to be strong for them but also make sure you have someone whose arms into which you can collapse when you need to

wishing you and yours the best for the forthcoming op...

7:33 am  
Blogger Urban Chick said...

p.s. do you have an email address? we share a few things in common (sorry, that sounds overly enigmatic! just don't want to blurt lots of personal stuff online) there are one or two helpful weblinks etc. i could pass on to you

anyway, email me if you like: urbanchickadee@gmail.com

best wishes,
UC

7:37 am  
Blogger Ova Girl said...

Yes, I think sooner better too. You are doing such a great job, i am perpetually amazed at your strength and courage.

keep dancing YC

4:07 pm  

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