Photo by A Badenhop

One of the ironies about being a blogger is that just when life gets most busy, most hectic, most interesting, you find yourself with no time for blogging.  I didn’t manage to write last week because I spent three days at Westmead Children’s Hospital.  Birdy had a cyst on her chest that got infected.  The cyst has always been there, but when she was younger it was barely noticeable.  Then last Saturday it just suddenly swelled up to the size of a golf ball.  It was really quite alarming.  So we were referred to Westmead Children’s Hospital.  The first thing they did was put her on antibiotics to try to bring the infection under control, then they had to drain the cyst and then in a month or so they’ll take it out altogether.

We finally got our operation last Friday after waiting around all day Thursday. It was only because more urgent cases were coming in that we kept getting bumped.  First they were going to do the operation at 2, then at 4, then they were talking about 6.30pm, then 7. And then a baby came in who couldn’t breathe so then they said they’d do it at 9pm, then a child came in with an obstructed airway so after that they sent us home.  It was a long time for a child to sit around at hospital without any food or drink, but to be honest, by the end of the day I was probably more exhausted and upset than she was.  I shed a few tears as I waited for my husband to pick us up late in the evening.

So we were back the next morning at 8am, and at 10.30am they came to collect Birdy for theatre.  As soon as my husband put on the hat and gown (the scrubs) she lost the plot – just went hysterical.  And right before she went under, she started kicking her legs.  The anesthetist said it’s a normal response but it looks quite distressing to see a child crying and thrashing their legs around (so my husband tells me, I wasn’t actually there).  When she woke up she was quite hysterical, which is apparently also common with children who have night terrors.  So it took her about an hour to calm down, but once she calmed down then she was fine. Yesterday we went back for a checkup and everything’s healing up really nicely, which is great.  The only downside is that we’ve got to do it all again in four weeks’ time.

Before I go, I just have to say how great the Westmead Children’s Hospital is, and how friendly all the staff and volunteers were.  If you happen to live in Sydney and have to take a child to hospital, the Children’s Hospital is such a nice environment to go to.  The toys, the murals, the climbable sculptures – all these little touches make the kids feel at home.  Yesterday morning Birdy woke up and exclaimed excitedly, “Dad I’m going back to the hospital today!” like it was a big adventure.  What more could you ask for?

Have you taken your child to hospital for an operation?  How did it go?  How did your child cope with the hospital environment?  How did you cope with seeing your child in pain?

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