It's official. My children will do anything for a bit of attention. And also, they are just plain weird.
Mog has been quite seriously unwell following her hip operation. Over the past few days she's been complaining of extra pain, as well as having increasing difficulty coughing and just breathing generally. On Thursday evening our social worker came to call, and tried hard not to be too obviously concerned in the face of my apparent lack of worry. Friday morning our carer came along, by this time Mog was wheezing and rattling like a sixty-a-day smoker. Decided it might be a good idea to call out the GP.
Mog kept this up all morning, only interrupted when she had her nebulizer. For some reason this entertains her hugely - scares Little Fish, unfortunately; for some reason she objects to her sister turning into a firebreathing dragon - but gives Mog fits of giggles which cause her to breathe more deeply and therefore to cough. All good stuff. If you can ignore the hysterics from the Little Fish cowering in the corner.
Our GP called in after her morning surgery and had a good listen to Mog's chest. Decided we needed hospital and IV antibiotics as the 3rd round of oral ones had clearly failed in their duties. Was worried enough to be calling for an ambulance, but managed to persuade her it would be easier if I drove. So, wheeze and rattle and crackle and load up the bus, pack for a weekend away, and off we go. Bumpetty bumpetty bump, hack hack, rattle and wheeze, all the way to the hospital.
Just before leaving I remember to phone to cancel our carers. I call the office and have the following conversation.
Me - Imi is unwell and we are back off to hospital, I need to cancel some of our care.
Office - OK, we'll cancel all your care for the weekend.
Me - but she might be discharged again over the weekend, how will I get our carers back?
Office, with a patronising air - You phone this number and leave a message.
Me - yes, but when will you get that message?
Office, slowly and calmly and extra deliberately patiently - On Monday morning
Me - Right, so how about the care I will need over the weekend if she is back home?
Office, light dawning - Ooohhhhhh...
It is decided that perhaps the carers could call me at home before they are due to arrive; if I answer the phone then they can assume we are at home and will need them. A simple solution which shouldn't have been difficult to arrange.
We have a wonderful shiny and new children's hospital. Sadly the A&E department is back in the old general hospital. Hospital parking being a perennial problem, it is necessary to part at the children's hospital, take a lift up 5 flights, walk the length of both hospitals, take a lift back down a level then walk back towards the children's hospital through a maze of ever-narrowing corridors. We'll take the ambulance next time.
Bump bump rattle rattle wheeze wheeze cough and gasp (and that was just me!) and the three of us arrive at reception. We are ushered through to a bay, and as Mog is hooked up to the monitors her breathing stills, the wheeze vanishes, her colour comes back and the waxy skin develops a beautifully healthy glow, and her "I'm a poor suffering child, pity me for my life is full of woe" expression is replaced by a huge flip-top-head grin. Monster. Sure enough, her SATs are fine, the first Dr can hear some rattles and crackles but says they aren't worrying, the 2nd Dr says there are no rattles at all and we should go home. Little Fish meanwhile has made herself comfortable on the bed and appears to be settled for life. She has studied Mog's rattle and wheeze and is now producing her own admirable imitation of the same. As an added refinement she appears to have developed the ability to cause her nasogastric tube to come back up through her nose simply by clenching her stomach, a trick guaranteed either to garner sympathy or cause passersby to retch mightily - either way a result so far as attention-getting is concerned!
So, the Dr manages to convince me that Mog is fit enough to go home (Mog herself indicates that she is all better now and is full of laughter), I manage to convince them that Little Fish is also fit enough to go home, and we leave the A&E department. Having previously arranged for my mother to collect Little Fish after work (on the theory Mog and I would be in overnight), I attempt to phone Mum to cancel her trip. Too late, she has already left. We then head back to reception to leave a message there, where I am greeted with the information that Mum has already been in, and the receptionist sent her on her way under the impression we had already left. So, back to the car, up the lift, along the corridor, further along the corridor, through the general hospital, through the children's hospital and who is this walking towards us but Mum, who is slightly confused, having been told not that we were being discharged but that a bed was being prepared for Mog on one of the wards at the children's hospital. Bizarre.
Anyway, we made a break for for freedom, managing to contact our next carer before we left and arranged for her to be waiting for us at home. Threw Mog into bed with the help of our carer, and Mum
I love my children, I really do, but if someone could show them some better ways of gaining attention I would be grateful.
PS. Little Fish has decided that she won't eat anything unless it has been mixed with lactulose. Now that is strange.