So. Friday night we were happily ensconced in the hospital with Nan. Isaac rather nicely fell asleep in his pram about 50 minutes before the doctor was due to arrive.
And then he woke up. He saw Mum looking at him and his bottom lip dropped. I picked him up to shush and settle him and WAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH.
He started to scream. And scream and scream and scream. Not an unhappy scream so much as a ‘someone is stabbing me in the eye with hot needles’ scream.
Something hurt and I couldn’t make it better. The doctor entered and we exited as the screaming was just too much. An hour later, we made the decision to leave Amy with Mum and take Isaac to the after hours GP. He was still screaming as I strode down the hallway at high speed, tears in my own eyes.
20 minutes and one car ride later, he was a little more settled. We settled in to the waiting room, knowing that as it is a first come first served kind of operation, we’d be waiting a while. Isaac was better, although he had a few minute long ‘episodes’ as we took to calling them.
In with the GP, Isaac was happy and smiling. That is, until I laid him down on the bed so she could listen to his heart.
He lost his shit. Big time. I swooped him up and we talked over the screaming.
‘This is what he was like?’
‘Well it’s definitely the sound of a baby in pain. He has a large hydrocele and I’m not convinced that there isn’t a hernia there. It could be strangulating. I want a paediatric surgeon to have a look at him.’
‘Tonight?’ I asked? I was a little shocked, normally the Tasmania medical system doesn’t move this fast. I was also terribly worried at this point. Just hold your shit together a little longer I thought to myself.
‘Yes. Tonight. Hold on while I ring the Hospital for you. I’ll write a letter for you to give them.’
Five minutes later and one letter in hand, we were headed towards the hospital and just a little stressed. I rang Mum and told her to take Amy home to bed for me. Amy ended up falling asleep on Mum’s couch so it wasn’t an issue.
As we walked into the Emergency Department, my very sad baby (who had at least stopped screaming, but was still dropping his bottom lip) started to smile. You know, as sick babies do. Heh.
We checked in and luckily, it wasn’t a long wait.
Doctors came and doctors went. Isaac had his testicles and stomach poked more times in the next few hours than he’d had in his entire life. It was agreed that because we lived so far away (an hour) and because they wanted him ‘investigated’ that Isaac would be admitted overnight. Not my idea of a fun way to spend Friday night.
Nathan headed out to the car to grab all our spare baby stuff. Then he headed home.
Not two minutes after he’d gone, Isaac was examined by the paediatric residents. And then? He started to scream.
And scream and scream and scream.
He screamed a high pitched ‘make your ears bleed and your brain turn to jelly’ scream for the next 2 hours.
Two fucking hours.
I was also trying not to dislocate (fail) vomit (succeed, just) or pass out (also a success). Crying? Well I managed to not cry. Not even when the doctors told me there was a chance that Isaac and I were going to be on the very fastest helicopter to Melbourne Children’s Hospital. Not even when they wanted to stick a drip in him and keep him nil by mouth for the rest of the night. Have you ever tried to not give a baby boobs when he wants boobs? Yeah. Not the highlight of my night.
Our ultrasound that had been set for the morning was fast tracked to that night. As midnight hit, I was taking my very sad (but no longer screaming) baby up to an ultrasound room, where we stayed for the next 40 minutes as two separate sonographers poked Isaac with (warmed) jelly and sticks. I just kind of leaned on the bed and cuddled him while he wailed some more.
Luckily, they didn’t see an intussusception of his bowel. Nor did they find a strangulating hernia. They couldn’t rule out an intussusception, but it was less likely to be life threatening if it wasn’t immediately obvious to them.
We headed back to Emergency where the conclusion was ‘we’ve got no idea, but we heard the blood curdling screams so we believe you when you say he is screamy and in pain, here’s some panadol, Paeds has found you a bed and he’s here for obsvervation’.
I got them to lift the nil by mouth order and finally got to feed Isaac. He passed out on my boob straight away, he was as exhausted as I was. Happens that way when every time you doze off, someone needs to undo your nappy and poke you some more.
And so it was this time (just after 1am), with a nurse coming in after 2 minutes of him sleeping with Panadol to administer and a urine sample to get. A urine sample we had been trying to get since around 10pm now. You know how baby boys are likely to piss all over you at the drop of a hat? You’d never guess it, but baby boys who have been having screaming episodes and not feeding properly all evening, tend to not have any urine available. Urine sample not forthcoming and my sleeping boy now wide awake, we were taken up to a bed in the Paediatric Nursery; where I tried to settle my screaming and sleepless baby in a room full of sleeping children. Not my finest moment.
2 minutes later I’d given up on sleep and was ready to settle for quiet whimpering (Isaac, not me) when the nurse suggested we settle Isaac somewhere else. Best suggestion we’d heard all night. We headed around to the rec room, where Isaac fell asleep in my arms, a little container tucked under his penis in the hope that he’d pee in that and not all over me.
Armchairs? Not the most fantastic place for sleeping. Even worse when you’re doing it staring down the barrel of a loaded baby boy, just ready to shoot you in the face with urine if you so much as twitch.
2 hours later, I had dozed, Isaac was still asleep and there was still no urine in the pot. Nor was there any over me surprisingly. He was a dehydrated little boy. At this point the recliners in the Nursery were looking pretty comfortable and as Isaac was sleeping, I felt comfortable moving him back to his baby jail cot. He survived being moved without screaming and 20 minutes later I was fast asleep in the recliner. The sleep didn’t last as Isaac decided he needed feeding, but by this point he was calm and I didn’t care that I wasn’t sleeping.
The rest of the night was uneventful and Isaac was like a whole new baby the next day. The doctors pronounced him okay to return home. They aren’t sure what caused the screaming, possibly an intussusception that self cured. I am pretty sure Isaac has EDS too, so we might never know what caused the pain. It goes like that sometimes.
I do know that I can still hear his screaming reverbarating around inside my head. It was that bad.
On the upside, I got to educate a bunch of nurses on EDS. Yay me.