G. (two and a bit) and I spent yesterday at the Royal Children's Hospital and Nuclear Medicine Department so that she could have a renal scan. I was kind of dreading it as it involved putting in an intravenous cannula and then having a small dose of radioactive stuff injected before waiting three hours to have a 45 minute scan. So....after a mad rush to get the puppy organised before being locked in the laundry, the children and myself breakfasted, dressed, toothbrushed, and sunscreened and out the door to take E. to school on time, G. and I headed for the hospital.
We fronted up at the children's casualty area as directed to get the cannula in which involved putting on the helpful cream first and then filling in an hour while it worked. I was loathe to let her play in the little indoor playground in casualty as a few years ago, we tried that with E. and we were back at the hospital two days later for 5 nights with Rotavirus (very nasty gastro bug). But of course, G spotted the playground straight away and was desperate to go in so I gritted my teeth and checked that I had a pack of nappy wipes handy. Eventually, a gorgeous Irish registered nurse and a very young, pretty, doctor put in the cannula with a minimum of trauma (well...enough to make G. pretty upset but not too bad in the scheme of things). Then we waited for a volunteer to escort us to the other side of the hospital to do the next stage. G. was exhausted from a restless night with a temp and runny nose so of course wanted to doze on my lap. When it was time to set off, I grabbed my bag of food supplies, spare clothes, etc, hoisted G. on my hip and pushed the stroller with one hand down endless corridors with the elderly volunteer. Eventually I asked if she thought she could manage the stroller which she kindly did. Then, when we were almost at our destination, I realised with a sinking feeling that I had left my little black backpack on the chair beside me back in kids' casualty. When we arrrived in the Nuclear Medicine Department, they rang to try and locate my bag and were put on hold for 20 minutes. So....sitting there with a miserable toddler and waiting for a radioactive injection in my darling's hand, I imagined the phonecall to my husband at work.... "It's me...(stifled sob)....can you come and get us? I've lost my bag with my keys, mobile and $200 cash). I told myself, it doesn't matter as long as G. is ok but I sure was relieved when after an hour or so, someone rang to say they had found it. Of course, by then it was too late to come home for the three hour wait between injection and scan but that didn't really matter.
There was another mother with a very sick little boy (and his big brother) in the waiting room. I looked at his bald little head, the nasogastric tube in his nose and his skinny little arms and my heart went out to them. I only had one day at hospital with my little girl and all over the world there are families spending week after week enduring all sorts of misery. So...it all helped get my whingeing over puppy mess and sleep deprivation into perspective.
The main purpose of this post is to say how grateful I am for the kindness of the hospital staff. This is one time that I WILL actually buy a thank you card and send it. Because G. was unwell and dozy and I was stressed by the lost bag experience, a nurse who became my new best friend found an unused room for us with a big comfy reclining chair and brought us a jug of water, sandwiches and a blanket before turning out the lights and closing the door. Of course, G. promptly woke up before I could close my eyes so we filled in the next two hours reading Bambi ("Oh...that's a bit sad" she said) and Snow White and going for a big walk downstairs to buy "chippies". Eventually, my beloved little black backpack was delivered in a sealed brown paper bag (complete with $200 cash inside!).
Finally, we went in for the scan which involved strapping G. to a moving bed while a machine moved slowly in all directions around her. "Just like a ride at Chermie" I said encouragingly. My little girl lay perfectly still, holding my hand and watching a Hi 5 dvd for 45 minutes. I was a really proud mummy. Now...fingers crossed that the results are ok. I'll let you know.