Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Family and Doctors

Taking his hospital appointments in his stride
We've just got back from another trip to the city for Felix's hospital appointments. He actually slept two out of the four hours each way this time. I think he must have been catching up on some sleep since he hasn't been having naps during the day at home any more. He usually stays awake for the whole trip, so it was pretty cute to see him sound asleep, with his little mouth hanging open and his legs crossed, tucked up on his seat. He looked so peaceful, and remarkably flexible!

Breakfast with Bekah
Felix had two post-surgery appointments; one with the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, and the other with the Opthalmologist. We had some mixed results. The Opthalmologist was really happy with Felix's eyes. The probe of his tear duct seems to have been successful. One of his eyes still gets a tiny bit watery, particularly in the wind, but it hasn't been sticky or runny since a couple of days after the surgery, which is great. The study of his optic nerve showed that the back of his eyes look exactly as they should and his vision is fine. We were expecting him to need glasses, like the rest of his siblings and Nathan, but it appears he has perfect vision like me! What are the chances of that? At least we have one less pair of glasses to buy for the time being. 

The appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor was a little bit frustrating. The Doctor seemed very nervous and her hands were shaking as she tried to look in Felix's ears. She appeared a little bit annoyed when she told us she was unable to get a good view of either of his eardrums. She mentioned that his 'good ear' (not the one the Surgeon had trouble with; and the one our GP thinks the grommet has fallen out of), was a bit "mucky" (her word). She wrote us a prescription for ear drops and said to use them, not straight away, but 'when' he got another infection. She also made an appointment for him to come back in another 2 months and said, "We'll see how many infections he gets between now and then". Nathan and I are a little bit frustrated that we didn't question her more about it. We probably should have asked to see another Doctor for a second opinion, and see if they could see his eardrums. After all, we had just travelled 4 hours for the appointment and her advice was unclear. 

Hanging out with Cate
We are still learning to be assertive when it comes to Felix's medical treatment. I guess we are quite new to having to deal with so many different therapists and specialists. We know that we need to be Felix's voice and his biggest advocates but, sometimes the labels 'Doctor', 'Surgeon' and 'Specialist' can still be intimidating. It's easy to assume that, just because they have the title, they know more about our child than we do. In future, we will try to be 'politely' assertive if we have questions regarding Felix's health. 

Although we only had a quick, overnight trip to the city, we were able to catch up with some of our family, which was really special. Daniel (our eldest), and his fiancee, Cate, drove into the city last night to have coffee with us at our hotel. We're so thankful that they were able to come and see us, and it was nice to have a quick catch-up with them. This morning, our daughter, Bekah, our son, Joel, our gorgeous Grandson, Noah, and his beautiful Mum, Mel, caught a tram into the city and met us for breakfast. It was so good to see them and to give our little man a big snuggle. Felix was so excited to see them all and loved it when they came and sat in the waiting room at the hospital with us as well. He was kept very well entertained, surrounded by so many people who love him. 

Stories with his nephew, Noah, in the waiting room
The day got even better when, between appointments, we were able to go and meet our brand new baby niece in the Neonatal Unit. She was born 8 weeks early and is a tiny bundle of perfection. It was great to see Nathan's sister and share in her excitement. There is something so beautiful about the face of a Mum who has just brought another precious life into the world.

My, much missed, friend, Deb, also drove into the city to have a quick lunch with us before Felix's second appointment. Felix threw himself into her arms and had a beaming smile on his face. She even shared her coffee froth with him, just like old times. Daniel's fiancee, Cate, happened to be working at the hospital today, so she was able to join us for lunch too, which was great. Felix has taken quite a shine to Cate and she went home with some sticky toddler fingerprints on her sunglasses, and some of Felix's pizza slobber on the top of her water bottle. She's definitely one of the family; there's no turning back now!

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