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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Friday, April 30, 2010

More Eli-oh.

Funny, isn't it, how you think you feel something and are justified in feeling that way and then something comes along to smack you in the head and show you that you know nothing really? Funny peculiar that is, not funny Ha Ha.
I was much more sad about the impending pediatrician's appointment with Eli, so sorry for myself, oh woe is me why MY kids? Why THIS boy, oh sob.
I half heartedly tried to look at the doughnut, not the hole but it was quite nice wallowing in the self pity for a while.
On wednesday, at 8pm precisely Eli got poorly. He said his tummy hurt and he couldn't get comfortable, he sat up, he lay down, he lay on his side, on his back, sat up again, nothing worked, he was so tired and kept asking when he could go to sleep and he would fall asleep and then sit up crying because oh, how his tummy hurt .
By 9.30 I knew this wasn't just a little boy tummy ache, it wasn't a bug, it was something different. We called the out of hours doctor, we went to the lovely new hospital in town and met with the on call Dr who said he thought it was appendicitis and sent us with a letter to the bigger hospital a few miles away, telling us that we wouldn't have to join the masses in the waiting room, we would go straight through to be seen by a surgeon.
That would've been nice.
We sat in the waiting room and as we sat, Eli got more agitated, more in pain and after ( immediately after) asking how long this wait was likely to be and being told that it was impossible to say, Elijah said those words that every parent dreads. " I am going to puke!"
We'd been so ready, bring with us a puke bowl for the car, puke bowl and precious animal blanket. Animal blanket came with us into the waiting room, puke bowl stayed behind in the car and there followed a slow motion clip from a horror movie, a panic glance around waiting room, a hasty "Hello? can we have a bowl please?" a blank stare followed by total inaction until I saw a bin across the room and I picked Eli up, ran and ALMOST made it, I was right there, foot on pedal and the forces erupted and more puke than I have seen in many a long year came out of that little boy. On the bin, by the bin, on his PJs, on Sophie's flip flopped feet but not on precious animal blanket because a mother's instincts are quick and my left hand somehow grabbed that thing away from him and over to the side before he replicated the scene from the exorcist.
Funny Ha Ha AND Peculiar thing, within seconds we were called in to see the surgeon. Before we could move I had to strip that little fellow down and carry him in nothing more than a pair of boxers and his socks through to the examination room.
These things always take a while and I remember so clearly the how long I had to experience the gamut of emotions a mother feels at this time. Fear because ...dear boy is precious and splendid and how I hate to see him so ill.
Relief because I don't care what people say about the NHS it has always been right where I need it, right when I need it and scruffy corridors, dejected looking paintwork aside, it works, people who need help get it and they never have to give a second thought about how they will pay for it. I really DID think about that when I was there because I have so many friends who can't say the same thing, they can't say they don't have to worry when their kids are sick that a co-pay, prescription, appointment, test might cost more than they can afford.
Gratitude because although these doctors are hard worked, tired and nowhere near appreciated enough, they are ( in my experience) so lovely. Kind and funny and no matter how busy they are I noticed how careful they were to explain to me and to Eli exactly what was going on, why something was being done, why nothing was being done and were happy to answer any questions I had.
Shame. Oh the shame.
There is a law irrevocably decreed that should your child ever need emergency treatment, it will almost certainly be on that very day when you have looked at your filthy kid and said " Meh, a bit of dirt never hurt anyone"
On wednesday, when I picked the boys up from school we stayed behind so they could play with friends after school. The played on scooters and on the field, the slid on slides and climbed up grassy banks. When we got home they ate dinner, then they played in the yard, fixing bikes, taking parts of their old bikes and putting them back on, tightening chains and mud guards, all the things boys do. I said several times in the evening how they all really needed haircuts and also ' you are SO having a bath this evening' but they were having such fun and bath time is such a chore.
I knew that had to have a bath, I just kept putting it off until some friends came to visit and it was already 8 o'clock and ' whoops', never mind. I did, in all fairness to me, scrub them a bit, cleaned the worst of the grime off and sent them off to bed.
So here I am, in the hospital with this sick child, in boxer shorts that look like a 6 year old has been wearing them all day ( it's OK, that's as descriptive as I will get on that one) socks with puke spots on them, ribs you could play like a xylophone, legs that have barely a mm between the bruises and fingernails the like of which you might only ever have seen on a mechanic. His hair badly needs cutting, he has a double crown and so he looks like he has a pair of chimney sweep's brushes stuck on the back of his head.
I looked at his little sparrow body, all grimy and pitiful looking and I looked down at myself, I had, thankfully had a shower and washed my hair but then I threw my comfiest clothes on and that was what I was wearing.
I seemed to get asked if my family is known to Social services more than I remember ever being asked before. I watched the faces of the nurse as she took the details of our family when we were admitted to the childrens' ward, the " who lives in your house" and " how many children and what ages are they" replies got some raised eyebrows. Sophie came with me when we took Eli, so there were a few " So *you* are?" and "*this* is?" One nurse eventually caved and said "I have to ask you, where is Eli's dad from because his skin is so beautiful and I know his dad must not come from here" Loved her face when I said "America" and let her puzzle that one out before I put her out of her misery and told her that he has Mexican blood. Sophie made her laugh when she said " you want to know about *my* dad too don't you because I am have such beautiful skin as well. My tan came from a week in Tenerife and it's NOT fading at all!"
The fact that Elijah ran into a gate on tuesday didn't help matters, his front teeth are crooked and his poor little gums are all black and raggy looking.
He had 2 days of testing, blood tests and urine tests and 3 pediatricians, 4 surgeons poking and prodding. He got better and then he got worse, he was happy and he was so pitifully sad.
He slept for 3 hours the first night, crying in his sleep and waking up because he hurt.
He would seem so well, he woke up after a nap and said " All clear, tell 'em I can go home, I don't even have a teensy bit of pain or puke, I am better" and he ate a good lunch, he played, he hopped, skipped and jumped and then, in the blink of an eye he was sick again. High temperature, glassy eyes, sweet face all crumpled with pain and surprise that he wasn't all better and he couldn't go home.
He loved having a TV right by his bed and he watched 'Top Gear' even when he was poorly and hot.

We had a room to ourselves and I was so happy to know I could sleep right there with him. I slept for one hour. I realised just how glorious my bed is these past 2 nights. Eli had a big hospital bed and I, well I had a little put you up bed, that folds up into the wall. I had one pillow and I swear that thing had a mind of it's own and it hated me. It had the obligatory plastic covering but it was a sealed cover that had an incredible amount of air in it. Every time I put my head on that pillow the air would shoot over to the other side and my head would slip off.
I know that I didn't weigh anymore in the hospital than I do at home but why on earth did I feel like I was crushing my own self? Whenever I tried to lie down I felt I was crushing my arm or squashing my legs. I tossed and turned, I fidgeted and fussed and eventually just gave up.
I did more puzzles and crosswords in the past 2 days than ever before, I love puzzles and crosswords but even I got weary of it!
He was so splendid, every minute we were in the hospital I found myself looking at him and just feeling so thrilled that he is mine. I watched him while he answered questions and I listened to his little voice, I stared at him while he slept and I enjoyed every part of who he is. He is so endearing, so accommodating and he is so happy to go along with the flow that often, I think he gets forgotten. We don't have to think about whether he is happy because he just is. We don't have to think about whether he likes doing whatever we are doing or if he likes what he is wearing, we don't have to think twice about what he eats because he just eats what he is given, he just likes whatever we are doing, he wears whatever is right in front of him.
I saw so much of his little personality while we were alone and he is just so lovely. Over and over he would say " You are so happy I am getting better, aren't you?" or " You like being here with me, don't you? I am happy you are with me you are the best mummy in the whole world."
He clutched his animal blanket the whole time and when his temperature was high I would tell him that he could have the blanket next to him but not over him. He covers himself with it and usually sleeps with even his head under it. One such time he said to me " Are they coming soon to do my degrees because my blanket is actually magic and if I can lie UNDER it, I will get better" I love that he said ' do my degrees' instead of take my temperature. I was telling H what he said and his face lit up and he said " It is actually TRUE! Every time I lied under my blanket I would get better! It made me feel well again."
As I watched him last night, I realised that I don't care anymore what the Drs tell me when he is assessed for autism, whatever they say, he is who he is. A label won't make him any different' he won't change and I am so happy about that, I adore who he is. I am overwhelmed that he is mine. When he was little we would sing to him

"Eli Henry is divine.
Eli, Eli-oh.
I'm so happy that he's mine
Eli, Eli-oh."
Look at this face, the profile shadow of his cheeks is a thing of great slendidness.

This morning, after he slept for 8 hours he woke up and he was ALL BETTER! He was bouncy and totally Eli.

We were so sure he was really all better and I was just miserable when he crashed again, his temp shot up and he said his tummy hurt again. The surgeon came to see him again and at last we knew what he was suffering from, it's called Mesenteric adenitis. We were allowed to come home, he is likely to be poorly for a while but we know what to do for him and he has been better since we came home.
It is so good to be here, noise and chaos and all.
I am beyond touched at Seth's reaction, he is not usually at all emotional or compassionate, he has been sitting with his arm around Eli and saying sweet things like "Oh Eli, I think actually you are my best friend" which is huge from Seth, how lovely to see such a kind side from him.
Funny indeed how something that at first glance appears negative can actually be a positive thing, a hospital stay with this little boy has turned my thoughts around, I saw that Elijah is made just the way he is supposed to be and I am lucky enough to be his mum. Can't beat that for a happy thought.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is absolutely divine!! Hope he is soon all well....loved the way he referred to taking his temp!


11:34 pm  
Blogger Jenn said...

What a wonderful blog Helen, notwithstanding the fact that Eli was very poorly - I loved that absolute joy that he brings you. I felt in your writing just how much you treasure him - and a boy that calls you the best mummy in the world surely knows it too!
He is such a joy, and we love him for being Eli! Wonderful divine, happy, complacent Eli - Not to much bothers him, and that is a great quality to have!
I hope he gets better very quickly and am glad he will be at home while he's on the mend - so much nicer to be home!

6:36 pm  
Blogger Sara said...

Poor Eli... and poor his Mum! So glad to hear that rhe is on the mend, Helen. I somehow missed that he was not well in the first place, but I am glad that it seems to have passed! xxx

9:09 pm  
Blogger One Tired Momma said...

OH but he does have the most devine complexion! (lol).

Poor Eli and poor Mum, my heart broke for you reading that. I hope that he gets better really soon and everyone can get back to normal.


12:54 am  

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