Awoken at 3.41am by a crying toddler.
He’s been doing so well. He’s actually been sleeping all night, every night for, oh, about three weeks now. Not so long that I’ve actually got comfortable with the idea and can fall into a deeper sleep where I can’t be woken by a leaf blowing up the street. But long enough to have got used to it and be getting uninterrupted by others sleep.
(Course, I haven’t been sleeping, but that’s not due to toddler.)
Worse is the horrible cry, followed by an equally horrible cough that woke me. His cot had been invaded by a demented seal with a nasty cough. And horrible cry.
Having zero energy to battle … anything really, I hauled him into our bed, where I spent the remaining Sleep Designated Hours listening to his rasping breath and flying into a panic every time I couldn’t hear him breath.
What a joyous repose.
I self-diagnosed (is it self-diagnosed if I diagnose it myself, but it’s someone else I’m diagnosing? No idea, I’m too tired to care) croup and, being a Saturday morning, before hours – of course. When else would it be? – I rang the Royal Children’s Hospital to see if taking him into Emergency for a dose of whatever it is they give them was ok, or if they preferred I didn’t. Because I’m that kind of person. And I’m tired and can’t think what to do.
We went for the “take him in” but given we’d dealt with the issue before, and had a rough idea of what to look for, we didn’t rush. I thought I’d have MUG and get dressed, and get him dressed and drive in. Grumpy Pants, on the other hand, felt driving us in and dropping us off would be a better idea.
Right after he had his coffee, and breakfast, and shower, and … just when I was ready to say “fuck it” and leave, he was ready. Twenty five minutes of asking the other two to get dressed/shoes on/get organised and of me mumbling for fuck’s sake, I could have been back by now, we’re out the door, and Chippie and I are dropped off at a relatively empty Emergency Department. And he wasn’t concussed, bleeding, missing a tooth, not breathing or having broken something. We were doing well.
He sat on the triage desk refusing to make any noise that would rule in or out croup, or give any indication as to what it might be. She asked how long he had had it and I informed her as accurately as possible, and posisbly with aslight grimmace “3.41 this morning.”
“I’ll write 3.40am.”
Gritting of teeth. “No, you will write 3.41am. That is what time he woke with this cough and the time he woke me.”
“Ok, I’ll write 3.41am. That’ll give them a laugh.”
Oh, goody. Am so pleased my life is just one great big comedy to everyone.
We were told to take a seat, which he apparently heard as “run around like an idiot”. I hate it when kids are sick but not sick.
Have to locate him when we are called to see the Doctor, who does diagnose croup, writes me a prescription and releases us, where Chippie, in the bit where you’re actually being treated does a runner and races through the desks and “authorised staff only” areas and causes me to be glared at by the lady who came in with her toddler in an ambulance.
Then get to wait an even longer time in the Emergency waiting room until Grumpy comes to collect me. Off to the chemist we go, leaving us in the car while he goes to fill the script, returning 3 days later, one sibling hitting other sibling in back of head, second sibling retaliating with demented wailing, first sibling “not hurting him” as he rests his feet on his head, seconds sibling reacting as though leg being sawn off with buter knife, me threatening all kinds of things, including amputations with butter knives, and toddler crying in discomfort, with a bottle of small pills for Chippie.
Um, I don’t think so.
“No,” I tell him. “It’s a liquid. It’s supposed to be a liquid. Go and change it.”
“That’s what he gave me!”
“I dont’ care! I’m not even going to attempt to give him tablets. He. Is. A. Toddler.”
(Forgot to mention, in that conversation: I. Am. Stressed. And. Tired. And. Not. Capable. Of. Implementing. Such. Strategies. And. Forcing. Tablets. Down. His. Resisting. Screaming. Throat.)
Everyone in the street got scared and followed Grumpy back to the chemist to ensure the right medication was provided.
Eventually he returns. To raid my purse for some additional funds to pay for liquid-not-tablets and devoiding me of any means to purchase a much needed by this stage latte.
Thus, it was something in the vicinity of three hours and fifty seven minutes after we left for the seven minute drive to emergency, the total 23 minutes in the Emergency department and the, I’m sure, significantly decreased length of time I would have spent at the prescriptions counter had I done it myself, that we returned home.
More tired and more grumpy than I thought possible.
Is it Wine O’Clock yet? And why, oh, why do the doctors in the Emergency department not prescribe something suitable for the parents when they’re in there? I know it’s a children’s hospital, but being the main carer for not-sick sick children, surely there is a duty of care to offer … something?