That time again

April 23rd, 2009 at 10:03 pm by james

It’s that time again. Sophie’s on the bed across the room with a loom of wires glued to her scalp and her head bandaged like Chief Inspector Clouseau in a particularly poor disgweez.

It was supposed to be a smooth-running day at the doc’s – admit, sedate, MRI, X-Ray, bloods, wire up, wake up, play with puzzles and watch DVDs, sleep with the monitor (hmmm, reminds me of someone I once knew), wake up, sedate for removal of electrodes, go home.

The first sign that things might not be as they seemed was when we arrived at admission to be told ours wasn’t one of the set of neatly printed names arranged on the counter. I looked. It wasn’t. We then discovered that – quelle horreur – we were also not among those only-slightly-unfortunate individuals who had had their names entered on the system, just not printed out or arranged.

We were sent to sit in no-mans land with the truly unlucky ones. The ones who might well have walked in off the street on the off-chance they might cadge an MRI and a bit of free coffee. I don’t like waiting to be called. I called two of the specialists’ rooms and we were called out from our spot on the sea of green carpet, to discover that November, when we last went through all this, was just too long ago to warrant keeping our records, so we’d have to capture the admission again from scratch.

Now I’m a good-humoured guy and can take all this in my stride. And smile. And say, “Thank you”. I understand bad systems and processes. We got upstairs to the neuro ward and our room was in use. Now that’s a whole other thing, see? Admission smission, but I don’t put down my bags, I settle. I’ve enjoyed something of a nomadic existence, and where I’m putting my stuff matters to me, not because I want it to be permanent, but because it is transitory and I want to enjoy it while it lasts.

It may have been transitory but it lasted rather longer than anticipated. Sophie built all her Barney puzzles, as well as two sets of nursery rhyme puzzles and a nondescript set of ELC puzzles, and read her two new books from Scott – all whilst being closely monitored by yours truly who needed to make sure that if she needed to go it happened into some sort of receptacle.

She didn’t and eventually the MR unit was ready for her. She had what looked like about 8cc of chloral hydrate and dropped off to sleep on the way to the unit. We had a little wait there for the machine to be free, and when I put her onto the slidy bit she woke up. “At-choo!” said Sophie. “Where’s the bed?”. It is a little confusing waking up somewhere you didn’t fall asleep with a sedative active in your system.

I took her back to her bed. “At-choo!” said Sophie. “Where’s telly?”. In the other room. “Gone. G-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ne.” 5cc chloral hydrate. “At-choo!” said Sohie. “At-choo! At-choo! At-choo!” .. “I don’t think the sedative’s working,” said the doctor, “she’s pretending to sneeze”. 10cc Chloral Hydrate. “Want movie n-o-o-o-w”. Much thrashing and very worrisome overdose-like symptoms (to father, carrying her in his arms) and then collapse, MRI, X-Ray and back upstairs to wire up for the eeg.

Which all brings us to now. With Sophie sleeping peacefully with enough chloral hydrate in her system to fell an adult rhino. This dad’s hoping she sleeps it off rather than waking to treat me to an adult rhino dose of grump.

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