What a day. We got up at 05:00 to be at hospital at 06:00. Woutertjie’s scan was at 07:30 – actually that is before their work hours but since the scan-with-anaesthetic list was full for today Elizna, our favorite anaethetist, and Nici, her awesome side-kick, decided to squeeze us in before the list started. These two women have been through so much with us. It makes it a lot easier to hand your child over to be drugged to unconciousness if you trust the people who will take care of him.
Woutertjie has a pathological fear of getting anaesthetic. He told me emphatically that he didn’t want to blow up a balloon (be put under using gas) or get “wikkel medisyne” (wiggle medicine). He hates the feeling of going under – and long ago made the connection that the milky medicine (Diprovan) makes him “wikkel”. After my hernia operation I understand exactly what he means. It feels like your eyeballs are going one way and the rest of you the other. It is h o r r i b l e.
Keeping all this in mind Elizna decided to try and sedate Boeta today (ie not anaesthetic) using Presedex. Good idea, I suppose. But she should’ve known better than thinking that Woutertjie would give up that easily! The first dose of Presedex just made him unstable and unhappy. Elizna then gave him some Dormicum to make him relax and forget. Unfortunately Woutertjie has this nasty habit of not liking Dormicum either. He becomes a different child. You can see his eyes are glazed and that he isn’t in there, if you know what I mean. Once again he didn’t disappoint and became weepy – real “dronkverdriet”! Since we knew that he wouldn’t remember any of it and wouldn’t be traumatised for life it was quite funny. Next he got another shot of Presedex. And after a long time of sitting on my lap, kicking at Elizna and Nici if they came too close he finally nodded off.
Unfortunately, just as the scan started he got nauseous and began heaving. Lying flat on your back, drugged up, that isn’t the best thing to do. He was nil-per-mouth from last night but still managed to get his shirt wet… When he started gagging he woke up and fought the suction pipe away, all the time screaming “What are you doing to me???” and “What is this???” I heard him screaming and thought he was waking up after the scan so I walked into the scanning room. Nici was holding him (you can see from her grip that she is a mom!) and he was alternately lying with his head on her shoulder and screaming in her ear. That is what he does on Dormicum! 🙂
Right then we got a final reminder to never take anything in the cancer world for granted. With his heaving and gagging there was too much movement and they had to redo the scan. Oh joy. Not. Because now he was seriously unhappy. I think Elizna was relieved when I proposed that she gave him Diprovan and knocked him out – this was not the time to have to explain to a parent what, why and when. This child got anaethetised about 30 times last year. And I was there every time. I understand enough to know when it is time to shut up and stand back.
So I shut up and stood back as Nici carried Boeta to the bed and Elizna drugged him. 5 minutes later it was all done and dusted. Elizna really knocked him out with Dormicum to make sure that he doesn’t remember anything. It worked, because he slept like a log and when he woke 2 hours later he was calm and can’t remember a thing. That’s the way I like it!
The radiologist concluded that there are no signs of cancer anywhere. What a miracle! What an absolute blessing God has bestowed on us. It boggles my mind. It is too big.
We saw Cristina at 15:00 to discuss the results and the future. Next week Boeta’s Broviac line will come out and the week after the two of them will start play school! I knew it in an abstract kind of way but now suddenly it is 10 days away. 10 days before the children join the normal kids. Cristina will see Boeta in a month’s time to check him out.
Cristina mentioned that no child has ever survived rhabdomyosarcoma stage 4 (with metastases) in Cape Town. There are only two major treatment centres for paediatric cancer – Cape Town and Gauteng. In Gauteng there is one child who is now in remission for 7 years. This means that Woutertjie is the second child in the country ever to beat this disease. What an absolute miracle. I can’t tell you enough how fortunate we feel for having Cristina in our lives. She is an amazing person and a fabulous doctor. We thank God daily for her.
This was a good day.
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