Friday, July 31, 2009

Health Snippets

I'll say from the start that I am thankful to be blessed with two generally healthy children. "Generally" being the qualifier for poor ol' Big Bro, who seems to do worse than average in the minor acute ailments category. But I have never had serious long term concerns about my boys' health, and I know that we are extremely fortunate to be able to say that.

That being said, July has been one of our busiest months on the health front- Little Bro's naive immune defences were no match for snotty colds and chesty coughs, whilst the one week of good health for Little Bro coincided with Big Bro getting a rapidly developing chest virus that made his mild asthma flare up enough that we spent a day at the GP and Children's Hospital.

Thankfully Big Bro has come on a long way since his first, and worst, emergency department encounter when, aged 10 months, he spent the first of 5 nights in hospital with oxygen tubes, a nasogastric tube and hands bandaged up to prevent him pulling out the tubes. He has also moved past his doctor-phobia of last year, which at times was a "you look vaguely like my Ear-Nose-Throat surgeon" phobia. He is even at the age where we can convince him that medical dealings are fun, with a bit of effort on our part, and the good fortune to have access to a great GP and Children's Hospital as needed.

We got Big Bro a toy medical set recently, which he loves use for role play games. It also means he's familiar with the instruments as they come up. Our GP was impressed when Big Bro told him "that's a stethoscope for listening to my chest"; maybe for extra-impressive value I need to teach him to say "sphygmomanometer"?! Big Bro is also at the age where we can brief him in advance about what's going to happen in various tests, yet not old enough to be freaked out by being told things like "when we go in this next room, the nice man will take blood out of your arm".

I thought I would share some of the recent cute observations from Big Bro:

While having an ECG (wires attached to chest):
"I'm plugged in and charging like a (mobile) phone!"

While using a spacer to have ventolin:
"it's a trumpet- toot toot!!" (this one was said when Big Bro was looking quite unwell and got a laugh out of our GP)

While wearing a 24 hour cardiac monitor (a little box attached to his chest by wires):
"I'm sharing {the cardiologist's} pager"

With each health event I've been adding to a mental list of helpful stuff to take to medical appointments, which currently includes:
-snacks, snacks and more snacks
-pencils and a notebook
-stickers and a quickly handdrawn sticker chart for multistep appointments,
-a bubble blowing set,
-a couple of picture books,
-our iPod that can play video,
and for Little Bro when he isn't the patient:
-sleeping gear and toys including a "quiet rattle", no tautology intended: ours is a small plastic bottle containing confetti; Little Bro has the infantile satisfaction of making noise, but it's not intrusive.

It sounds-and it is!- a lot to carry around, but it's a relief to feel that I've maximized my chances of two happy boys. And even when they're under the weather, they are still gorgeous and charming. But I do hope that come August, they can be gorgeous, charming and healthy.

1 comment:

ilipilli said...

I only just came across this post yesterday (through link within) but love M's quip about the ventolin spacer being like a trumpet. I actually used it on Miss I last night in the middle of the night and it worked a treat! Thank you!

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