What a long day ! I collected Joshua from school at 11.30, where he had been ‘nil by mouth’ since his porridge at 7.15am, and took him to hospital. We arrived on the ward at midday as requested, where Joshua’s pulse and temperature were recorded. He promptly lay on the bed and went into a light sleep, which is his default ‘hospital mode’. We know that it was just a light sleep, as when his dad arrived about an hour later, he opened one eye to see who was there!
The surgeon came to see us around 2pm- he also saw one eye open when he arrived and when he left us! – and clearly explained what he planned to do for Joshua’s wrist, with botox injections, and he explained what would be happening for the rest of the day. So when he left us, having signed the consent form, we felt well looked after and well-briefed. But then, we were left in the dark for about three hours, with no information or attention. I did think how lucky it was that Joshua’s default position was to go to sleep, we would have been more difficult to ignore if he was stressed by the environment, and if he was restless and noisy in the corridors.
Finally, almost five hours after we arrived, we were wheeled to theatre, where we sat waiting again. Nearly 5.15pm I was taken with Joshua into a room where he was to be given anaesthetic. I held his hand and rubbed his forehead, while they prepared the syringes and tried to reassure Joshua who by no was objecting, telling them ‘No, No,no! and pointing at them. I always find it shocking, how soon after the needle goes in, that he is unconscious, it is not a gradual, natural drift off to sleep, he goes instantly.
So the kind surgeon walked me to the waiting area where my husband was already waiting. Then we went to find a drink and some snacks to sustain us. Our snacks were still in our hands, when the surgeon came out to tell us what he had done : Poor Joshua might well be bruise,d as he had had the botox injections in his forearm and also he had taken the opportunity to investigate how much of his stiffness was due to muscles and tendons, which he could work on, and how much was now fixed joints. Carefully he explained that he would be ‘pleasantly surprised’ if he got a benefit from botox, but as the least intrusive option, it was worth trying, as the next level of intervention involves surgery to elongate his tendons. Reassuringly,we will be invited back to one of his clinics in 6 weeks.
Ever such a long time,we then waited to be summonsed to Recovery, was not a shock as we know how reluctant Joshua is to wake up.Eventually the nurse did bring us to Recovery, he had only just fluttered his eyelashes. Periodically we then spent about an hour encouraging him to wake up to prove that he was alert and in reassuring staff that his low heart rate – in the 40s – was what usually happens. It was another hour or so before we were taken back up to Acorn ward, where once his obs were completed, we were left alone again.
Now he felt safe, Joshua opened his eye more fully and he even sat up to enjoy Shrek on the Ipad and eat some yogurt and some hula hoops. Gratefully we were told that we could probably go home but only in two hours, when the night staff arrived. So I sent my husband home and we settled down. We did not see another nurse all evening and I had to seek one out as it approached 10pm, as Joshua was in danger of settling into a deep sleep, which would then make it impossible to disturb and move him. We were finally released over ten hours after we arrived, so we got home at 10.45, exhausted. Joshua had some Rice Krispies for supper then climbed into bed and I was not very far behind him. It was a long and stressful day but we survived it and I am looking forward to him getting his cast off, so we can see what lies underneath.