Until this afternoon the title of this post was going to be “I can’t be bothered to write an update” because that’s how I’ve felt since Wednesday – exhausted and pretty much completely uninterested in my computer, my blog, my book, my job, and the outside world.
So instead of blogging I’ve been walking myself and Dominic back and forth from the hotel to the hospital two to three times a day to visit Mike and crawling (collapsing) into bed in the afternoons when Dominic goes down for a nap. The rest of the time I’ve been focused on keeping the youngest member of this family fed, clothed, cleaned, hydrated, and un-electrocuted. What is it with babies and electrical outlets? The morning we checked into the hospital he ripped the cover off of one and right out of the wall. They had to send maintenance up and it took them ten minutes to figure out how to fix it.
But Dominic’s sleeping now (sort of, he’s also coughing like a seal every couple of minutes, more on that later) so here’s a brief update on the technicalities of the week.
Wednesday, the day of surgery, was long. We checked in at 7:30am and they wheeled Mike away at noon. I expected him back about 4pm, but they didn’t bring him back until after 7pm. The surgery took twice as long as usual and the incision needed was twice as long as usual – apparently when Mike herniates a disc he does it with the same thoroughness and zest he applies to most of the rest of life.
Recovery has so far been slower and tougher and much more painful than we expected. Mike wasn’t even allowed on his feet until two days after surgery. It wasn’t until today that he even attempted to ditch the walker. Tonight is his fourth night in the hospital. He’ll be released tomorrow and we’ll spend another four nights here at the hotel in Bangkok before attempting the journey back to Laos. We are, however, cautiously optimistic that the surgery will alleviate the nerve pain in the long run.
My ankle’s not proving too debilitating, thankfully, but I’m still struggling with a stubborn cough I picked up in Australia. Dominic’s been struggling with the same cough. During the last three days I’ve been up with him multiple times every night, and after two episodes of croupy-sounding wheezing and seal-bark coughing last night I’d had enough. So instead of sitting by Mike’s bedside this afternoon I spent time in the children’s clinic down on the fourth floor.
We came away with a diagnosis of bronchitis. He had to spend ten minutes on a nebulizer. I had to hold him down while the nurses applied the mask to his face and he screamed the entire time. We’ve also got three different types of medication to get into him every day for the next week or so.
Luckily, ever since he spent ten days sucking down strawberry-flavoured panadol after breaking his leg, he seems to think that syringes dispense nothing but baby treats. He gulped down his first three rounds of meds as eagerly as if I were spoon-feeding him ice cream, then spent fifteen minutes taking the plunger out of the syringe and pushing it back in again.
Best. Toy. Ever.
Speaking of spoon-feeding Dominic ice cream, someone is in for a big shock when we get back to Laos. He’s going to wonder where his breakfast buffet of baked-beans, eggs, pancakes and yogurt went, and also why Mama has stopped hand-feeding him his meals while he sits in her lap or sidles around holding onto furniture. His daily mid-afternoon ice cream sundae will be no more (I’ll be sad about that one too). He won’t be able to point to the TV and have someone obligingly turn it on. He will not be sharing a bed with me every night, or using telephones as toys, or eating oatmeal and raisin cookies for dinner after he’s refused everything else available.
It could be ugly.
All for now. Must sleep.