It’s not easy to MRI a baby. They don’t stay still! Dominic needs an MRI of his Lumbar Spine as there were some abnormalities notes on the ultrasound (although X-ray was normal) – to do this, he has to go under general anaesthetic.
Now, for most babies this is not something to be taken lightly – however Dominic has this extra airway issue which means everything could go horribly wrong very quickly. Luckily, the Drs are now talking to us like Drs so we can have sensible conversations like this:
Anaesthetist: how long is the web and stenosis?
Us: about 2mm, he’s a grade 1 intubation with a size 3 tube if you get nervous. He has had a 4 but it’s been awhile since his last MLB. You just need to corkscrew it in and not panic
Anaesthetist: ok, so there is also a chance that aggravating the airway will cause it to swell and start a stridor..
Us: oh good. Steroids. They turn him into the daemon child
Anaesthetist: well, yes – but I only anticipate giving him one dose
…. and so the conversation continues. This is SO much faster than it used to be with them trying to describe procedures and medical terminology in words of no more than 2 syllables!
Watching them put Dominic under is really quite hard, they put a little mask over his face and he fights it (because it’s him) but eventually he just passes out in my arms and then we transfer him to the table. It’s at this point that the parents leave. No one should witness their child being intubated… it’s horrible.
All this happens in a small room off ‘Otter’ (the MRI centre at GOSH) they have a room for everything here – it’s pretty amazing. They will also take a routine set of bloods while he is out so when he comes round again there’s no more poking and prodding bar the standard 4-6 hours of obs after GA.
The nurses ring us when Dominic has had the scan and is back in the recovery suite for us to go see him and be there when he wakes up. In the mean time, it’s coffee and cookies in the Lagoon restaurant.
Guess what didn’t happen?!
So, we do get the call to go back to recovery – but they couldn’t intubate with a 4, 3.5 or 3 tube and they aggravated his airway to the point of severely distressing him and causing stridor and wheeze and a very hoarse cry. Dominic was not happy when we were allowed in to see him.
Queue Dex (steroid to help reduce swelling) and adrenaline nebs and calpol (calpol fixes everything lol), queue ENT consultant surgeon, overnight bed crisis and one very apologetic anaesthetist. We were in Recovery for 4 hours!! Dominic’s sats were fine, but his BP was too high, his heartbeat was running a marathon and he was very unhappy about this whole situation and making that very clear.
Personally, I feel ridiculously guilty. He was FINE this morning – now we’re stuck in hospital overnight and he has a very painful throat, can’t breathe comfortably and we didn’t even manage to get the scan. AND we’re on HDU in a 4 bed ward with a baby that is crying a lot.
However, johnny Depp did visit the ward today dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow… so… swings and roundabouts lol. It’s also given me the opportunity to attempt to watch captain America: Civil War again and maybe reach the end. I think I’ve got more chance this time as I’ve started watching it half way through…
The nurses let me shower in the haemodialysis ensuite so at least I’ve managed to get semi clean and wash my hair (with sachets of baby shampoo). She made me laugh by saying ‘sorry it’s a bit dusty, these are day suites and obviously the patients don’t need to wee’ seriously, not something that had ever crossed my mind until that point!
I have to say though, this is easily the nicest ward we have been on in any of the hospitals so far – it has both space and is modern. But we’re still stuck with the horrible chairs to attempt to sleep on so… can’t have everything!
Let’s see how tonight goes anyhoo x