April Fool’s Day. Nathan tripped and fell in our garden and cut his lip against our letterbox pole.
Result: a serious lower lip laceration
What followed was a harrowing experience of blood, tears, hospitals and waiting rooms. Oh the waiting. The waiting is the worst part of the experience.
From Fremantle Hospital Emergency, we were referred to Princess Margaret Hospital where we spent a whole day on April 2nd just waiting, waiting and waiting. Waiting for a much coveted slot in the operating room.
In between FB updates and chats to doctors and nurses and keeping our little Nate entertained, I couldn’t help some moments of tears. Tears from asking a million “whys'” and “if onlys”. Every time I glanced at that ugly gash on my son’s mouth, I was pierced through the heart.
FYI, we already had a paediatric plastic surgeon ready to operate on Nathan. However Princess Margaret Hospital only opens up ONE operating room on Sundays prioritised for extreme emergency cases.
As the clocked ticked by from 8am, to 2pm, to 4pm, to 7pm my heart grew weary with all the waiting and uncertainty as the nurses kept telling us of yet another emergency case coming in that pushed our Nate further back in the queue.
Nate was a trooper through the whole ordeal – smiling and even laughing through the pain and discomfort, making friends with the nurses and other kiddos, and trying to cheer his poor mother up with clownish tricks, silly faces and inside jokes.
Finally at 8pm they sent us home. We were to come back the next morning instead. A whole day in limbo gone just like that. A day in limbo being constantly on standby and fasting from food and water in preparation for surgery. I couldn’t bear to eat much at all the whole day knowing how hungry and thirsty my poor soon was.
We dragged ourselves back to the hospital early the next morning. After some initial delay, we were in. We were whisked through a blur of forms, questions, needles, devices and machines. Hubby was kind enough to let me be the designated parent to hold him while they administered the anaesthetic in the operating room.
And then I was escorted gently to another waiting room. This room was nice and quiet with two grandmotherly old ladies serving us tea and biscuits and patting me gently on the shoulder with kind assurances.
Post surgery: I met a poor, tired, hungry and traumatised child and held him as the nurse whizzed through blood pressure checks, temperature checks, removing needles, dosing neurofen…
“Please let this be the end, mummy!”
Milk. And home time. At last.