Eira’s Illness & Most Recent Hospital Experience
This highly original post contains themes of Eira being ill, multiple trips to doctors and hospitals, a general sense of wanting to tear my hair out in frustration, and vomit. Just like every post in Eira’s medical saga since her brain injury in Bali six epic-ly shitty months ago.
So, to what’s going on. As I mentioned previously over the last few weeks Eira has been having very strange and seemingly random episodes of vomiting and intense stomach pain (sometimes together, sometimes not). A couple of weeks ago we were sent into hospital for dehydration treatment, and just before Christmas I took her back to the GP again to ask why her vomiting hadn’t subsided.
The GP wanted to test for H Pylori (a weird bacteria that you can pick up travelling and makes you vomit and have stomach pain) but it requires a certain toilet sample and Eira’s stomach hadn’t been working due to her illness, so we couldn’t test for that yet. We had the choice of taking her into hospital or doing rehydration at home, and I chose home so as to not put her through more hospital stuff (understandably she is very much averse to spending any more time as an inpatient).
Fast forward to Christmas Day, where she vomited all over the pavement as we left a local park and continued to vomit after that. As we ate Christmas dinner she slumped under the table and curled up on the floor, and on Boxing Day she ate just 3 Cheerios all day. Her pain got so bad over the next few days that she was spending hours doubled over on the floor or writhing as she tried to get to sleep, so yesterday I took her back to the GP first thing in the morning and he told us to go straight into hospital.
Mum thankfully wasn’t working yesterday and came to look after Esmae and Elfie, while I took Eira to hospital. I told the medical practitioner about my concerns about H Pylori, but she hadn’t heard of it and didn’t think the hospital tested for it (first BS alarm bell ringing; of course they test for it). We spent a while in A&E, they sent off blood tests and urine tests and we hung around for hours (and hours) while these were processing.
When the practitioner came back she said that the consultant she’d spoken to said it was impossible that Eira could have H Pylori (2nd alarm bell, that’s just patently not true). Eventually we got up to the assessment unit, waited more, and saw a very nice young doctor who, despite his loveliness, told me that H Pylori was something that only affected adults (3rd alarm bell).
I pressed him on why this would be and he said that he would talk to his consultant. Enter, my current favourite person whose name just happens to be Dr. Dymond (as in Diamond, and that she is). She paced up and down the room firing questions at me, Eira and the junior doctor, examining every inch of her and going through her records like a fine tooth comb. At one point the junior doctor told her that (something with a long name) had been found in Eira’s urine and she tilted her head and tapped her pen on her lips like Sherlock Holmes. It was quite amazing to watch.
After a while she asked me to give her a while to write everything down and come up with a plan, and told me that she wanted Eira to be admitted and put on IV medication. Eira dissolved into tears, and I think the doctor could see that I really didn’t want to put Eira through that but that I wasn’t going to argue if it was best medically for her. “Give me a minute”, she said, and went to her desk to make notes.
When she came back she had thought of a way to give Eira medicine (for now, antibiotics and stomach stuff to stop acid) so that we could go home and come back for more appointments with her; she swabbed her to test for more bacteria and thought of what it was likely to be. “There’s a bacteria you can pick up especially travelling that irritates the lining of the stomach…”
The doctor behind her stared at his paperwork for a bit. I don’t blame medical people for not listening to me; I don’t exactly look like someone who knows anything about tropical or uncommon diseases. It’s just frustrating when it means that not being listened to could potentially elongate any pain and suffering that Eira has to go through, after all that’s happened this year. Eira was given a gross laxative drink last night that she really wasn’t happy about to get a sample for H Pylori testing, but the promise of a late night McDonalds date spurned her on and she managed it, bless her.
So, after around 12 hours in hospital we left for home via McDonalds, which was perhaps a mistake. In my soon-to-be published book about fantastic organisation and great ideas (maybe), you might find the following extract:
“When ones child has a stomach disorder and is frequently vomiting, especially after they have not eaten all day, a fat-laden McDonalds is perhaps not the best nutritional option. If one does unwisely decide to use it as medically-necessary bribery, one should probably remember to give said child something to catch potential vomit in during the car ride home.”
And that, friends, is how Eira and I ended up in an almost-deserted-except-for-unsavoury-groups-of-teenage-boys-in-crowded-cars car park in Croydon, at 11.30pm, Eira sitting in the front passenger seat and whimpering because I had to dispose of her paper mâché balloon that was now covered in vomit, and me scraping regurgitated orange juice and chips out of the seatbelt buckle and seams of the car seat using the wing of a small plastic Pteranodon (that’s flipping hard to spell, btw).
Eira was in great spirits today- she painted pictures of peacocks, got to level 48 in some physics strategy game on my phone and made dinosaur cupcakes while I took a 3-hour round trip to pick up her meds (yay). She gets tired very easily and is asking to be carried a lot, and was sad because she couldn’t go swimming with Patrick, Esmae and Elfie, but it’s just too much for her at the moment.
That said she is doing so well as it is heartbreaking how lovely and gracious she is being about everything. She is more tearful than usual about seemingly tiny things that wouldn’t usually bother her, but it’s not surprising as most adults would struggle to stay patient with all she’s got going on.
Tomorrow we are hoping to take Eira to see her cousins for the day, as she missed out on this last week. Fingers crossed that she doesn’t vomit tonight and that she can enjoy a normal day tomorrow, albeit with a sick bowl strapped in next to her in the car. Thank you again for everyone’s messages; hopefully soon we will get a more concrete diagnosis and treatment plan and of course we will write again as soon as we do.