A funny thing happened on the way to the forum

This past Sunday night, Liam came into our room at about 2am, having thrown up all over his bed and the floor. He spent Monday pretty pukey still. On Tuesday afternoon, I started feeling unwell – mostly gastro-intestinal distress. I had put it down to a bad lunch at Ramen Jinya, which has happened before, but apparently not. By the evening I had a serious case of the chills – I simply could not get warm, so at about 10 I went to bed, bundled in PJs and socks and sweaters, under the duvet, and still cold.

However, around 12:30am or so, I woke up, stupidly hot and thirsty. I wandered out to the kitchen to get a drink of water. I remember getting the glass, pouring the water – and then nothing else. I apparently put down my glass, took a couple of steps towards bed, and collapsed on the floor – face first.

I came to with Leah crouched over me, my mouth throbbing, me lying in a small pool of blood on the floor. My right-front-tooth was lying on the floor in front me, and part of my left-front tooth was loose in my mouth. Everything hurt.

Leah called 911, and an ambulance came to get me, taking me to VGH. There, because I’ve had previous fainting episodes, they hooked up me up to EKG monitors, made me stay lying down and sent me for both chest X-rays and a CT scan (both of which I had last time too), to see if they could identify a reason for my light-headedness (I get this sometimes – mostly relating to being dehydrated/low blood sugar). Of course, being that I’m sick, I spend the night chilly and sickly, in pain. I didn’t understand why, but because of whatever they were looking for in the scans, they wouldn’t give me pain meds.

Finally, this morning around 6am, I got a consult with a dentist, who also didn’t tell me anything useful, then she sent me home. I still hadn’t heard anything from any doctor about the results at all, which felt weird.

It turns out I shouldn’t have been discharged then – but it wasn’t  a big deal. This morning the doctor who initially saw me called to refer me to the Cardiology clinic for more investigation (which I’ve also already been to with no results). In the interim, I’m to rest, avoid strenuous activity & driving.

Right now, my face still really hurts, and I really upset that my mouth is so ugly – I like to smile, as you may know, but with 1 chipped snaggle tooth, 1 missing tooth and swollen/torn gums, it’s a mess. & I have some pricey dental bills in the near future.

Why Can’t I sleep?

as I tweeted in frustration late last night, I’ve been having troubles sleeping lately. This happens sometimes – bouts of insomnia – that usually correspond to my mind working overtime behind the scenes to process something (aside: I often think, and talk about my subconscious in the third-person, as if it is someone else. I’ve never thought about it too much, but is that odd? Do you think of your subconscious as a quasi-autonomous entity or fully integrated into you?) (aside #2: Why do porn-stars often refer to their genitalia in the third-person? To achieve the mental separation for good mental health?).

However, this is different – I’m actually very tired and trying to sleep. But there’s 2 things stopping me that I’ve only just noticed how important they are. One, I’m sick with a cold and thus have various breathing issues. Had Leah not been working night shifts this weekend, I’m sure either she would have slept in the spare room or I would have been banished, because I’m sure I’m snoring up a storm. But, that comes and goes, and my sleeplessness has been longer than this weekend.

The day after boxing day, I fell while snowboarding. I initially thought I had maybe cracked a rib, as each breach hurt so much. But once I calmed down, I realized I’d just hurt my ribs badly on the left side – likely something muscular, as any rotation or stretching causes a sharp pain just to the left of my heart. More or less manageable , except for one thing: I, by preference, sleep on my left side, arm stretched out under my head like a pillow. So, you know, fully extending those muscles on the left side of my torso. Which really hurts. So I can’t do that right now. Which means I’m trying to sleep on my right side – which is doable, but feels odd, so takes longer. But! because I clearly have muscle memory, I apparently keep rolling over onto my left in my sleep. Which sends a stab of pain on my left side when I do so. Which wakes me up. And starts the whole process over again.

Today is the first day that I can lift my left arm to shoulder height with what I’ll call “manageable” pain, so hopefully I’m starting to heal. But in the interim, I’m feeling desperately short on sleep.

The Bead

Yesterday, Leah and Liam sat down and made a bead-phone with this bead-art craft kit we have (you stick little rubberized beads on a mat with little posts in a pattern, then iron the beads so that they melt together and stick, so you can then remove the art). Liam took his newly made phone into his room when it was naptime, and Leah continued on with her day.

A short while later, she heard Liam at the top of the stairs, crying. Coming upstairs to see what was up, he held up the phone, one corner-bead missing, and sobbed “the bead came off so I put it up my nose”.  So, stifling a laugh as best she could, she tried to comfort him while seeing if it could not be removed quickly. Realizing it couldn’t be quickly removed, and trying to console Liam, she called me. We decided to take him to Children’s Hospital emergency to see what they could do.

I left work and met them there, and then of course we waited for an hour or so. It didn’t appear that the bead was bothering Liam, who quite happily watched a movie on my phone, and played in the waiting room until we were called. Finally, we went in, and a nurse had a look up his nose to see the bead, which was apparently quite a ways up there.

Deciding that suction wouldn’t work, they first tried to have Leah blow it out, by essentially doing a variation of mouth-to-mouth. So Liam lay down on the bed, and they wrapped a sheet tightly around him to try and immobilize him. While I l held his legs down, and a nurse tried to hold his head steady, Leah gave a short, quick, hard breath into Liam’s mouth, which should, in theory, dislodge the bead, which it did not.

The next attempt was to use tweezers, but to do this a new nurse had to be brought in, who was stronger, as Liam was (understandably) really upset and squirming. The tweezers did NOT go well at all. They made 3 attempts, which had the end result of no rescued bead and an increasingly inconsolable Liam. He was crying so much that Leah had to step out of the room because it was too upsetting. He looked terrified, and while the doctors & nurses conferred on a next step, I tried, somewhat futilely, to console him. I asked him what he’d like to have as a treat after they got the bead out (a brownie) and told him to think hard about  a brownie, not what they were doing to him.

The final technique was to use a catheter to inflate a balloon behind the bead up his nose and pull it out that way. To do this they had to tip the table back more, so his head was pointing down to the ground. This time, with Leah helping hold him steady, and me holding his legs down with one arm while he was squeezing the fingers of my other hand, the doctor successfully introduce the catheter up his nose, inflated the balloon and pop! out came the bead. Success! So we gave him hugs, and I think every single person in the room asked him if he would put anything up his nose again (his sobbing answer, “no”), and then we left, headed out to get him a brownie.

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