The appointment was a bit of a let down. I was hoping we'd see either our named consultant who took us under his wing last summer and made the order to place the feeding tube, or either the other senior consultant or SHO who both know Wriggles very well and whose judgement I trust, which is more than I can say for some of the paeds we have come across. Instead we got a new registrar, who was very nice but also very new and said "Ummmmmmmmmmmm..." a lot. In the end, she waited until one of the senior consultants was free to run things past him, which although was reassuring and improvement from some previous appointments, I'd have preferred to wait and have the actual appointment with him to talk things through myself.
The upshot was that until we have the consultation with ENT about removal of tonsils and adenoids, respiratory can't really move on with much as things are currently stable but could be improved. Since the tube was placed, the admissions and chest infections have decreased massively. We have had one queried aspiration admission, one viral admission and otherwise have broken the cycle of hell and managed bugs at home...albeit only just sometimes. Now that side of things seems better controlled, it has become increasingly obvious that reflux flare-ups are very much interconnected to chest health. It is quite common to become quite reliant on salbutomal inhalers during a bad reflux patch and Wriggles quite often acquires a blue tinge around the mouth when refluxing. So her reflux meds have been upped and the ENT department are being chased. Wriggles mouth-breathes a lot and constantly snuffles, which could be a symptom of her over-large tonsils and adenoids at least partially blocking her airways. This could potentially be putting extra pressure on her diaphragm, aggravating the reflux. So hopefully, taking them out will make an improvement. Please. If not, a fundoplication was mentioned again-although we have some bridges to cross before that luckily.
Annoyingly, yet another video fluoroscopy referral has got lost in the system, and until that which will assess how "safe" her swallow is now, we still are a no-fluids-orally zone. By the time we get the VF done, it will have been over a year since Wriggles drank anything and I very much hope our feeding/speech and language therapist comes out the woodwork to help with that as I suspect it will not be easy. She never could drink from anything but a particular teat on a bottle and never thin liquids as she choked, so I do really hope we won't be left alone to learn it all from scratch, especially as a will-be-3 year old is a different kettle of fish to an under 1. After clinic running over an hour late, we then had a nice long wait to pick up new dosage meds from the hospital pharmacy. What a treat.
Frustrated by waiting around, being made to sit in her buggy ("WALK!"...which I wouldn't mind, but she tires after a very minute distance thanks to the cerebral palsy and more common Toddler Syndrome, thus making 100 metres a game of musical buggies) for part of the ride home and life in general, Wriggles resumed her tirade of shouting incomprehensible gibberish non-stop, so once home in desperation I let her
torture wash Long-Legged-Mouse who has become the victim for most mischief since Noodle the beloved hedgehog got felt tipped and had to spend the night in the airing cupboard which vexed both Wriggles and no doubt him. In the last week, Long-Legged-Mouse has been attacked with Grandma's blusher, repeatedly drowned and nearly been fed to some giant fish.
I don't know what or whom was wetter; Wriggles, Long-Legged-Mouse, me or the kitchen floor, due to a faulty plug in our water table. All were thoroughly soaked, but it used up a fractious hour and finally removed the traces of makeup from poor Long-Legged-Mouse. I hung her out to dry by her tail (it's a tough life) and filled up a large plastic box with water and bubble bath, stripped off the sopping toddler and let her have an impromptu al fresco "bath" just outside the kitchen door on what I fondly call our balcony. Sceptics might call it the top step of the industrial stairs down to our concrete yard.
To round it off, we kindly treated both our street and the back street of the next one down to my tuneless 'Five Little Ducks' accompanied by my backing-shrieker before Wriggles paraded her bare bottom for all to see. I wish the NHS would provide at least a complementary bubble bath or such for Mouse Washing or such activities needed post-appointments. I can quite empathise with Wriggles that she does get very anxious during them, particularly when they insist on weighing her and checking oxygen levels and thus is a nightmare as she can't quite calm herself properly after them, but it doesn't make looking after her any easier when she just shouts gibber until bedtime as a result. Maybe next time I'll put it in the comments box.
Mental note: request next hospital appointment to fall on a truly rubbish WET day.