I swear, one day I’m selling our family story as a screenplay. Sure, it’s a little unbelievable, right up to the point where that little line of text scrolls across the screen, stating that “The events you’re about to see are all based on a true story. Only the names have been retained to implicate the guilty” — or something like that.
Take this morning. Last night, things seemed to be approaching what you’d call “Normal”, or at least as normal as it gets around here. Di was back from her latest sojourn in hospital, the house was basically clean, and we got the kids to sleep, watched some brain-dead TV and went to bed… and then 4am struck.
In the space of five minutes, Di woke up with strong chest pains and a tingly feeling in her arms, and Zoe woke up coughing up a storm. Zoe’s had a cough for a little while, and it’s not unusual for kids to get night coughs, but Di needed attention straight away, so back to the hospital we go — only this time, to emergency, not maternity. They know me far too well in maternity; I reckon if I turned up and just picked up random babies nobody would bat an eyelid…
(Note for DOCS: I kid, I kid. I’ve already got 2.5 kids, I don’t need anybody else’s)
Di gets admitted, and I get the fun pre-dawn job of keeping two kids entertained in a hospital emergency waiting room. Thankfully, we’re the only ones in there; I don’t think I’ve ever seen an empty emergency room in Hornsby before. Zoe was fine; pretty sleepy but easy to control, but James was awake and ready to PAAAARTY!
Which is just what you don’t want at 5am.
After about an hour, Di seems to be settling, and the quiet pace means that one of the nurses can watch the kids while I go in to reassure Di. But then, Zoe’s cough gets a little worse… and a little bit worse.. and before I know it, she’s coughing up green goo into my hands. Sips of water don’t really help, as they’re coming back up again minutes later. Between scared Di, rebellious James and vomiting Zoe, I figure it’s time to call in the troops, so I call Di’s mum to come and help. The nursing staff get her an icy pole to rehydrate Zoe, which seems to go down well. In due course, Di’s mum arrives, and it’s decided she’ll take both kids back to our place for some breakfast while I wait with Di. Except that literally as they’re walking out the emergency room doors, Zoe brings back up the whole Icy pole, and plenty more green chunky stuff besides on the floor. So it’s time to admit her too, which leads me to an image that’ll stay with me for some time: Mother and daugher at opposite ends of an emergency ward, smiling weakly at each other. By this stage, Di’s settled enough — turns out it was most likely heartburn, which isn’t unknown in pregnancy, but Di’s never had it before. So she’s discharged, and heads home with her mum and the rebellious (and, to be fair to him, totally bored) boy. I stay in with Zoe to await an X-Ray on her chest, as the medicos have picked up a nasty rattle. Much waiting — and waiting with a sick, dehydrated 4 year old when you’ve had about three hours sleep is exactly as much fun as it sounds — leads to an X-Ray, which is a scary prospect when you’re only four. Zoe is very good, however, and the X-Ray is quickly done and assessed. It looks at this stage as though she’s got either a virus or a very mild pneumonia, as there’s some smudging on one side of the lungs. Antibiotics are prescribed, and we eventually head out of there at 11am, a mere six hours after arriving there.
It’s then that I nearly crash into the electrician’s van at the top of our driveway; he’s there to wire in our new solar hot water tank, something that had escaped my attention up until then. This then leads me to doing something I’d sworn I’d never do again, namely reversing down our driveway — the last time I tried this, I got suspended on an hanging rock and only got out by basically tearing the front bumper off reversing over it. Thankfully, a mixture of terror adrenaline and sheer blind luck leads me to not crash the car going backwards.
There y’go. I think I should be played in the movie by a young Harrison Ford, but knowing my luck, I’ll get Mark Hamill instead…