Category Archives: Medical adventures


*insert swearing here*

You know it’s going to be a nightmare when a health professional phones you up and starts the conversation “look, before I really begin: sorry.”

As I mentioned previously, my puketastic daughter has lately been so very puketastic that she’s been losing weight. This is frowned upon in babies generally but even more so when surgery is imminent and they need to stay well (more on that later too). So, the dietitian, the consultant and I have been trying to get the vomiting under control. Medication has been adjusted, doses doubled, but to no avail. Ginger was weighed on Monday and although she hadn’t lost weight (a definite improvement) she hadn’t gained any either and was still vomiting after every feed. So, I phoned the dietitian to let her know, and today she phoned me back.

Anyway, she and Ginger’s consultant had a chat, and then contacted another consultant in another hospital, who runs a feeding clinic (which Ginger has been referred to but not attended yet). Consultant 2 had several suggestions, the first of which was to slow down the rate at which Ginger has her feeds. Nothing wrong with that, you might say, except that now every feed will take approximately two hours. That’s two hours to feed her roughly the volume of half a can of coke.

That’s not going to make life complicated is it?

When we first came home with Ginger, she was on seven feeds a day, each of which took about an hour. I remember that it felt like I was constantly feeding her, messing about with machines and pH strips and tubes for seven hours a day. Now on five feeds a day, I think we can work out on our fingers and toes that that comes to ten hours of the day spent feeding Ginger.

No wonder the dietitian apologised.

There are a couple of plus points. We were always told that we shouldn’t move Ginger while she was feeding, but as I pointed out to the dietitian, if we kept to that rule with the two-hour-long feeds I wouldn’t be able to get Groover to nursery/generally have a life which would be a nightmare. She said that given the slower rate of feeding we were dealing with, that shouldn’t be a problem, and just to hook her up while she is in her pushchair and get on with it. So in some ways that might make life easier – we’ll be able to have her feeding while out shopping for example – but I do find it hard to believe that moving her around won’t make her vomit, given how good she is at that.

Anyway, she’s now had two mammoth-long feeds (having her third as I type) and has puked both of them. So currently we have the inconvenience without the benefits. Give it time, I suppose.

In other news, we had a phone call today giving us a date for Ginger’s heart surgery – 5th feb.

In other (and totally inconsequential) news, I was just typing an email to someone, and used the phrase ‘in this neck of the woods’. What an odd image, where does it come from?

You couldn’t make it up.

(Well, you could, but no-one would believe you.)

Three weeks ago: Ginger spent one night on the children’s ward of our local hospital becuase of a rather nasty cough – we have to be very careful of her with chest infections etc because of her heart, also there’s also the risk that she’s aspirated her feed.* So there were chest x-rays and whatnot.

Two weeks ago: Ginger spent two nights on the children’s cardiac ward of UHW in Cardiff, due to having a rather alarming ‘going blue’ episode. This is an occupational hazard of her particular heart condition, and I must admit that the outpatients department of a large hospital during a routine appointment is not a bad place to have your first cyanotic spell, if you must have one.

Last week: Ginger spent one night on the children’s ward of our local hospital due to a nasty attack of gastroenteritis. She wasn’t desperately poorly, but they did put her on two-hourly feeds overnight, at which point I pretty much said ‘you crack on then, I’m going home for a bottle of wine’. I mean, they are paid to be awake all night. I’m not. (Heartless, moi?) She’s much better now, although I am still regularly covered in vomit and dealing with nappies of dooooooooooooooom.

Today: Groover, who I can only assume wants in on the hospital action, manages to go all drowsy and woozy after a clash of heads with another child, and is currently in A&E with mr b.

All I can say is I am heartily glad that parking is now free at our local hospital.

* I don’t think I’ve explained about Ginger’s feeding, but we’ll leave Birdie’s Adventures With Naso-gastric Tubes for another time, shall we?