Monday, December 10, 2007

2.8 KGs George's weight today

2.8KG again today

He's gained no weight again possibly because the dietitian who was going to up his food dosage hasn't appeared to do it. George is on what Mons describes as blue whale milk but he’s supposed to have more of it and can't be given more until the dietitian OKs it.

Non existent bird spotting

Arriving at East Dulwich this morning I saw a single magpie in the trees beside the railway line. Traditionally this means bad luck because magpies mate for life and seeing one alone means their mate has died. But I know these magpies and there are definitely two of them. They’re a modern couple who, like many here have moved to London because there’s such a concentration of shiny things here, but have now discovered that collecting them means leaving home early and getting back late. Still, at least they’re on the commuter line.

There’s another non existent bird at the hospital. In the main corridor, there’s a seating area in front of a huge window. For some reason the calls of a song thrush are piped into the area throughout the day through speakers in the ceiling. On the other side of the corridor a giant photo of the houses of Parliament hangs as perhaps the most superfluous artwork in history. Superfluous not because of its style, but because of its content – because the huge window looks out onto the Thames and the shape of the real houses of Parliament fills the view.

Lisa and George will be moving from st Thomas’ to Kings tomorrow we’ve just learnt. The’ll have to return for the operation and recovery, but this week she’ll be in Kings. This suits us fine because it’s where George was born – just a few minutes drive from home. Kings isn’t as well equipped or designed as the part of the hospital we’re in now – which has great facilities.

Looks like the number I’ve given you for the bed will be different from 2pm on Tuesday. I’ll put the new one up as soon as I get it. I just hope the dietitian can get to us and prescribe the right dose of food before we get whisked away.

We had a word with the doctor today asking whether the operation would be the end of his treatment. It looks like he’ll still need regular check ups for years to come and he’ll always need to go on antibiotics if he needs dental treatment. The doctor didn’t think he’d need to be on other medication forever… “didn’t think” is not as definitive as the answer I’d hoped for.

The boy in the bed opposite had his operation today. The parents had nothing to do but sit around cutting out Christmas decorations for the ward. A nervous time for them, and we saw ourselves in a week or so. The other children on the ward who have had operations are recovering quickly though. In a day or so, we see them moving around more confidently and getting back to their old selves. That’s more heartening.

I’m going to stay at home tomorrow morning until they’re transferred. Hopefully I can catch up with some work.

Psychiatric Accidents

Mons presenting a confusing picture to George

Mons dropped in to visit today as he was in the area – it was good to see him. Tomorrow he’s starting a placement in Kings Accident and emergency dept as part of his course. His specialty is psychiatric patients so I wondered what kind of accidents required psychiatric intervention.

It turns out he’s there primarily to deal with people who’ve attempted suicide. He volunteered for the posting, and over Christmas too – when more people try to kill themselves than at any time in the rest of the year. Sounds a bit like starting your career as a bartender on new year’s eve in a pub next to Trafalgar square. He’s a brave man.

Still hopefully he’ll pop in to visit to cheer us up too…

Lisa’s mum visited on the way back from Manchester, and managed to calm George down. No easy task because he hadn’t had a good morning – with doctors and nurses making repeated attempts to put a cannula in and eventually failing to do anything but give him multiple stab wounds in his hands and arms.

Later we gave George a bath. I took him to the mirror and for the first time he seemed interested in what was there. He looked closely at himself and at me in the mirror. I think he realised that it was me looking at him from both sides of the glass, but I’m not sure whether he realised that he was looking at himself too. When do you first realise you’re a person like other people but separate from them. That’s got to come as a bit of a revelation….

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