So you know I didn't get to post last week. I mean to, I actually had a little to say. But, well, life gets in the way.
Last week was rather eventful in itself. Dobby had been complaining of stomach pains and she said she could feel a lump behind her belly button. I didn't really believe her. Well, that is to say, given that she had been on crutches, I thought she had just pulled a muscle. So I told her to wait a few days and see if it disappeared. It didn't.
So on the Monday after the caravan rally, her dad had a doctor's appointment and I asked them if she could go too. She did.
The doctor thought she may have a small hernia and sent her for a scan. We did the scan on Thursday, and in the mean time, a small lump started to appear inside her belly button. Just a little one. Nothing odd really.
I had an appointment on the Saturday for the doctor to get a skin check, so I took her along to that as well. He looked at the pictures and it was confirmed, she had a hernia.
He also found a spot on my back and took a biopsy.
So, Dobby has a hernia. Just a little one, about 2 cm, and the neck of the hernia is only about half a centimeter across. Hop up here on the table and lets have a look. Dobby lays down and lifts up her shirt.
Doc looks stunned for a tick and calls me over. "How long has this discharge been here?" Her naval is filled with pus. Oh dear! That's new! Doc prescribes anti-biotics and instructions to come back Monday for a follow up.
Wow, we weren't expecting that. Where did that come from? Her belly is still quite sore, so we go do a bit of shopping and buy her medication, then head home.
Saturday evening saw us over the other side of town at a birthday party for one of the blokes from the caravan club. While there we strike up conversation with another lady who we hadn't had a lot to do with. Turns out she is quite lovely and not at all like our first impressions. We both feel quite like we have made some type of contact.
That's the birthday boy. Very funny lad, and that cake was to DIE for!
Dobby is having a great night, and asks if one of the girls can come back to our place to sleep after. No worries, as we had planned to go back to that area the next day. But the friend is going out for the day, so asks if Dobby can sleep there. She has no clothes or anything but it's agreed she can. Fluffy and I take our leave about 11.45 and make the 45 minute trip back home alone.
Next morning I had promised to take Dobby to Tea Tree Plaza which is not at all far from this place, so I stop by just before eleven to collect her. She has borrowed a tee shirt from birthday boy and a pair of shorts from his daughter to wear overnight. Because for once she was actually wearing a dress!
She gets changed into the clothes I bring while I have a cup of tea and chat to birthday boy's partner, who is very lovely.
We leave just before noon and head out to the shopping centre. The sky is pretty clear so we leave the sun roof open. It promises to be about 37 degrees! What better place to be than the shopping centre.
Now, purpose of this visit? I have arranged for a meeting with one of my Blog friend Khristina. We live on opposite sides of Adelaide, but have been meaning to meet up for ages. As I had been planning to give Dobby a surprise, it was perfect we meet there.
See, for Dobby's birthday this year I had promised her another earring in her ear. But it never eventuated. So I decided that I would get it done at the same time. What do you think?
She loves it, of course! She chose a lovely silver stud with a "diamond" birthstone.
We take a look around for Christmas craft things before meeting Khris and her lovely daughter for coffee. Well, coffee and sushi. Yum!
After our coffee and chat we decide to do a spot of shopping and take the girls to Jay Jay's (Dobby's favourite store!) and I buy her a couple of tee shirts. While there birthday boy's partner phones to say Dobby had left her shoes there and she was dropping them down to the shopping centre for me. That's service with a smile!
Now, while all this is going on, Dobby is constantly checking her stomach. The little lump has blown out to almost fill her navel. It looks terrible and the weeping has intensified so much. It's all cruddy and smelly. As soon as we get home Dobby needs a shower and to clean up her belly.
We bid farewell to Khris and her beautiful daughter and head to the car. And as we drive out the driveway, it starts to rain! Whew! By the time we get home the storm is raging and roads are flooded. A few minutes more and with that sun roof up, well.....
Back home, and after her shower the wound actually starts running pus so we are forced to cover it. As she has an appointment with the doctor on Monday I tell her just to leave it and try not to worry. An angry red triangle has formed under the belly button and it's quite hot to touch.
Monday she went to school but was very quiet before she left. About ten past ten I got a call from the school saying Dobby was in the office in a good deal of discomfort, could I come get her. I phoned Boss who said to see if I could get her into the doctor.
As we are extremely busy at work, I wasn't sure if this was a good idea, but phoned them anyway. Sure, they said, bring her up now and we will squeeze her in.
I did. The doctor took one look at the mess her belly was in and told me to take her straight to the hospital as it needed to be surgically drained. If they didn't admit her I was to bring her back the next day.
So, we phoned the specialist and made an appointment for her hernia on the way to the hospital. We got there just before lunch, and were seen fairly quickly. The same doctor who saw her two weeks earlier about her ankle saw her again. He thought we looked familiar...
He put in a call to surgical registrar for an opinion, but he was on his way into theatre, so we would have to wait a bit. They decided to stop all food and drink in case he had to go in with a knife to drain her belly. Plus, they put in a drip shunt thingy. She and her dad called it a floppy thingy if my memory serves me well.
While we were waiting, she showed me an insect bite she had gotten over night. I wonder what did this?
It looked pretty certain she would be in over night, they just had to wait for the surgeon to confirm it. And we waited.
We waited, and waited. The doctor saw her about 1.00 perhaps. By 3.30 they decided to move us from our observation cubicle to another little room around the corner with two beds in it. During this time Dobby had a couple of little naps. I didn't want to eat in front of her so I had to suffer as well. I hadn't had breakfast since 6.30 and Dobby had only had a couple of crackers for morning tea (she usually skips breakfast). While she was napping at one point, a nurse offered me a cup of tea, and with it came two tiny little cellophane wrapped biscuits. I was as quiet as I could be, but next thing, the middle finger appeared over the shoulder of Dobby, who had her back to me. Tee hee. Cheeky.
And we waited. Fluffy came in at about 4.20 as he had been in the city interviewing new staff. I was getting fairly stressed at this time, because when I left work, I had fully intended going back. I left my computer on, the air conditioner on, and the front door was only locked not bolted. Boss was out of town. He phoned me about then and said that they were on their way back and he'd lock up. That was a relief.
Finally, about 5.oo the surgeon arrived. Yes, he said, there is definitely rubbish under the belly button. He couldn't find the exit point though, where it was coming from, so he suggested a very heavy barrage of anti-biotics given intravenously for the next day and see what happens. He ordered a scan for the next morning to assess the internal damage.
So, Dobby was finally allowed to eat, and so were we! The nurse brought her some lasagna and jelly, and I went off to get Maccas for Fluffy and I, and to bring back some clothes for Dobby and feed the animals.
When I got back. she was still waiting for a room... It's well after seven by this time. Boy, those parking fees sure do add up.
Anyway, just before nine she makes it up to her room. She has 4 beds in the ward, with a shared bathroom, and an accordion partition down the middle. There is no one in the bed next to hers so she has the room to herself. She changes clothes and hops into bed, settles down to watch tv until well after midnight... Fluffy and I take our leave about 9.40 or so.
Next day I decide to nip into work for two hours before I go to the hospital. Dobby phones me and says the doctor has already been. Dammit. But I had to get that stuff done for work.
When I get there Dobby is hungry and tired. But in pretty good spirits. Her scan is scheduled for eleven, and just before that I ask the nurses if there is anything to entertain her, as she's bored. They say they may as well take her for her scan now, so a lass walks us down to radiology.
The attending physician is quite intrigued with Dobby's stomach. The device causes her considerable pain but she grits her teeth and doesn't say much. He leaves the room and another lady comes in. She plunks herself down on Dobby's bed and chats to us while the technician does her thing.
It appears there is no sign of a hernia, but instead the red inflamed are is severe cellulitis, and there is an area of pus beneath her umbilicus with a clear drain to the surface. So that's what's been doing all this! And, there is no hernia.... Strange. It would appear what they thought was a hernia was in fact a lump of abscess type thing. Well, that's good.
Back in her room, she can't eat until the doctor has looked at the scan, and decided if she needs surgery. Hours later, close to 3.00, he finally puts in an appearance. Again, because she can't eat, I won't eat in front of her. Boy, this is tough! We sit and amuse ourselves. She is a good patient, just watching tv, dozing, chatting away. We get along just fine.
The surgeon says that he won't operate, but keeps her in another night for more strong drugs, and she should be okay to go home in the morning. Yes, you can eat. Yay! They bring her lunch (lovely chinese chicken noodles and ice cream with custard) and I go to the cafateria for a foccacia and juice. Not too badly priced. $7.90 for the sandwich, and I could only eat half. Dobby had a go at the rest.
Fluffy decides to save on parking I will meet him at home around 5. So I bid farewell to Dobby and make my way home. I have to laugh, cause she phones me 3 times in an hour wondering when I'll be back, because I've been gone hours!
I am not happy though. I phoned Boss to tell him she will be in overnight again, and can I have tomorrow off as well. No, I cannot. I have to go into work. It hits me like a ton of bricks and I want to cry.
I have been at this hospital for two days, and nothing is done at home. There are still dishes in the sink, mess on the floor and dining table, there is no pet food and I am tired. I really needed that extra day. But no, I have to go to work. Fluffy is very angry and tells me I need to get a medical certificate to give me the day off work. I don't. I just go with the flow. Fluffy refuses to come to the Christmas party now. I'll deal with that one later.
I send boss a short text saying I will be in at 12. I don't bother to answer his reply inquiring about Dobby.
I meet Fluffy at home, collect some things for Dobby, and back to the hospital. Only $8 for parking this trip.
Fluffy naps in the chair, Dobby watches tv and I sit and stare. At nine, after Dobby has dozed and woken again, Fluffy and I take our leave. We are very quiet on the trip home. I am as close to being depressed as I have ever been.
Another late night. I make Fluffy toast and coffee because he didn't stop for dinner, and at 10 pm I find myself ironing shirts so he has uniforms for work. Man, this sucks.
Next morning I am again up when Fluffy goes to work. I drag myself through my morning routine, making sure I am dressed for work this time. Today is a big day for Dobby. If they allow her out she will be going to Charlie's Diner for lunch with the class, and then Graduation in the evening.
She is very intense today, waiting to be told she can leave. She dashes in to the bathroom and changes, freshens up. She refuses to shower there, waiting instead till she gets home.
The doctor comes around 8.30 and tells her she is going home. One happy Dobby. We are actually out and on our way by a little after 9.00. The pharmacy sent up her medication, and I paid $20 on our way out, another $8 at the car park, and we're free.
We got as far as King William Street in the city (which, if you are not a local, is about 1km from the hospital) and the phone rang. "Is that Samantha's mum? I'm from the lab and Dobby's swab results are in. That medication we gave you is not going to work on these bugs. She needs this other one that she has had an allergic reaction to. You'll have to come back".
Great. She said that we should try this medication again as it was possible that that reaction ten years ago was related to the virus and not the medication. Sigh. Well, I'll have to come back later.
I took Dobby home for a shower, washed a few dishes, did a very quick and basic tidy up, and dropped her off at school.
I decided that, because I had told boss, via a very short text message, I would be in at 12, and it was only 11, I would go back to the hospital. When I phoned to see if the medication was ready, the lass did it up while I was talking to her. And while she was sympathetic that I had already forked out $20, she could only reduce this one to $10 and I wouldn't get a refund. Once it has left the pharmacy they won't refund. Great.
Before heading to the hospital I stopped off at the Entertainment Centre, tried to find the Ticketek Office, found it unattended, wandered around looking for someone, finally found a cashier, and picked up Dobby two tickets to see Good Charlotte. I bought them a week ago but couldn't get time to get there to pick them up.
Back to the hospital, a quick park in the 15 minute drop off zone on the other side of the hospital, and another attempt to get a refund for the other medication, and I was on my way back to work. And I took a wrong turn and had to go miles out of my way. Not a good start to the day. I was almost in tears when I got to work, and didn't even say good morning to Boss. He was not my favourite person that day.
Anyway, it's graduation day. Dobby phoned me after their lunch to ask if she could get ready at a friend's house. Sure, you can. She had already gotten the friend's mum to wait at our place while she grabbed her dress, shoes and bits and pieces, little rat.
I left work late, rushed over to pick up Dobby, and she' wasn't even dressed. So much for taking our time and not being rushed. However, she had done her hair and showered so all she had to do was put her make up and jewellery on. I did both.
And this is the result....
Sometimes it's hard to believe she is only 13. I was so proud of her. We had already spent two whole days with just our own company for the most part, and that meant some quality bonding time. So to see her looking like such a lovely lady was just a wonderful culmination of a stressful couple of days.
We rushed off down to the school and left her at the library while we took our seats inside. I don't have very good photos of the ceremony and stuff because my camera wasn't good enough to take flash photos that far away, however I have been told some are coming my way from a wonderful family we have known for years.
This is Dobby and her friends after the ceremony
This is her and her teacher
A friend took this one of us
She's beautiful, isn't she?
Back to school Thursday with her school jumper for autographs. It is totally ruined but at the moment her most prized posession. She loves all the signatures and notes on it. Something to treasure for a long time.
Last day of year 7 today, and she is both excited and sad. It's the end of 6 years of friendships, teachers, experiences for a lifetime, but I know she will be the best person she can be for it. I am very proud of my big girl. Love you Dobby. xxx