Scopes and Other Uses for Nail Polish
On the day that my oldest son started kindergarten, me, the husband, and Hank took him to school and snapped his picture as he stood in front of his classroom door, looking tall and proud. Once the building had him for the day, the three of us switched modes and scurried to an outpatient surgical center for Hank’s first endoscopy. We didn’t even have time to freak out that our first born was now a man of the world, taking on the educational system. We were now in the medical zone. That first scope was awful. I was overly freaking out that we were going to get a horrible diagnosis, it was going to change our lives and it was going to be awful. Well, we did, it did … and it isn’t always awful, but it is always trying.
Small and afraid to eat, he just didn’t care.
For endoscopies, the patient can’t have liquids or solids after midnight the night before. This was more of an issue for me. I thought that I would invoke solidarity with my small son. But, he didn’t care. Small and afraid to eat, he just didn’t care. We sat and waited for him to be called back. We played with flashcards and toys that the nurses had on hand and waited. As it became time to have him go back, we were accosted by the head of Anesthesiology. He was awful. Why were we forcing him to have this procedure, who would have ordered it, why couldn’t we just avoid his allergens? My husband and I were so taken aback that we were shaking. When facing that, we’ve learned it is best to repeat who your doctor is and he can go and talk to him.
For the first two scopes, we were allowed to go back into the room with Hank. This is a bad idea. It took several people to hold down this tiny little thing of a kid. We have learned that discussing the procedure and age has made this transition down the corridor much easier. For his last scope, Hank walked down to the room, hand in hand with his doctor. He was ready. I was ready. His esophagus was not.
Hank walked down to the room, hand in hand with his doctor.
The time when your child is back with a camera down his throat is an interesting time. The first time, I was fidgety and nervous. The second time, I cried. The last time, I sat in the waiting room, a lone mother bear, drinking hot and burnt coffee while watching other people and their support systems. I glared openly at the mother who was eating, with a spoon, out of a peanut butter tub. Like, seriously, a 55 gallon drum of allergens. In a hospital. There was the poor middle age man who had to bring his mother and she was clearly hamming it up for the others in the room. I knew my time at the zoo was coming to an end when I could hear my child waking up from anesthesia. Guess what? It’s painful and disorienting and freaky to be a small child, hooked up to a drip line without a parent nearby. So the best way to handle it is to be as loud as possible. It also acts as a beacon for your parent to easily find you.
Within a few minutes, I can collect my child, but first, like any fun ride at the amusement park, there are photos! Though ours always turn out like a weird pink and white tunnel of acid, saliva and white cells. It’s a numbers game after that. How high or low is the eosinophil count and where were they found? Hank tends to hoard these in the esophagus, though some patients have them spread out through their whole GI track.
Hank and I paint his toe nails before his procedure.
There are a few things that we do to make this whole process more … I want to say fun, but that is just mean. Bearable? That might be a better word. Hank and I paint his toe nails before his procedure. It makes the nursing staff giggle, makes him feel better and it is a fun release. As he is getting older, at the ripe old age of 6, we’re nearing the end of this tradition. He has become more self-aware and more opinionated. So, we need to think of something else.
Since Hank’s GI shares the same common name of a ferocious animal, we found leggings from LuLaRoe in his size, with that animal on them. He proudly showed his doctor and again, made the nurses giggle. Being silly in a non-silly time is ok.
And for those still following along? David’s first day of kindergarten was possibly his favorite day of his whole life.