Monday, 12 March 2012

Wombat the chatterbox

The other week I was blogging about how I didn't feel like I had as much of a connection with Wombat as I would like, among other things. In that post I mentioned that Wombat doesn't talk much and that I was going to make an appointment to see a speech pathologist. Well, last week we went to see one.

We had to swing by Seagull's pre-school, which is on base to drop him off first. As we were leaving the base, Wombat had a really confused look on his face. I suppose he was wondering why we weren't dropping him off at childcare.

I wasn't too sure what to expect. The speech pathologist had a few toys and books set up on her table. Wombat was interested and was given a toy train to play with while Thunder Maker and I had a chat with the speech pathologist.

Wombat went back to the table, but all of the toys were out of his reach. The speech pathologist grabbed the toy that Wombat wanted and sat down on the floor to play with him. Over the hour of our appointment, they played with several toys. Wombat also came over to me at one point and was getting a bit whingy, so I started jigging him up and down on my knee and singing a song that he likes. It goes:

Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up horsey!
Giddy up, giddy up, GO GO GO!
Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up horsey!
Giddy up, giddy up, WHOA!

By the way, you know you've been singing that song way too much when you catch yourself singing it while on weekend shift at work. At least there was no one else around to hear it. Anyway.

The speech pathologist suggested that I don't start singing the song until Wombat indicates that he wants me to. At the moment, his approximation of "giddy up" is "g g g" while he jigs up and down on my knee. It's pretty cute. I also have to stop just before the "GO GO GO" bit until Wombat says it to me. Again, all I get is "g g g", but the speech pathologist says that's OK. At least he is trying.

After a few more pieces of advice, we headed back to the base to drop Wombat off at childcare. We got there right as lunch was being served up so he was a very happy little boy.

Since the appointment, something seems to have clicked with Wombat and he is trying to communicate so much more. He's started going through the stage of handing me things and saying "Ta". He is generally coming up to me much more to initiate play.

However, I've also realised that whenever we sit down to play, Seagull is butting in and sort of taking over. Obviously, he is not doing it for any other reason than he wants to be involved, but it means that Wombat doesn't get as much of an opportunity to practice his speech. Right now I am trying to figure out how I can play more with Wombat in a way that is going to improve his speech without Seagull butting in. All I have been able to come up with is to tell Seagull that he needs to be quiet and let Wombat have a turn.

One unexpected consequence of Wombat's efforts to communicate is that I feel like we are bonding really well with each other. It feels like we are on the same wavelength without any interferrence for once. I've spent so much time watching Wombat sleeping lately just marvelling at how cute and peaceful he looks.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Why I don't have to change nappies

Until Thursday, this was taking up prime real estate on the dorsal surface back of my wrist:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Ganglion cyst, a.k.a. "big ugly lump"

It first took up residence a few weeks after Wombat was born. I freaked out at first, not knowing what the hell it was. Fortunately, I had an appointment with my doctor about something else the day after I noticed it.

The doctor told me that it was a ganglion cyst and that if I wanted it gone, that I would need to have surgery. He also told me that they can come back after surgery and that if it wasn't hurting me that I should just leave it alone. It was hurting to get Wombat in and out of his car seat at the time, but he was only a few weeks old and I didn't want to have to manage the logistics of breastfeeding and general anaesthesia, so I decided to leave it alone.

A couple of months later, it went away. Then it came back again later that day.

I left it alone for over a year, but I eventually found that I was losing strength in my wrist. I decided to go see a doctor about it once I started work at my new posting location.

I was referred to an osteosurgeon who specialises in upper limb surgery and he booked me in to have it removed. Thursday just gone was that day.

On the way to my appointment, I told Seagull that I was going to have the big ugly lump removed from the back of my hand. Seagull said "big u- lump". It was pretty cute.

I was booked in to go into surgery at 5pm, but predictably, I didn't go in until 6pm. Given that the surgery took place at a place that was nearly an hour from home, Thunder Maker had to bring the boys with him. There was a Hungry Jacks just down the road so the plan was for Thunder Maker to take them there for dinner and let them play on the play equipment there for as long as they would stay amused on it. The play equipment turned out to be designed for larger/older children than Seagull and Wombat, so the visit was short-lived.

I remember the anaesthetist taking a while to find a vein in the back of my hand and telling him that he may struggle to find anything. Then he slipped the needle into the back of my hand. I then had a little conversation with him and the anaesthetist nurse about how I hate anything involving needles at work because the RAAF medics always struggle to find my veins and I end up walking out with 5 puncture sites after having to have blood taken.

I remember being told that normally they wouldn't run saline through a patient having my procedure done, but because I'm breastfeeding and I'd been fasting for the last 8 hours that they would put one through me so that my milk supply wouldn't be too badly affected. I was also told to pump and dump the first lot of milk so that Wombat wouldn't be drugged out by it, but that he would be fine to breastfeed after that.

It was at about this point that I realised the anaesthetic was starting to kick in. Next thing I knew, I was in recovery trying to see what time it was. My wrist was bandaged up and feeling sore and cold. I snuggled it in under the blanket. The nurse was really nice and noticed that I was cold. It was time to move me into the post recovery area, so the nurse grabbed me a warmed blanket and swapped it over as she was getting me settled into a nice comfy chair.

Once I'd had a sandwich and a cup of tea, the nurse helped me to get dressed. I was really grateful to have someone to do up my bra because that wasn't going to happen if I'd had to do it myself.

When I was dressed, the nurse brought Thunder Maker and the boys in to give us the post-op information. After that, we were free to go.

Fortunately it really hasn't been that sore. Especially given that I'm allergic to all the good painkillers like Panadeine and Panadeine Forte.

Yesterday I was getting my breakfast when I looked at what I can actually see of the back of my hand. My reaction was WTF?!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Note the blue/purple bruising. Not that you can see it, but it is really swollen too.
I started popping neurofen in an effort to get the swelling down. I'm not too sure that it's really worked because this is what I woke up to this morning:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Swollen and blue up to my knuckles. Trust me, the real thing looks more impressive than this picture.
I decided it was time to take my rings off. By the way, the only reason I'm not grossing you all out with pictures of my stitches is because my stupid bandage has to stay on until I go back to have the stitches out. I'm suspecting the bandage is going to look pretty manky by the Monday after next.

The best thing about all of this is having a legitimate excuse for not having to change nappies.