Bronchoscopy Number 2

We had Oli's second bronchoscopy and CT scan last week. This is where he is put to sleep and a camera goes down into his airways and looks into his lungs for any damage. The scan is also used as an assessment of his lung health. To say I was nervous about it probably an understatement. Given the experience of his last bronch I was slightly petrified! Oli was about four months old last time, only a few kilos and still having significant issues with breastfeeding & weight gain. After the procedure Oli woke up screaming, and continued to scream for the next few hours. He didn't want a thing to do with me, definitely not interested in having a breastfeed! The apnoeas ( episodes where he stopped breathing) he had throughout the procedure meant we had to stay all day and were confined to a tiny corner of a shared room. Understand why I was reluctant? Well I'm so happy to say I was pleasantly surprised by this time round. 

We arrived at the hospital and went straight to admissions to do our paperwork. We were sent up to the same day procedure unit which is right outside the NICU. Last time this made me so anxious and emotional seeing new mums waddling in with their pumped milk and looking miserable. I knew EXACTLY how they were feeling. However this  time, things were different. I was different. I felt so much stronger than last time. We were soon admitted to SDPU and answered a lot of questions regarding Oli and his health. It was a little odd when everyone was so shocked about how healthy Oli has been and how well he looks. When I hear comments like this theres a tiny part of me that thinks 'oh maybe he doesn't have CF then?!!?' It gives me a second of relief.  It's like a guilty pleasure that I have to have a moment of delight that perhaps he will get the all clear. It's short and sweet, and makes me feel better momentarily. 

Then comes the waiting. Luckily we were second on the list and we didn't have to wait that long. I came fully prepared with my toys, books and bubbles. Oli seemed to be most interested in the light switches in the room. Wasn't I a fool for teaching him that?! Before long we were waiting taken to radiography and Oli's name was called. I informed Ian I would be doing the honours, there's just something about my baby being put to sleep that seems like my duty. I'm with him all day, every day, he's so attached to me. I wanted to be the last one he saw when he went to sleep and the first when he woke up - not strangers or scary monitors! Ol was mesmerised as I lay him down on the table, he wasn't sure what was going on. The anaesthetist pressed the mask over his face and Ol began to scream, his face was completely red and desperately he reached up to me. I kept saying 'It's okay Ol, it's alright, you're okay' This broke my heart.  It took seconds for him to doze off. I was told to give him a quick kiss and promptly get out! The volunteer greeted me at the door and when she saw my face said 'You did well! No tears!' I laughed, and thought to myself how tough I am these days. Well it didn't last long, as soon as I stepped out of the doors of the hospital I began bawling my eyes out. It's not nice seeing your baby in that position. This is Ol's fourth general anaesthetic. His second bronch, as well as two previous surgeries. I will always remember his second surgery to reverse his stoma. We dropped him off to theatre and then went into Subi to do our christmas shopping - two days out from christmas and we needed to get each other a present! I remember feeling so disconnected, obviously I loved Oli then but leaving him was easy...I left him every day in the NICU. Back then it was hard but this time was harder. He has a little personality, we know each other so well, he's by my side 24/7 and he understands so much more. 

I cried all the way to the coffee shop across the street for breakfast. I pulled my sunglasses on and clutched Ian's hand as people zoomed past us on their way to work, running late for meetings, off to meet a friend...how does the world just go on? When there's a hospital full of sick kids and their parents who's lives are on hold? Our breakfast is eerily peaceful. I love getting out of the hospital at times like this, of course the food is so much better and this might sound harsh but I don't like sitting with other parents and patients and thinking about how shitty the situation is. It's horrible and I would rather be in a million other places so this is how I cope. By getting out when I can.

I'm called into the recovery bay where I'm told Ol is starting to wake up. As I walk in I see him standing in the middle of the bed looking around completely puzzled. In his attempt to walk on the bed he spots me and dives into my arms. I feel a wave of instant relief wash over me. I have him back! I cringe as he coughs and his whole body shakes, during the procedure they insert saline into his lungs for certain tests. It results in a horrible, hacking cough, not a sound I like to hear from my baby. The volunteer brings in Ian who's waiting anxiously in the holding bay. We chat to the nurse briefly and are sent back up to the ward. Oli is completely out to it, I think back to last time and figure we will be here all day again.  Before I know it Oli is awake, has eaten two yoghurts and we are being discharged! It's about 11 o'clock and it feels like christmas day as we carry Oli out of those doors again! The rest of the day goes by smoothly....apart from the poo of the century on the way home, I'm talking explosion, out the legs, all through the car seat but thank the high heavens not on my new car! 

We then have the anxious wait of results from the tests performed. We were told there was some mucus in the bottom of Ol's lungs but nothing too major. Samples were taken and we would find out at our follow up appointment if there was any sinister bugs in there. My mind is still reeling at the thought of all the potential bacteria that I've subjected him to....The pool, outside in the dirt, the supermarket oh god the supermarket! 

I'm so happily surprised when we go to Ol's annual review and his test results are all clear! His lungs are perfect, no infection or nasty bugs! This feels like the biggest accomplishment. We have got Oli through his first year healthy! We got through winter with a tiny fragile baby, who is now a chubby cheeky toddler. Here's to another year of health and happiness. Xx

 

Oli on the way to the hospital. The poor unsuspecting little victim!! 

Oli on the way to the hospital. The poor unsuspecting little victim!! 

Poor bubba just after he woke up. 

Poor bubba just after he woke up. 

In the car on the way home. A little clueless, they take bloods too. I kept thinking 'gosh how much did they take?!?! he's so pale!!"

In the car on the way home. A little clueless, they take bloods too. I kept thinking 'gosh how much did they take?!?! he's so pale!!"

Ol back to his old tricks. Beating up his Dad. 

Ol back to his old tricks. Beating up his Dad.