Thursday, June 12, 2014

Red Tape & Regional Kids + A Lego-sectomy

Do you ever have those mornings when you think to yourself "wow. Everything is running smoothly. We're gonna be on time for once..."
I don't have them very often, but last Thursday morning was just like this. Fantastic! 
Then Arthur decided to snort Lego. Yup. Your heard correctly, he got Lego stuck up his snoz. Though Arthur has just turned two, his vocabulary is still somewhat limited. I think he was pretty pleased that 'nose' is one of his few words. Had he not started screaming "nose nose nose" I may not have cottoned onto what was going on. At first  I thought he had just bumped his nose, so I gave it an affectionate rub. He screamed harder. It took me sometime to assess the situation correctly. When I looked up his snout there it was. A shiny red piece of Lego. Arthur was still hysterical. 
George located the tweezers and I had a crack a providing the trapped piece of plastic with freedom. I only pushed it further up. I asked Ingrid to phone Mr TBT to ask just exactly what I should do in such a situation. As with every emergency in this family Mr TBT was 2000 km away. It took some time for Mr TBT to decipher Ingrid's garbled recollection of the mornings events. Once he got all the facts he burst out laughing. Ingrid burst into tears. Not exactly the help I was looking for. He suggested Arthur blow his nose. Arthur sniffed instead of blowing. Up went the Lego a little further. 
It suddenly became clear we were in for a visit to the local emergency room. I'm very grateful for my dear friend who came to the rescue and walked the big 2 kids to school so I only had cart the little 2 with me. 
You may remember from previous posts that we hold VIP rights at the local emergency department. We are on fist name basis with the nurse who called us in. She looked over the top of her glasses at Arthur and used all 4 of his names. To cut a long story short the doctor whipped out his special Lego removing doctor tweezers (made from wire to get into the smallest of spaces), I put Arthur in a headlock and it was all over in a few seconds. The doctor triumphantly held the little red piece of Lego up and Arthur took one look at it and said "wow". I'm sure he was thinking "gosh I've been looking everywhere for that"! Another successful emergency trip. 
On the way home I had time to reflect on the paediatric appointment which we had at the same hospital for our 8 month old a few days earlier. We had requested the appointment 5 months ago. We are a bit short on paediatricians in this part of the world, and a 5 month wait is the norm. Our eldest 3 had allergies to both cows milk and soy, and had to be on a prescription formula. In those days we saw a paediatrician, who listened to the story wrote us a script and our baby returned to full health within a short time and everyone got some sleep. 
Not so now. Some administrative twat living and working in a major metropolitan centre in this great land of ours had decided that now these scripts can only be filled by a specialist allergist or a paediatric gastroenterologist. Sure. No problem.  In theory. Only there aren't any specialist allergists in the whole of Tasmania (ok so one flies in occasionally to Hobart). Nor are there any paediatric gastroenterologists in the state. 
There are a couple of GP's with an interest in allergy and immunology. These  doctors have special allowances enabling them to prescribe things like Epipens. But they too lost the right to prescribe hypoallergenic formula. 
Cows milk allergy (CMA) is the most common food allergy affecting babies and children. It affects 1 in 50 babies. You can even have an anaphylactic reaction to cows milk. The protein in cows, sheep and goat milk are very similar so the chances are if you are allergic to one you are allergic to all of them. 50% of children with CMA are also allergic to soy. There are approximately 6000 babies born in Tassie each year. That's 120 babies born each year who wake screaming every 20 minute. Legs pumping, howling in pain. 120 babies who may have chronic diarrhoea, hives, a chronic wheeze, face swelling, eczema or asthma. 
I understand that the formula is prohibitively expensive, and that there needs to be some form of regulation.   But what I don't understand is why rural and regional families haven't been accounted for. I just don't get it. 

How was your morning?
Know anyone who's had a Lego-sectomy?
Do you have children and live in a regional area? 
Do you have food allergies?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Life @ 2

So my dear Arthur you are 2 now. 

It seems like yesterday that you came into this world. You were whisked off to special care because you weren't breathing properly. I don't remember much of that because the anaesthetist was very OTT with the drugs. I didn't even get to hold you or see you until the next day. Daddy was with you though. And you two are still the best of friends. 
I do wonder if this was the start of your independent streak. By 18 months of age you had already been on your first expodition. 
We came home from dropping the big kids at school. I let you out of the pram, put Rupert to bed and went to the loo. While in the loo I heard a knock at the door. Strange , I thought. We are accustomed to many people dropping in - most walk in, pop the kettle on and then announce their arrival. I went to the door to find the nice NBN installing man on the front door step. He had you on his hip and quietly handed you back to me. 
"I found him on the corner" he said. I didn't ask whether it was the corner with the main road, or the corner with the busy suburban street. I didn't want to know. 

As the 3rd of four kids under 6 you are streetwise. And determined. This determination will take you far.  Though I do wish you would listen - cows definitely say "moo". They don't say "poo". Your determination had kept you alive. Not just at birth, but on the many hospital trips since. When you have been struggling for breath, your heart nearly popping out of your chest for all the hard work of gasping for air. This started when you were so small, as a baby - it really didn't seem fair. And yet with every asthma attack it seemed you find opportunity. Extra time with mum. The fish tank in ward 4k.  Getting to stay up late because the doctors had pumped you full of steroids and adrenaline and you were waaay to wired to sleep. You have a zest for life, and we could all take a leaf out of your book. 
Like the time we found you in the chook hut. I hadn't been able to find you for a good 1/2 an hour. I had checked the gates. They were still firmly tied and padlocked, so I knew you had to be in our yard or house somewhere. It was Ingrid who finally found you. You had decided to check for eggs. You crawled in through the chook door and found one. Needing all four limbs to crawl out of the chook size exit you popped the egg down your jumper for safe keeping. As you attempted to crawl out you had to lie flat and - oops. There goes the egg. You sat up and squished the egg a little through grandma's hand knitted jumper while you worked out how to un-jam yourself from the doorway. When we got to you, 2 chickens were jumping all over you from the inside, pecking all the egg off. From the outside the dog was jumping all over you licking with glee. You thought it was HILARIOUS. 

But you don't think everything is quite so hilarious. You like to show your disdain for things with an "oh mummy". Face wash Arthur? "Oh mummy". Shoes on Arthur "oh mummy". Mummy doesn't actually have to be involved at all. Last time Daddy was home I returned from the supermarket to "oh mummy. Oh mummy. Oh MUMMY. Oh MUMMY". Daddy was changing your nappy. 
And despite being a wild child and a rough nut you have a lot of love to give. Even if you have to cover yourself in your sisters lip balm and pucker up first!! 

Happy Birthday my dear. Xx