I can probably count on two hands the number of medical investigations I have undergone n my 30 years. I’ve had X-Rays for a broken arm, dislocated shoulder and arthritis; ultrasounds for arthritis and pregnancy; and, blood tests for numerous reasons.
Dexter on the other hand.... we have given up counting! But here are some of the tests he has undergone in his short life so far....
Echogardiogram: an ultrasound of the heart that showed a cross-sectional slice of the heart beating, its chambers, valves and blood vessels.
In Dexter’s case, he was having one of these every couple of days during the first two – three weeks because his heart would not close over – he didn’t enjoy it very much!
Head Ultrasound: an ultrasound showing the internal structure of the brain, including the ventricles (the fluid-filled cavities in the brain) and the blood vessels.
He should have only needed two of these – one at seven days and one at four weeks. But the doctors were curious and kept performing it. He didn’t enjoy this very much either!
X-Rays: mainly of the chest, but given how little he was, his whole body!
He wasn’t fazed by these, as they became a norm for him, especially during the first week with the respirator and then when he had his long line in and then again when he decided to not eat properly and need another long line and then when he decided he didn’t like his four month immunisations and who knows how many other times I was unaware of!
Barium swallow and enema: For the swallow, he had barium powder inserted down his green tube, for the enema.... the powder was inserted elsewhere.... X-Rays tracked the progress of the barium mixture.
especially the second part, but I was the only one shedding tears that day!
He slept through this one, completely unfazed, except when I tried to pick the dried superglue off the next day!
Milk scan: He drank a liquid called technetium, which shows any refluxing or anatomical problems on a special scanning device. Thankfully he only needed this done once (so far), because he wasn’t too happy about having his milk mixed with a radioactive substance!
He did vomit a little bit and I avoided his pee for the rest of the day!
Then of course there are the weekly (I’m being very generous there, it was daily at one point) blood tests; the routine nose, ear and anus swaps; and, the standard newborn hearing and eye screening tests. And don’t forget the blood transfusions and UV lights!
He has been poked and prodded. He has been flipped and turned. He has had goo smeared all over his chest and head. He has had cold objects put in places that cold objects should not go. He has had superglue on his head.
Let’s just hope this is how he stays (perhaps with a little less boob feeling!).