Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Not Nutella

It's 7.30am on Tuesday morning and I'm hanging onto the overhead bar on the number fourteen tram with a slightly hysterical and impossible-to-repress smile on my face.




















Sapphire's been sick for so long now. Five weeks. Our GP rang the hospital and referred her the day before and yet, after hours of waiting and telling her story to four different doctors, she was sent back home at 10pm. It was -2C as we stood shivering outside on the kerb, waiting for LC to pick us up.

More drugs to take. The final 'experiment' before ..... well, nobody is willing to say what happens if they don't work.

Nine and a half hours later I'm heading back to the hospital with Sapphire's latest stool sample at their request. They disagreed with the two test results obtained from the GP; said that they 'couldn't possibly be right, they've made a mistake.' I was too tired to argue and Sapphire drooped against my shoulder, even more tired. Who cares about the kid when there are numbers of pieces of paper that can be waved about, photocopied and discussed endlessly? Who cares if she's been sick for five weeks - she's not screaming, or pushing her spilled out gizzards back in with her own hands, is she?

A bunch of dodgy-looking beggars get on board at Servette, invariably accompanied by a bad accordion player with a repertoire of only three songs. They all reek of beer, BO and cigarettes and talk loudly in an attempt to intimidate the rest of us into giving a donation when the cup is walked up and down the aisle. Wallets and bags are known to disappear too, so I always grip mine tighter, the zips close to my hands and the inside of my body.

Today however, my blank face is replaced by a smile that gets gets wider, stretching the dry skin around my eyes and no doubt looking both out of place and insane on a workaday foggy morning. Aside from the gypsies, everyone else is dressed in work clothes encased in puffy North face jackets and fur-lined hoods in blacks, greys and browns. I wonder how they'd react if I broke the ear bud-enforced silence with this conversation piece: Am I the only one carrying a fresh poo here today?

The man with the begging cup makes eye contact with me. He gives me a dismissive flick up and down with his eyes. I'd obviously be an easy target if he wanted to bother. Go ahead buddy, I think. Pick my bloody pocket. There's a jar for you in here and it sure as hell ain't Nutella.......

They want Sapphire back at the hospital on Friday to see if the drugs have worked and to study the results that their lab ("It must be done through our laboratory; why has your doctor ordered this from Zurich?) produce. Family, friends and the school teachers ring for updates and there's none yet to give. Sapphire is still in pain, still weak, still poorly. We can't do anything but wait until Friday.

And all I can do right now on the tram is involuntarily chuckle out loud at having arrived at a time in my life when I'm ferrying shit across town in my handbag.

20 comments:

Uf said...

So sorry it lasts for so long... I had stomach flu a few weeks ago and it only went on for a few days, but it was pure torture. Sapphire is very brave to endure it for 5 weeks.

I had to send by mail my dog stools for a parasite check... it was back in summer, with 30°C outside, and I kept sniggering at the thought of the envelope breaking or, god forbid, the package returning to the sender :)

Kath Lockett said...

Oh 'Uf' that's awful. Funny too, though - when we're down it's always the poo jokes that make us laugh!

The Elephant's Child said...

So sorry it is STILL going on. Sending lots of good wishes.
I remember carrying a urine sample across the Law Court Steps on my way to see the specialist whose offices were on the other side. It dropped, and shattered. Major embarassment as I was about 14 at the time. Now I snigger. The power of a good snigger should never be underestimated. Part of me thinks it is shame you didn't get your pocket picked.

Kath Lockett said...

Me too, EC! I remember collecting my urine for an entire weekend during my uni student days being a guinea pig for a medical experiment. The sloshing sound of an old cordial bottle filled with wee as I made my way to the Medical School is a sound I'll never forget!

nuttynoton said...

I remember jasper carrott telling a story of how he took lots of wee samples in an old whisky bottle and left it on the bus by accident and who knows what happened? his story was hilarious you have to chuckle, it gets us through these difficult times. Hope you get some answers and improvements soon!

WV - Beater hopefully that is what she will do!

Elisabeth said...

You always manage to see something positive or amusing in the worst of scenarios, Kath, and then share it with us. It helps me to start the day well.

River said...

Oh. For a moment I thougfht that perhaps Nutella was causing Sapphire's problem. I'm glad the gypsy didn't pick your pockt and make off with the sample though. Imagine having to produce another at short notice. Why the fuss about which lab does the work? Is Zurich better and thelocal lab assistants are jealous? Or is Zurich no good and the local ab assistants know this but your doctor doesn't?

Or is it possibly just a case of oneupmanship? Our lab is better than your lab, ner ner.
Whatever, I hope these new drugs are helping, although with Sapphire still in pain it doesn't sound as if they are.
I really hope something is found soon that will work.

Andrew said...

The Swiss medical system sounds quite confusing and not quite as I would have imagined it.

Cat J B said...

Poor girl, hoping they figure it all out quick. There is not much worse than having your child sick.

drb said...

Just as well the hospital didn't insist on 'fresh' sample...

franzy said...

I have a story which may top this.

But you'll have to wait for a private telling. I'm not ready to commit to public knowledge just yet. Maybe ever.

Most of my best wishes for Sapphire. I'm keeping some back for Mele, who's undergoing similar stuff.

xo

Hannah said...

Oh Kath, I had a similar outburst of giggles two weeks ago, but what I was carrying wasn't my daughter's....

The lady at the place I took it too told me about the old people who march in waving a full jam jar around, not even bothering to hide it. That made me laugh too.

Jayne said...

(((hugs)))
I've had those same thoughts at times lol.
I hope they're able to get this sorted soon, it sounds overly complicated :(

A friend of my mum's had a 48 hour unrine collection in an old whisky bottle; she'd popped it into her shopping jeep and was window shoppinh when she suddenly realised some young thug was leaning in and helping himself to the bottle of 'whisky'.
She let him take it LOL.

Baino said...

Darling if you didn't laugh about it, you'd cry. Here's hoping they can find a solution for your poor little mite.

Kath Lockett said...

nutty - my brother (during his uni house sharing days) once deliberately picked Jill's newest tupperware container, popped an unwrapped Picnic bar in it and wrote 'Stool Sample' on the top in permanent marker and waited for her to see it and react.....

Thanks Elisabeth - I must say that having my first coffee of the day is always better when reading blogs such as yours, too.

River, if they were 'ab assistants' then I'd be there eagerly checking them out. No, I think that the hospital is disputing the results and therefore insisting that the latest samples are done at their lab and theirs only. Or something like that. I think. I guess.... It's got our GP puzzled and annoyed too.

Sadly Andrew, the Swiss system doesn't seem any more efficient than the Aussie system. More clocks to watch though.

True, CatJB. I've been struggling with a persistent migraine all week and Sapphire's been more worried about that than her own situation. Perhaps seeing me look like a puffed up potato is taking her mind off things.

drb - if they did, I would have insisted that they give her a bed and we'd stay and wait.

Franzy, I'll cross my fingers for Mele, because I know that she's had some horror health stories in the past (a post you did whilst on Bribie Island instantly springs to mind). I hope whatever ails her disappears to infest someone more deserving.

Hannah, I remember reading James Herriot's books as a kid and he said that farmers would bring in one gallon tins of their cattle poo for sampling. Whomp it on the counter with pride, as if to say, "Ave a look at that, why don't yer."

Thanks Jayne. Perhaps the 'whiskey' didn't taste much different to that mental pygmy!

True, Baino. Some of the best laughs are had in desperate circumstances....

Pandora Behr said...

Ah, I'm so hoping Saph gets this out of her system - ppor kid. Like a few others here, I know about taking samples in on public transport - Like you, a four litre bottle shoved in my back back half full with a day's wee. I had - Dare you to steal my back pack going through my head too.

Sending healing.
x

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kath,

What a nasty surprise that would be for a pickpocket.

I would pay money to see the look on his face as he opened his prize...

:0)

Cheers

PM

Anji said...

I hope that you've had some sort of news by now (mid day friday). Yes I've ferried poo and pee to laboratories in the past and Rob once delivered a smear test to its rightful lab.

Red Nomad OZ said...

HHHMMMmmm... I'll always think of you as the 'poo warden' now!! Where's a scenic public toilet when you need one??

Hope the news is all good.

PS Is it any coincidence the word verification today is 'ureon'??

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Anji and RedNomadOz - things are now being taken seriously by the hospital. Having the GP 'on side' and willing to make phone calls and be contacted immediately really helped too. Sapphire now has a catheter in her arm which gets tapped for an IV three times a day. Hopefully this will finally fix things for her.