Is There a Doctor in the House?

Man, I hope not!

What a week! I have leached money in the direction of almost every medical institute in Townsville. Are you ready for this?

Last Friday we took our son to the paediatrician about his chest. This is a little more serious than we realised. He has always had a dip in his chest, but with the onset of puberty and his rapid, practically superhuman, growth over that last eighteen months it has become much more pronounced. Initial chest x-rays indicate that his ribs are touching his heart and altering its shape. There appears to be just a matter of two inches from his spine to his sternum at one part of his chest. The doctor found an innocent heart murmur which has never been a part of our son’s profile and that he has a significantly reduced lung capacity. His height falls on the 50th percentile while his lung capacity is on the 10th percentile.

On Monday our daughter had a mantoux test. This is a requirement for her visa to have a student residency in France next year.

On Tuesday our son had a CT scan done to create a 3-D reconstruction of his rib cage. Amazing!! It shows us that his right lung space is much smaller than his left. This asymmetry is caused by his heart propping up the left hand side of his rib cage.


On Wednesday Thomas the dog had surgery to repair an aural haematoma. I will spare you a photo of the result. BLAH! He now has a sponge stitched through his ear with what appears to be kitchen twine! (I’m sure that it is not kitchen twine, but it is certainly not a fine thread!) He will need to wear a plastic bucket on his head for the next two weeks to stop him from touching or scratching his ear. He is not impressed!

On Thursday our daughter had a BCG injection. Again I’ll spare you a photo of the blister that is forming. This used to be a standard vaccination in Australia, but TB is no longer considered a problem here. This is good for our country, but it makes getting the vaccination difficult. It leaves an ugly blister that will take twelve weeks to heal. The nurse administering it was kind enough to do it at the back of her arm, so it won’t be as visible when she wears her tiny formal dress. (If she doesn’t like it she can always just forgo France and stay at home with her mother forever and ever and ever!!)

Today our son has an echocardiogram. It is to rule out any problems with his heart before we proceed any further. It is just precautionary and it is not expected to find anything.

In a couple of weeks we will take all of this medical information about our son to a surgeon and proceed from there. We don’t really know what to expect, except of course that he requires a surgery. We have a million questions and will seek that many answers before our final decision is made.

Damn, I guess there will be a lot more doctors in our future!


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19 responses to “Is There a Doctor in the House?

  1. Tracey, that’s one shithole of a week!

    Your poor dog. I’d like to see those plastic collars on humans sometimes, especially the ones you see picking their nose in public, or worse still, spitting. The spit wouldn’t get away from them and it would run back down the collar into their neck. Ha!

    Not to minimise your daughter’s pain, but all that stuff is “self inflicted” in a way. If she wants to enjoy herself, she has to endure pain. She will also learn that is part of being a woman too. 🙂

    But your boy!! Oh my. I hope he is ok. Those xrays look scary. The thought of surgery is scary. Give him a big hug from me.

    Bloody Pete. He shouldn’t be allowed to go away. Look what happens.

  2. Oh Aunty I love that. Let’s put plastic collars on footballers who spit and blow their noses out ON THE TELEVISION! They know they are being filmed! They’ll carry some tissues like their mothers told them to do once they feel that oozing round the back of their necks! HA!

    Sussanah, somehow this turned into ‘come the revolution’. It is Friday, I guess.

  3. Wow, what an incredibly crummy week. Glad you found your son’s problem before it became an emergency issue. Now you will have time to get enough opinions and make the right treatment decisions. I hope your daughter and pup are feeling better soon! Stay well yourself!

  4. Oof, or should I type, woof, what a week?!

    So sorry to hear that your son’s situation is worse than initially anticipated. Thank goodness for preventative measures that you have taken. I am really hoping all works out for him in the end with minimal anxiety, surgery, medical attention, etc for everyone.

    Poor Thomas too! You have to feel sorry for the little ones who can’t understand why things happen to them.

    As for your daughter, I hope all the vaccines go well with her with minimal reactions. That’s the challenge of being a traveller ~ but better safe than sorry.

  5. Oh my. That is one full-on week. I hope everything works out okay with your son, and that the doctors are able to give you a million satisfactory answers to your questions.

    I remember the TB vaccination well. I’m so glad you spared us the visual – although if I recall correctly the worst bit was several weeks down the track when the scar is all swollen and pus-filled… But that’s the price you pay if you abandon your mother and your cooking/shopping responsibilities for a year in France!

    Hope the dog in the cone is recovering well.

  6. Your BLAH after telling us about the dog’s treatment absolutely cracked me up. AS did Aunty’s bucket on the head solution for spitting footballers.

    It was very interesting looking at the images of Pip’s lungs, they really do look squashed. Hope the echocardiogram result is all good. And good luck for the journey to fix the chest. Cx

  7. h&b

    Oh my GHAWD, what a week !!

    Interesting about the TB – I was only asking my mum recently why I have a huge bloody scar on my shoulder ( and so does everyone my age ), and yet the boy is scar-free. Must have been the TB one ?!?

    As for your son, no wonder I can’t work our my sonograms.. I could have sworn that’s a facial baby profile I saw … do you think i would make Pre-Med ? I could be like Dr. Nick on the SimSims.
    Hullo Everybody !

    And dogs. Well, dogs….. don’t start me.

    Your husband owes you big time.

  8. What a shite week. I had an echocardiogram back about 7 years ago. I was getting a little light headed and the dr discovered a murmur but then the echo didn’t pick up on that blah blah blah. That chest x-ray thingy is amazing! Hope they can do something to rectify the problem…

  9. Is Pete home yet? I hope he gets back soon.

    Those pictures are scary to me. I guess it is a total lack of medical knowledge and an overactive imagination. Glad Ashleigh will get to wear the formal with no worries about blisters detracting from her beauty. But honestly, she could make even a blister look attractive. All the girls will be out getting TB shots, whether they’re going to France or not. Hope Pip comes through everything like a champ. Bet he’s much calmer about the whole thing than you and Pete.

  10. I hope all is starting to settle down in your part of the world because it sounds pretty crazy to me.

    I just wanted to respond to your coat question. Since I have just been in Paris too. So I know what people are wearing. She WILL feel the cold no question. So my advice would be to go to the lands end american website where I have purchased several coats for the kids and myself to cope with mountains weather. Very good – quality and service. I always pay the extra postage to get it to me faster too. Especially check out the OVERSTOCKS section as that is their sale section. Go for one of those quilted puffy jackets (long if possible) that have goosedown quilting. They look over the top to our eyes but trust me everyone is wearing them. and with a hood as well. and get some gloves whilst you are at it. Essential.

  11. Oooh! Thats more than your fair share for one week. And a lot of worry. Hope they can do something to increase his lung capacity….without too much surgery. Keeping fingers and toes crossed her for all of you.
    Was watching a science program a few nights ago about jellyfish. It was very interesting, if a little scary. As the credits rolled up popped Townsville! Right away I thought of you!

  12. As everyone has noted, not a week you would want to repeat!
    Hope your wonderful son can be treated without too much difficulty. He seems such a mature young man.
    I have the TB scar- all my generation have them too. My Grandmother had a huge one from a Smallpox vaccination done in England, to sail to New Zealand. We tend to forget a lot of these awful diseases have been almost erradicated through vaccination programmes.

  13. What a crapy week you have had. I hope all is well with the family. I will pray for good news for everyone.

  14. Yep – I can guess it was a crappy week!! I hope that all the doctors have been wonderful to you and your son.
    Also that your daughter tells you how much she really really would like to stay with you Tracey – but she cannot pass up this chance to live in France!

  15. Oh, dear. You’ve written this in a calm, matter-of-fact way, but I’m sure your son’s situation is a worry. It’s good that you’ve been keeping tabs on it. Happily, it sounds like there should be a straightforward (if unpleasant for a time) mechanical fix. I’ll be thinking of you and your family –

  16. Oh Golly why does it all happen at once? Just as well you are there for everone wonder Mum! I hope your dear boy can get treatment that helps. The pics are amazing.

  17. Peta

    Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger…you’ll be freakin’ Andre the Giant soon

  18. What a week (and I thought I had a trying one!)

    I have never felt so much anguish since having kids AND dealing with the ramifications of when they are sick. At times I feel so out of my depth … I hope the doctors you see are helpful and informative – it all helps.

  19. Pingback: Frustration « Peppermint Patcher

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