May 31st was another important diary date for Tom - back to QMC for an MRI scan on his cochlea. One of the known after effects of meningitis is the ossification of the cochlea - the fluid that normally moves with the sound waves received by the ear begins to fill with bony growths. This hinders the implant process and reduces their effectiveness which is why Tom has been 'fast-tracked' on the Cochlear Implant program and why he has a diary all to himself, chock full of appointments.
So what does having an MRI done entail? Various acts that contravene the Geneva Convention, according to Tom at least. No food for six hours beforehand is the closest thing to torture for someone who has developed a serious biscuit habit since he fell ill. To be fair, Tom didn't start saying 'chock-lit' over and over until he'd gone at least three hours since breakfast. Couple this with sleep deprivation (well, foregoing the lunchtime nap) and, by 1pm, things were only just staying the right side of fraught.
Being a wriggly toddler who hates offering up his veins for canulars, Tom was put under anaesthetic using gas - it was mercifully quick and luckily he didn't look into my treacherous eyes as I held him still for the anaesthetist. The scans themselves take very little time and, after hanging around to make sure he eats and drinks (not a problem; Tom is now a devotee of hospital toast), we were home.
So, how can I be so light about things now after all that has passed? Standard defence mechanism of many people, I suspect. There is less to be scared of now and there is a feeling of control returning; we can do a lot to aid Tom's recovery; assisting and encouraging his movement so he regains his independence, encouraging him to mix again so his confidence is restored and starting signing to assist with communication.
Tom is so much more cheerful and we can't help but laugh along with him. We've been seeing a lot of grandparents and that has done a great deal to assist the recovery process; the Mutual Admiration Society has reconvened - parents take a back seat!