Monday, October 16, 2006

Just when you thought you'd got enough appointments

Months before he got ill with the meningitis that left him deaf, we had already had cause to introduce Tom to the Eye and Ear, Nose and Throat department of Nottingham's QMC. The slight squint that we'd noticed when he got tired or was concentrating led us to get his eyes tested. The latest follow up appointment was today - drawing us back to the way-too-familiar hospital where we have spent just a little too much time this year.

We're getting better at it; better at compartmentalizing and rationalizing, dealing with the here and now rather than the darker then. True, the stomach still knots when we drive under the ringroad and approach the building but, as we steer past A&E, Tom's excited shouts of 'tunnel, tunnel!' help lift our mood.

Appointments of this type with small children rely so much on the experience, skill and speed of the practitioner. I don't want to explain any more why Tom's excessively hesitant around people with gadgets who want to touch his head; you've got the big file - work it out. Today we experienced both good and bad - pretty much par for our course. The big leap forward was Tom's acceptance of the partially blacked out glasses. This was followed by a less-than-successful attempt to diagnose the prescription required. We're not patient parents in these circumstances any more. Tell us what you need and we will do our level best to get Tom to comply - hovering in the background while our son gets increasingly hysterical does not help.

The upshot is that Tom is long-sighted; the squint is his brain's way of trying to bring the world into focus and it does it pretty successfully although a bit of help won't go amiss and may even correct it. So we've come away with a glasses prescription and more wonderful opportunities to make frequent trips to the hospital.

Media Star - again

Via this blog the Nottingham Evening Post learnt of Tom's switch on last week and were keen to run a follow-up story. You can read it at 'Let's Hear it For Tom and Gang'. The paper version took up all of page three and included a large, and very cute, photo of Tom cupping his ears. I'm going to have to see if I can get a print of it.

Being of a slightly disgruntled nature these days, I am not entirely happy with the ending. Don't get me wrong - its a very positive story that shows how grateful we are to all the people who've supported us but the note it ends on, a repetition of the PCT's policy reasoning, left a sour taste. I've given my two penn'oth in Further Media Experiences but a right to reply in print would have been nice.

Appeal Process Update

We've had notification that the Healthcare Commission have completed their initial investigation and are proceeding with a full review of the case. Watch this space - for some months probably as there's a bit of a queue. Understaffed or are we a dissatisfied nation when it comes to the Health Service? Don't answer that.

Tom's Cuteness Check

I've just popped in to spy on him sleeping and you can all rest assured - he's still as cute as ever. Besides still obsessing about 'Airplanes', Tom is currently making us giggle by mimicking a phrase picked up at AV UK. To help with getting Tom to understand what's happening next and do things he didn't necessarily enjoy we taught him 'First... we'll do this... Then.. we'll do the thing you like'. No sooner is 'First...' out of our mouths then Tom is already replying 'Theeeenn...' as if to hurry us on to the important stuff - while perfectly mimicking our tone.

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