Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Mater Dei Saga: Day 2

Last night, I lost count how many times I woke up throughout the night. Morgan stayed fever free thankfully.

This morning, the dude who had hogged all chairs and footstools in the room saw how uncomfortably huddled up in a quasi-fetal position I was in on the Abominable Blue Reclining Armchair, and seemed to feel guilty about it as he gave me my footstool.

A she-doc came by and visited Morgan. She said that test results so far were strange as the dipstick done at the Pediatric Emergency Room has shown signs of an infection due to protein existing in the urine sample, as well as the high white blood cell count.

However, when they examined the sample under the microscope there was no sign of pus or infection.

Now we will have to wait for the cultures to be finalised and see what the results come back as.

Throughout the day, our roomies changed. Instead of the 5 year old boy whose bed is opposite ours, came a young baby boy who cries constantly. Instead of the 10-ish year old girl with snob parents whose dad was the furniture-hogger, a boy of around 7 yrs of age showed up.

The bed next to ours was empty last night, but is now occupied by NOISY LOUD PEOPLE. The patient is a boy of also about 7yrs of age, and at 7:23pm, his mum, grandma and Gods know what other relatives, are still here BEING LOUD FUCKS. Sorry, I couldn't find a better description for them.

I play nice. Before I went to the common bathroom with Morgan to wash her, I asked them if anyone needed to use the toilet so as not to create inconveniences. Then I asked if it was ok to turn off the uber-bright light that lights up the whole room for Morgan to fall asleep. Each bed has an individual light which can be used so as not to disturb the other roomies.

Not even 10 minutes later they asked me to let them know when Morgan sleeps so that they turn on the bright light again.

Each bed has a tv - all tvs are on. All roomies are loud (the quietest being the furniture-hogger's replacement people). I am hoping they leave hospital before we do cos I can't see us living a week or so with these noisy people.

Johan came over to bring us supplies and spend some time with us before work. I called my workplace to let them know I needed to be with Morgan still.

Other than that, not much happened. My aunt came by with some more supplies for us.

Morgan ate a fair bit thankfully.

Now I'm off to try and chill a bit before Morgan gets woken up AGAIN.
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Monday, 14 January 2013

Bienvenue a Mater Dei

Today, or rather yesterday since it is just past midnight, I got a call whilst at work from my sis asking to call back. The message said "it is about Morgan."

"Oh great," I thought to myself.

I contacted my mum who told me Morgan had high fever - 40.1 degrees celsius.

I left work early. My brother picked me up, took me home where I gathered a few basic belongings, picked up Morgan and came straight to hospital.

By the time we got here, her fever had gone thanks to Nurofen syrup my mum had given her. The pediatrician at the Emergency room knew Morgan from previous visits, so long story short, she decided to be super cautious.

Johan - a.k.a HSS to you who have been following the blog - came over as soon as he could. The doc took a couple of urine samples and sent them for tests.

We were told to return a couple of hours later for the results. We went over to Rose's house, grabbed a bite, and headed back here.


This means we are going to spending this next week at hospital.

Thankfully the Canula Ordeal this time round wasn't too bad. The doc managed to find Morgan's vein at her 3rd attempt.

Now we are in a shared room where my armchair is broken and the back won't stay in a horizontal position if I move, we have no footstool or chair (unlike some bastards sharing the room with us who have a footstool and TWO chairs), and the bathroom is on the opposite side of the corridor.


I have no idea what antibiotics they will put her on for prevention purposes once we are sent home. Nitrofurantoin already is a broad spectrum antibiotic. Any broader and it would start singing about cats and gods know what else. (Broad, broadway.. Get it?)

I suppose at least this did not happen on Morgan's birthday at least.

Had better try and sleep a bit. This is going to be a long week.


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Monday, 31 December 2012

May we all have our hopes, our will to try

Hello? Is this thing on?

MY sincere apologies for being gone for so long! Life is crazily hectic - I guess you knew that already though.

So, here we are.

The blog turned ONE last November. Happy Belated Birthday, Blog!

Sorry! *pats Blog's head*

Since mid-August, we have been going to, and coming from, hospital on a regular basis due to Morgan's recurring UTIs.  I believe I had previously mentioned the plan re: her surgery.  It is meant to be happening on the 5th of February.


I got a phone call from hospital a couple of days ago saying "Sorry, the operation is now rescheduled to happen on the 2nd of April."

Needless to say, the above picture is a perfect depiction of what was going through my head the moment I heard the news.  This meant we were increasing the chances of Morgan getting a 4th infection by delaying the operation, and thus giving a bigger time window for a nasty bug to find its way into Morgan's system and defying the daily antibiotics.  It also meant I have to try and reschedule time off work.  And another thing - it means Morgan will spend a longer period of time on the antibiotics.  I dread the day she will no longer be on the meds - her poor immune system will get quite a shock!

And to think we were so close to finally being [potentially] over and done with this seemingly never ending saga!

Ah well.

On a more positive note - Morgan turns 11 months old today! I officially no longer have a baby - she has become a full-fledged toddler.

She is constantly cruising around the house and has become a super fast crawling machine.  She enjoys:

Bath time! [10Dec2012]
Spending time outdoors [15Dec2012]
Wreaking havoc! [15Dec2012]
Playing! [Yule 2012]
Exploring [Dec2012]
Feeding herself [31Dec2012]
She is amazing - a huge handful, but fun.  She loves books and is extremely inquisitive.

So far, she says "Ħeqq!", "Mama", "Papa", "Ejja", "Baba" [bottle], "Adda" [id-dawl], "Da" [duck]. [Ħeqq being a Maltese expression equivalent to 'oh' or shrugging one's shoulders, Ejja meaning 'Come' which she usually says when she wants us to pick her up, Adda being her way of saying Id-Dawl meaning 'The Light'].

Morgan has also mastered going down the small step that leads to the back yard.  It took her a few tries, but yesterday she managed to go down the step by crawling forward.  She then started crawling up and down the stair repeatedly.

Today she took hold of my hand and went down the same step by WALKING.  This was followed by her crawling up a full-sized step to get into the wash room without any help.

I fear one of these days I'll wake up and she'll be there, packing her bags telling me she's going to move out.  I know it will happen eventually, but I'd rather it didn't happen before another 18 years or so. 

Morgan is currently 79cm [31 inches] in height, with a head circumference of 48cm [19 inches].  She is wearing 12-18 month sized clothing comfortably, and is rapidly moving towards the 18-24 month sized clothing! We, my friends, have a ginormous child.  Her feet are way too wide for 'normal' shoes - out of the 10 pairs she owns [which is more than I own myself!] none fit her.  I'm in the process of trying to figure out her feet's measurements so that I can hunt for wide fitting toddler shoes.

Next month is her birthday! I've started working on getting everything together for said occasion - the invites are designed, and supplies are increasing.  Next I'll be working on what foodstuffs to prepare, whilst trying to come up with a venue.  Our home is too small to throw a party in, I think.  Any suggestions are welcome [as long as they're not McDonald's. She's too young for that and I'd rather not encourage junk food consumption, anyway.].

Now, for the cliché section: Today is NYE.  Therefore an End of Year statement is expected.

This year for me has been one of the hardest - if not the hardest - ever.  Nevertheless, it has been the happiest year of my life.  There were so many Firsts! So many new things to learn and to experience! I went through childbirth [albeit via C-section], learnt how to look after someone else to the extent of it being a life-or-death matter, learnt how to change a nappy whilst in zombie mode,  prepare bottles and baby food, and a million other things.  I learnt the joys and the sorrows of Motherhood.  Or at least, I've learnt the better part of the first chapter of Motherhood.  There will undoubtedly be much more hurdles to overcome and a lot more joys to experience.

I also came to realise, and accept, that I have finally found my soul mate.  For the first time ever, I'm in a relationship where obstacles and problems have been thrown in our way ever since day one, however we managed to face every challenge together and become closer as a consequence.  This is probably the one relationship with the most difficulties I've ever experienced - and I'm happy.  Goes to show that communication truly is the key to keep things plain sailing.

2012 has also been the first year since the year 2000 during which I have not attended a funeral.  Having said that, my family's she-dog did get put to sleep shortly after Morgan was born, so it wasn't an entirely death-free year.  Still - I'm grateful for a break from mourning newly deceased friends and family members.  Hopefully I'm not jinxing it since there's still 13 and a half hours to go until the end of the year is official.

Another good thing that happened this year was becoming an Admin on the wonderful Facebook community known as The Pagan Mama.  It is always a joy posting stuff and interacting with the Mamas, Papas and Friends forming part of the community.  It is pretty much the closest thing to a 'mummy club' I'll ever get to - and that's perfectly fine with me!

A fair number of friends and acquaintances have also had a lot on their plate this year - people they knew or were related to passed away, a good number had to handle major illnesses and are still battling them, break-ups and a plethora of other occurrences. To you all, my beloved, I'd like to say one thing. And that's:

So, in conclusion - THANK YOU to everyone who made this year the way it was.  A special thank you goes to my wonderful man - who is the best Father Morgan could have ever hoped for, and who is also the one I hope to have with me for the rest of my days.  And ultimately, thank you to Morgan - my beautiful, inquisitive, courageous, free spirited, good, perfect, happy daughter who made my life worth living, and who made me proud to call myself Mama'.

Lots of love.

See you next year!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Taking the piss

Today was one hell of a long day.

I had to take Morgan's urine samples to hospital for them to test to ensure that her UTI is gone.

That, in itself, sounds simple enough, no?

It would have been, had the doc I spoke to about a week ago over the phone given me clear instructions.  This was not the case though - seems like the generic attitude is "If we know how to do stuff, and know what the random abbreviations and bombastic terminologies mean, then so should everyone else."

First thing in the morning - before I had even had my coffee, I joined my mum in the First Attempt at collecting said urine sample from Morgan.

We had to use this plastic bag here:

The yellow rectangle seen on the right bag gets peeled off and beneath it is adhesive that covers the oval hole.  Around the hole is padding, which can be seen on the left bag.

Honestly, the moment I opened it, I was perplexed.  You'd think a plastic bag is easy to figure out.  I couldn't make out if the adhesive was meant to be able to seal the bag once the sample has been collected, or whether it was meant to be used to stick the bag to Morgan's girlybits.

Having a squirming baby on the bed, threatening to maybe-pee-maybe-not doesn't make it a good time to google instructions on how said plastic bag should be used.

I figured I'd use the adhesive bit to be able to seal the bag.  To me, it made more sense than risk causing an allergic reaction by applying the adhesive to Morgan's skin. After all, I don't know what allergies she could potentially suffer from at this point in time.  Having friends who are severely allergic to adhesive makes me think twice before I apply it to someone's skin.

I had a gut feeling that this would end up in disaster by the time I get my arse to hospital - but I thought "Fuck it. There is only one way to find out."

So - about 5 minutes later, I convinced Morgan to drink some of her milk, which prompted an instantaneous pee stream.

Bag safely sealed and stored in my bag, and Morgan's ID number also safely tucked inside my bag, I set off to catch the bus to drop off the sample.

Some half an hour later, I got to hospital.  15 minutes later, I found the right ward, only to find out that the bag had leaked, and therefore the sample was no longer usable due to it not being sterile.

That was when the nurse I spoke to explained exactly how much urine was required, and how the sample should be collected.

Seems like after the plastic bag is used to collect said sample, sample then needs to be transferred into this container:

 I was also told that they actually would be needing 2 - not just the one.


Thankfully HSS managed to pick me up from hospital, and help me get Morgan to provide us with the required samples.

Since she isn't able to pee on demand, we ended up having to trickle some water on her belly and for me to gently prod-slash-massage the bladder region of her belly.

A few minutes later, I had both samples safely stored in my bag, and once more we set off to hospital.

Once we got there, I spoke to the same nurse-dude again, who referred us to some she-doctor who was more interested in catching up with her friend-she-doctor and to gossip about the new ward that is being set up rather than telling us wtf would be happening or whether we needed to do anything else.

After standing some 5 minutes behind the counter of the nurses' station waiting for her to tell us that we could go, listening to her blabbering the day away, I asked her whether she needed to tell us anything or whether we could go.  She-doctor goes "Oh sorry yes you can go."  The look on her face said 'Where did you two come from? Are you martians? What was I doing?'

According to HSS, I used "The Voice" when I asked she-doc whether we could go.  To quote him, there were icicles and ice stalagmites forming with every word I said to her.  I suppose I do not appreciate rudeness.

To me, this was the equivalent of someone walking into a French Cuisine restaurant for the first time, not knowing what to expect, placing an order for some dish they don't know exactly what it should look like, and not knowing whether cutlery should be used to eat said dish.  Some guidance from the person attending to your needs would be immensely appreciated, I would think.

Anyway - enough ranting and raving.

The good thing that happened today is that I could spend a lot of time with Morgan.  I can never get enough of her.  I enjoy her company - she's awesome.  She was in a good mood today, so was quite laid back and playful.

Can you see them teeth? :D Oct2012
Taking pics of them teeth is pretty difficult!! Oct2012
This tends to be the outcome whenever an attempt is made :D 15Oct2012

Saturday, 6 October 2012

When the going gets tough

Lately it has been very difficult to keep up with life.  There have been a string of incidents where the phrases "everything you touch turns to shit" and "everything blows up in your face" can start conveying how stressful it has been.

It all started when Morgan was admitted to hospital with the UTI.  This was on the 17th of August.  Since then, we haven't had a break from negative events.  Two days after being sent home, we ended up taking her back to hospital and were told she had bronchitis.

Then, the moment she started recovering, we had a bike accident and I ended up unable to walk due to a severely sprained foot caused by the bike falling over it when we skidded - and this lasted about a week.  The moment I started hobbling and limping around, my elder sister's dog bit HSS, putting his hand out of action for about a week.

Just when we thought things were finally settling down, this week happened.

As a follow-up to the UTI Morgan had encountered, she had to undergo two medical tests - the first of which was on Tuesday 2nd October 2012.

HSS and I took her to hospital for the micturating cystourethrogram [MCUG].

"The what?" you might ask.

"The MCUG is a technique for watching a person's urethra and urinary bladder while the person urinates (voids). The technique consists of catheterising the person in order to fill the bladder with a radiocontrast agent, typically cystografin. Under fluoroscopy (real time x-rays) the radiologist watches the contrast enter the bladder and looks at the anatomy of the patient. If the contrast moves into the ureters and back into the kidneys, the radiologist makes the diagnosis of vesicoureteral reflux, and gives the degree of severity a score. The exam ends when the person voids while the radiologist is watching under fluoroscopy. Consumption of fluid promotes excretion of contrast media after the procedure. It is important to watch the contrast during voiding, because this is when the bladder has the most pressure, and it is most likely this is when reflux will occur.

Vesicoureteral reflux (kidney reflux) is diagnosed with an ultrasound and VCUG. Children who have recurrent urinary tract infections are given this test to determine the risk of subsequent infections causing potentially damaging kidney infections."

Just out of hospital - Wednesday 3rd October 2012

On Wednesday, HSS and I took Morgan back to hospital for a check-up with her paediatrician.  Turns out, the results form the previous day's test were out... and therefore bad news was delivered to us.

Morgan has Vesicoureteral reflux on her left side, and since urine is re-entering her left kidney, it is causing her these UTIs.  I lost count of how many times the doctor used the word "unfortunately".

So yeah - we have an appointment with the paediatric surgeon on the 24th of October.

Both HSS and myself were quite shaken by this news, and needed to get away from everyday life for a short while.

We took Morgan to Buskett for the first time ever.

First family outing @ Buskett - 3rd Oct 2012

Being in the midst of nature tends to have a calming effect on me.  I don't know if you have ever sat in the shade of a tree, and after chilling there for a while, you walked away refreshed.  I know I have.  Being away from the daily bustle and rush of modern day life was a welcome break - where no one disturbs you, and you're given a moment to take a deep breath and just... be.

Being there, with HSS and Morgan, felt good.  It was a much needed break.  I enjoyed watching Morgan be amazed at the rustling leaves, at the changing light, and the different smells and natural sounds around us.  

We found a spot hidden from the world, where the ground was covered in grass [not the kind that gets you high, mind you], and where there was quite a bit of shade for us to enjoy. 

This led to Morgan's first True Free-range Potato Experience.  Free-range Potato is what I like to call her exposed bum.  Seeing as this nappy change was carried out in the middle of Buskett, it couldn't get any more Free-range than that, could it?

 Silliness ensued - 03Oct2012

At one point, we got Morgan out of her pushchair and  set her down on the grass, sitting up.  I was seated out of arm's reach from her, and asked her to give me her hands.

She leaned forward, and put her hands in mine - 03Oct2012

This, is what happened next:

She's awesome.

We took a bunch of photos whilst we were there, but these are my favourites:

Little Monster Attack! 03Oct2012

Love - 03Oct2012
:) - 03Oct2012
On Friday 5th October we were meant to take Morgan back to hospital for another test - this time it would have been a Nuclear Medicine DMSA Renal Scan.  A DMSA renal scan is a diagnostic imaging exam that evaluates the function, size, shape and position of the kidneys and detects scarring caused by frequent infections.  Technetium-99m DSMA (dimercapto succinic acid) is a radioisotope that is injected into the patient's veins through an IV prior to the scan. It goes directly to the kidneys.  A special camera, called a gamma camera, is used to take pictures of the kidneys and show how the kidneys are working.

This was not to be.

On Wednesday night, Morgan got high fever, so first thing in the morning, we went back to the hospital - this time to the A&E Room.  The Paediatrician on duty happened to be one of the doctor's following Morgan's case, so there was no need to explain the whole story.  A urine sample was collected, and 3 hours later I got a phone call to tell me that Morgan has another UTI.  Meaning, the DMSA scan needed to be postponed by another 6-8 weeks to allow the infection to be over and done with.

Fast forward to today - Today was the first day where fever was very low.  Hopefully by tomorrow it'll be gone.

I'm worried about what might happen next.  We were told that if Morgan doesn't undergo the operation,  she will be prone to UTIs all her life, and could end up with Kidney Failure of her left kidney.  I'm anxiously waiting for the Paediatric Surgeon's appointment, to find out exactly what is going to happen.

My greatest fear is seeing Morgan go into the operating theatre, and not seeing her come back out.

I'm thankful I've got HSS by my side to fight this battle with me - he's incredible.  In fact, this, is for him. 

To finish off on a positive note, Morgan's front bottom teeth have broken through.  I haven't managed to take a picture of them as yet, but as soon as I manage to, I'll be sure to post it. Damn, they're sharp!!!

Friday, 14 September 2012

See what love can do

*clears throat*

I ought to apologise for the long absence [once more] - life is so hectic nowadays! With all the juggling of work/home/other stuff that has been going on, I'm on the right path to joining the circus.

Morgan went through a rough patch health-wise.  On Thursday, the 16th of August, in the evening, she had relatively high fever.  She spent the night waking up every half an hour, screaming.  That was one hell of a long night.  In the morning, HSS and myself took her to hospital - where we ended up staying until the following Wednesday.  They did a chest x-ray, took some 9 vials of blood, also did a spinal tap, did a kidney ultrasound, took a urine sample, gave her antibiotics via IV every day, and Gods know what else.  They tested her for Meningitis - but thankfully that came back negative.

18 August 2012 - in hospital, starting the long path of recovery

I spent that quasi-week with her in hospital - and HSS was with us whenever he had a minute to spare.  He was amazing [still is, actually] and I count myself bloody lucky to have him in our lives.

17 August 2012 - Morgan had horrendously high fever still.  HSS seemed like a good place for her to crash :)

The day after being sent home, he took Morgan back to hospital for her last dose of IV antibiotics, after which they removed the cannula needle from her hand.  The day after that - Friday - we ended up going back to hospital with Morgan wheezing and struggling to breathe.  Turns out she had bronchitis.  Yay! We got back home at 4am-ish.  Dead on our feet doesn't even begin to describe how exhausted we all were.

She was on Ventolin and Rectodelt for the bronchitis, and Septrin for the infection which landed her in hospital in the first place.  She's still taking Septrin, as that saga isn't yet over.

They weren't sure if this was a simple UTI or a kidney infection - and there are a couple more tests to be done to ensure that both urethra and kidneys work as they should and haven't been damaged.  The reason she's still taking the antibiotics is that one of the tests involves them attaching a catheter to check her urethra.  This can sometimes lead to - wait for it! - an infection! Therefore, she is being kept on a low dosage of antibiotics as prevention.

She's happy as always - growing up way too quickly.  She has almost outgrown her 9-12m sized clothing and she's still 7 and a half months old!!

Whilst in hospital - she was crying because she wanted her bottle.  I had a problem with the bloody formula milk since they put her on lactose-free formula for a short while.  The lactose-free formula doesn't dissolve properly unless it is prepared with BOILING water.  What happens sit hat the nozzle of the bottle's dummy gets clogged, making it impossible - and hellishly frustrating - for Morgan to drink.  I kept switching dummies, washing them out and reapplying them.  I must've done this process at least 20 times! At one point she was babbling-whining, when all of a sudden I hear "Baba".

I was shocked.  I thought to myself it must be a coincidence and she didn't really mean it.  A couple of days later though - she said "Ba" on two separate occasions.  Every time, she was referring to the bottle.

I suppose that makes it Morgan's first word!

She hasn't said it - or anything else - since, as she seems to have decided that her main priority at the moment is getting from point A to point B.  She is commando-crawling, and stands up with minimal support for long periods of time.  She can also sit up unsupported for quite a long time, and is constantly reaching out for things - and for us to pick her up.

Things with HSS are good [to put it mildly] even though we don't get to spend that much time together for the time being.

Right now, I'm recovering from a small accident which saw his bike falling on my foot when we skidded [whilst almost stationary] just a corner away from home.  Yay for limping around!

Oh - Morgan is now also enjoying her food in a somewhat lumpy format.  It'd be the equivalent of mashed rather than liquidised food.  Her teeth haven't shown through yet but she is still teething like crazy.  I am guessing they'll all show up at once when they decide it is time.

I am aware it is yet a few months until her first birthday - but I'm trying to figure out what kind of celebratory actions we'll be holding for her - besides the quccija.  It is perplexing - organising a birthday party of sorts for a 1 year old.  Any suggestions are welcome!

Ah yes - today Morgan turned on the TV by herself.  She grabbed hold of the remote control, pointed it towards the TV and pressed the on/off button.  Smart girl! 

29 August 2012 - Playing Tug O' War with my elder sis using a wet wipe

Monday, 23 July 2012


Sorry, I know I've been gone for a few weeks. I'm back to work and life is hectic as hell.

During the week, if I'm lucky, I get an hour with Morgan before she falls asleep. I get more or less the same amount of time to spend with HSS if I can manage to stay awake until he gets home from work.

Needless to say, I try and compensate during the weekend but it doesn't always work out.

This week just gone, I had a horrible bout of toothache which by Saturday had me in tears and forced me to take a trip to hospital in order to get the tooth pulled out. This meant I didn't get much time with Morgan as I was in no condition to look after her. Thankfully, HSS and my mum had that covered whilst I was MIA.

Today at work, I just had what you could call a panic/anxiety attack. This was due to knowing Morgan is being looked after by someone other than my mum or HSS. Due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, getting an acquaintance to babysit was the only option. I had been feeling palpitations for an hour and a half, after which I was so nauseous I had to run to the toilets. This, my dearies, is what being worried sick feels like.

On a more positive note, Morgan is well, and happy. For the past week she has been trying to get up on all fours to try and crawl, but so far she's only managed to move a "step" backwards. It is a matter of days now til she manages.

Off to work again!
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18July2012 - Bathtime fun!