John finally decided to make an appearance on the 20th of April 1994, at 12:14 am. 3 days after, I got a call at work from BLS, letting me know not to panic. If you've ever been told not to panic, the first thing you should do is sit down. John had a problem with his heart, and we'd have to take him up to London's Royal Heart and Lung (does anyone else think that sounds like a pie?) Hospital in Chelsea for a scan. The scan showed a tear down one side, but at the moment it didn't seem serious enough to warrant surgery. Breathing a sigh of relief, we returned home.
About a week later, and again we were expressing our concerns to the health visitor, but this time because John was being sick after every feed. When I say 'sick' I mean "*boilk*" followed by a milky smell and a small amount of milk, normally over my shoulder. The health visitor just assured us nothing was wrong, and in no uncertain terms told us to stop wasting her time. We did.
On the Friday evening John's mum was asleep and we were sat watching London's Burning. 16 day old John was fast asleep in BLS's arms, when he started to twitch.
"Oh look, he's dreaming" I said, nonchalently. Just at that moment the twitching started to turn into more violent spasms, and I realised there and then that he was possibly having some sort of fit. I phoned the ambulance, who told me to try and wake him by shouting at him or shaking him (gently, of course). Within minutes the ambulance guys were there and the fit was now over. John was back fast asleep, but the ambulance guys came in and the first one felt John's forehead and his liver, and said to the other one that he was showing signs of infection. We took him to the hospital, where they subjected him to a barrage of tests, all coming out negative. Whilst in hospital, whatever had caused the infection had it appeared also caused John to become constipated. As the antibiotics or whatever had kicked in, the blockage cleared itself in spectacular style. BLS and I were fighting the tide of ka ka that was now flowing freely. Well I say we were. BLS was, I was pissing myself laughing.
John still had problems with puking. It was getting more prominent, and was now starting to look like a scene from the exorcist, as he would cover who ever he was facing at 20 paces. I suspected the two things were linked, but we couldn't prove otherwise. Eventually I snapped. I didn't know what else to do, the various health professionals that had seen John all agreed nothing was wrong, and I felt pushed in a corner. Those that know me know that I don't like getting pushed into a corner, and helpless I broke down on the phone to my father. He got on the first available plane from Germany that night, and was with us by about 7am the next morning. We'd booked an appointment to go and see a BUPA specialist in a local private centre that evening, and imagine our surprise when we walked into the consultant's room to find it was his existing paediatrician, earning a bit of extra cash on the sly. The funny thing was, it was like John knew he'd seen someone prepared to do something, because he calmed right down. He stopped crying, and for the first time actually started to slightly peacefully. We were sent home, with an appointment to see him again under the NHS and a bill for £90 (which I hasten to add my father paid). We'd suspected that John had a condition called Pyloric Stenosis, something several people in my family had had.
The truth was a lot simpler, John was lactose intolerant. He'd not had much nutrition since birth, causing the fit at 16 days old. The vomiting was nothing more then expelling the milk that he could no longer absorb. He was put on prescription for SMA, the nasty foul smelling soya milk replacement. And all returned to normal.
I, however, never looked the same again. The stress had started to show.
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