Too much excitement just might kill me!
Three months ago, Monkey had the MRI that cleared him of cancer. This was of course a fantastic occasion… But it means we’re now due for the first of his quarterly follow-up scans – it’s booked for Thursday.
And I’m dreading it. Not so much for what the results may be, although I’m sure that will come, but for the fasting that comes before it.
Since he’s so young, the only way to get him to keep still for a 40 minute scan is to give him a general anaesthetic. And at our hospital, that means no food or milk for 6 hours beforehand (breast milk is 4 hours for children under 12 months, 6 hours after, and I don’t understand why it changes – can anyone explain this to me?), and no clear liquids for 2 hours. This is my nightmare.
Monkey still nurses A LOT most nights. Two months ago when he had his infuser port removed, he woke up at 3:45am and wouldn’t go back to sleep without the boob – which meant he didn’t go back to sleep at all. We were in the hospital at the time because he was on IV antibiotics for tonsillitis, so we walked the halls pushing his IV for hours until his procedure at 8:30.
I dread having to fast him. It kills me. Not just because of the probable super early morning that will result, but because I feel so incredibly mean doing it. He’s old enough now to communicate when he wants food or drink, but he’s not old enough to really understand why I will have to refuse him. If he sleeps from the 2am cutoff (assuming we have the first appointment at 8:30, which has yet to be confirmed) until around 6am we might be OK, because we’ll get ready and go down to the hospital for 7am and the change of environment might be enough to distract him.
Or it might not. When we’re out and about, he knows I always have snacks and water for him in my handbag, and he asks for them by reaching for the bag. So far every time he’s had to fast, he’s surprised me by how well he’s handled it, but each time I worry that he will get really upset by the process – I hate to see him cry.
I’m planning to take our big nappy bag instead of my handbag, in the hopes that this will prevent him from thinking about snacks, but I’m not sure it will work. I will clear all the bits of cracker and Cheerios out of the car, and remove all the drink bottles, but aside from that there’s nothing else I can do.
I know that it’s for his own good, I understand the reasons for fasting and I know that I’ll have to do it many more times in the future. But none of that stops my heart from breaking a little every time I have to deny my baby boy the comfort and sustenance that he wants.