Coeliac Disease – ‘ave it yer b**tard!

Blood tests, Peter Rabbit and Oasis, a terrifying insight into the inner workings of my mind

 

Today has been a big day.  6 months after the official diagnosis of Coeliac Disease Peggy had bloods taken at hospital to check if the gluten free diet had brought her gluten levels down.  I’ve been nervous about it for a few weeks but didn’t mention it to her until last night (I figured that plan B; springing it on her as a kind of twisted “surprise” part way through a juice in the café of York District Hospital, may well traumatise her for life…and result in her hating surprises for ever in fear they would result in a painful medical procedure!)  “So, tomorrow we need to have a tiny bit of blood taken from your arm again Peg” I said in a jovial, ‘its going to be fun’ kind of tone.  She cried.  A reaction I fully understood considering her last experience of having a blood test.
 

(Don’t worry, Peter wasn’t involved in any medical procedures)

 

 

At the afore mentioned blood test there was no antiseptic cream to numb her arm.  Of course I know now that EMLA or Denela cream can be bought over the counter and the nurse today suggested using cling film to seal it to the skin rather than using the sticky plasters they give you – as we all know peeling a plaster off any 6 year old involves bribary usually associated with European Premiership Football players.  We patiently waited in the never ending que at Asda (still feels weird going to a super market with the list; Milk, bread, loo roll, nappies, bloods!?) Our turn finally came and she clambered into the chair quite willingly.  She looked tiny in that dog eared, powder blue padded chair.  This sight was enough to put that lump in my throat that makes my voice go to a pitch only dogs can hear and tears prick my eyes, but we both kept it together chatting about how exciting the travellator back down to the ground floor was going to be (we can spin out at least 10 minutes in a super market with a travellator – I stand at the bottom whilst she travels backwards, forwards, on her knees, up the wrong way, doing star jumps etc etc) .  The needle went in, she screamed blue murder.  You know its bad when the other 5 people in the room having the same procedure have to be removed as its upsetting everyone too much! 

 

Today was much less traumatic thank christ.  Our specialist at the hospital had prescribed the antiseptic cream and advised us to jump the que (which I was grateful for considering there was a 45 minute wait) by explaining to the nurse that she had numbing cream on her skin and the bloods needed to be taken before it wore off.  The whole process went without a glitch and we were in town watching the Peter Rabbit movie with Aunty Louise before we knew it. 
(Any nurses who happen to be reading this – a ‘smiley’ face drawn on the plaster following a blood test is hilariously funny to a 6 year old and will be proudly shown like a medal of honour to anyone who’ll listen) 

 

When I think back over today it is the sight of Chris putting the cream on her arms and back of her hands this morning that puts that lump in my throat and makes the tears prick my eyes.  Watching him prepare her for a medical procedure he’s had countless times before, knowing that it hurts but that theres no other way must tap into emotions within him I can’t begin to imagine.  I’d never have thought about strapping a tape measure around her tiny arm as a make shift tourniquet to check which veins were the biggest so the nurse could try that one first.  Just like I didn’t think about how

(Is it S-M or Peg with cannulas?)

 the cannulas in the back of her hands (when she had to be put under general anaesthetic to have an endoscopy back in September) looked like spider mans web shooters and were suddenly the coolest thing on the planet to her!  He dealt with today brilliantly.

 

It struck me that maybe we’re pretty well prepared for this Coeliac malarkey because Chris gets it. He’s had a lifetime of reading food labels, carefully selecting restaurants and take aways that won’t upset his stomach, being late for everything (even later now theres 2 sprogs to get out the door too), managing medication, remembering medical appointments, pre-warning the family and friends who invite us to dinner what we can and can’t have, being off sick, explaining to work/school why you’ve been off sick…again.  So, regardless of the results from todays blood test I feel optimistic.  Instead of feeling angry that this has happened to my beautiful little family I’m

(Image; Jill Furmanovsky)

feeling resilient today, cocky almost, ready for what ever Crohns and Coeliac Disease has to throw at us next.  Like a Gallagher Brother at Knebworth in ‘96 (Coeliac Disease) ” ‘ave it yer bastard!”   

 

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