Archive for February 2013

Life Changing Appointment

Hughan was nine months old and still a very happy baby.

I had decided to take Hughan to Johannesburg to see a Paediatrician for a check up. Vil also came with me and we stayed with a friend overnight.

The Paediatrician was based at Morning Side Clinic in Johannesburg. As usual the boys travelled very well in the car and I was quite confident driving in Johannesburg.

During Hughan’s appointment, the Paediatrician put him on the bed for his examination. Hughan lay very quietly while he was being checked over thoroughly.

While the doctor was talking to me, I was unaware of him scratching the bed. When he had finished speaking to me, he said he was a bit concerned that Hughan had a hearing problem. He explained to me that he had been scratching the bed and that Hughan had not turned towards the sound it was making.

This is the first time that I became aware that Hughan may have a hearing problem. The bed Hughan had been lying on had a plastic sheet on it and the sound was quite noticeable. I was quite shocked with the doctor saying this, and it made a huge impression on me.

The Paediatrician did an examination of Hughan’s ears, and he mentioned that he had a little bit of, what the doctor called, “glue ear”. Because of this the doctor recommended that Hughan went to see an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist.

The Ear Nose and Throat Specialist also worked at Morning Side Clinic, so I was able to go straight away, after seeing the Paediatrician, to book Hughan’s appointment for his ears to be checked. The soonest we could get an appointment Hughan was in three weeks time.

When we had finished at Morning Side Clinic, I took the boys back to my friend’s house. She also had a little boy that was 6 days younger than Hughan.

There was no ways at this stage that I would ever have questioned whether Hughan was hearing us, as he seemed to be at a similar stage to my friend’s baby, although he was not as active.

This was life changing.

Story Time

Life in Botswana was great. We were all very settled and we had made lots of new friends. Vil had enjoyed living at Bemcoville and playing with the other children. Lots of time had been spent around the swimming pool and there was also a tennis court that we enjoyed playing on.

Willem was really enjoying his work and was given a promotion. With the promotion we were given a new home with its own swimming pool. We were all very excited about the move as our house in Bemcoville was very small and we had our own very small private garden.

We had a fence put up around the pool so that the boys could not swim without being supervised. We had a large garden that the boys could play in and now we were able to entertain and have dinner parties and get-togethers in our own home.

Having a work permit and being on a contract in Botswana gave us free housing, a car and schooling. All we had to pay for were our groceries, home expenses and petrol.

Our new home was much closer to Willem’s work. Willem was now able to come home for lunch and so we always sat together as a family, for our main meal of the day.

Vil’s play school was near the new house and we were also within walking distance to Northside Junior School, where Vil would be attending the following year.

Hughan was always very content at home and he loved sitting in his bouncy chair and watching me while I was busy.

One of the special times of the day, was story time. Vil loved having a story read to him and Hughan enjoyed sitting on my lap or in his bouncy chair while they listen to the story.

Vil was already counting and enjoying reading his own little books. Hughan enjoyed looking at the pictures and at this stage I was unaware that he could not hear the story being told to them.

Hughan seemed to be a much more floppy baby and he was not really making any effort to sit by himself. When Vil was the same age as Hughan, he was much more active and determined to get going.

Vil was always very good with his brother and enjoyed doing things for him.

An Excruciating Cry

Hughan was five months old and was usually very happy and content with life. He always enjoyed going on outings and being kept busy during the day.

On one occasion I had been at home with both of the boys in the afternoon. Hughan all of a sudden became quite restless and he had flushed cheeks. I thought that he was most probably teething and there was nothing much to worry about. I gave him some Calpol (a liquid form of paracetamol), which usually helped.

Later in the afternoon he was become more and more restless and all of a sudden started an excruciate cry. It was as if he was being pinched by something. I checked his nappy pin was not hurting him and I could not find anything wrong. I felt totally helpless and I was finding it hard to calm him in any way. He was very uncomfortable and I didn’t know how I could help him.

I phoned the doctors surgery and they had already closed for the day. I managed to get through to my doctor at her home and she was happy for me to take Hughan to see her.

Hughan had become exhausted from crying and had started to calm down. The Doctor gave him a complete check over and he had a high temperature, but she could not find anything specifically wrong with him. I was to go back home and see the doctor the following day if he continued to cry and be restless.

When we got back home Hughan fell asleep from exhaustion and he slept very soundly for a few hours. The following day he was much happier and there was no need for me to go back and see the doctor.

We are not sure what caused Hughan to have such an excruciating cry that day. We were also still unaware, at this stage, that he had any hearing problems.