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Tomorrow Ted and I have to be at The Children’s Hospital Westmead by 9 am for his pre-admission clinic. It represents everything our underfunded public hospitals stand for~ queues, red tape, frustrating people and pain. Excellent. My kind of place, my kind of day. My love-hate relationship with this hospital will be a common thread in my upcoming posts I am sure.

Pre-admission clinic is a day of testing for Ted. Imaging, pathology and consults with some of the medical staff who will assist in his post operative care next week. We have done quite a lot of preparation for tomorrow. Ted has a very significant needle phobia and together with his child-life therapist we have tried to desensitise Ted to the process through play.

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How this works tomorrow will set the tone for his Fontan recovery since Fontan (& Warfarin) brings with it many months of needles. We are praying for tomorrow to go as smoothly as possible for Ted, and also for me to control my temper. I’m not good with mindless bureaucracy at the best of times, add my child suffering in to the mix and you have yourself one very tricky customer.

In case anyone is wondering, no we did not choose to go to Westmead for Ted’s care! It was selected by default.  Here in Australia we have three hospitals to choose from when planning to deliver a baby with HLHS. Here in Sydney we have only Westmead and there is another hospital in Melbourne and now another in Brisbane.  If we could go through the private hospital system we would. Believe me we would do anything to avoid being in-patients in the public system, anything to expedite red tape and actually feel like a respected person not a prisoner… Alas we do not have those options when it comes to paediatric cardiology in Australia. It is very different in the US.

Ted’s cough is stable and I am praying that his chest x-ray tomorrow does not reveal any nasties. Unfortunately Tabitha, Monte and I are all very unwell at the moment and now even Grandad has come down with this awful bug. So far we think Ted has escaped the worst of it… Perhaps his lucky escape is due to the loving care he has received from the mum of his special friend and classmate Mitchell. This week Mitchy’s mum has been bringing Teddy some beautiful Chinese broths and congees to keep his cough at bay and we are so grateful to her. She is a real blessing!

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