So it was Nisarga’s BERA test today. It was scheduled for 2pm and we were prepared as instructed.
- Wake him up early – check
- Get doctor’s letter that he doesn’t have cough, cold or fever – check. We took him today itself so that it would tire him out some and make him more inclined to sleep later.
- Last feed at 1pm – an hour before scheduled test – check
- Arrive on time – check
The audiology department at Nanavati is built in a building which is all basement and flat terrace at ground level on top. Some three or so floors underground. I found myself wondering what they did when Mumbai flooded. Anyway, down we went.
We seemed to be the only people there at Nanavati’s audiology department on time other than a receptionist. So I entertained myself looking around and I found this poster about symptoms of hearing problems. The fifth point seemed to me one that would unnecessarily make a lot of people take tests, but what do I know…
Anyway, we waited, and patience paid off and all that. The audiology assistant arrived and some form filling and chitchat later, I was handed a tiny cup of medicine to give Nisarga so that he would sleep.
Nisarga is very easy with medicines. No force, just requests work very well. So I gave it to him in sips. He gagged on first taste. Apparently he didn’t like the taste (I didn’t like the smell either), but sweetheart that he is, he took most of it anyway, and which point he really gagged and vomitted.
And I don’t just mean the medicine, but his earlier meal or what was left of it too. Big, big mess.
I was in stunned paralysis. Never in his short life had he puked like this, and I had no freaking clue what to do now, seeing as the cotton dupatta I had brought along as a useful multipurpose resource exhausted its potential almost immediately.
I took the dripping (yes, yuck) kiddo to a bathroom on the floor below, and stripped him and did what I could to tidy him up, lugged him back to my mom who had come along, and returned below to tidy myself and rinse out his clothes and cotton cloth as best I could, since I had not taken along a change of clothes. I ALWAYS take along a change of clothes, but you don’t exactly associate messy clothes with a baby on fasting and sleep medicine. I hadn’t imagined I’d need them at the beginning of the adventure
So anyway, we had a new problem. No one had an idea of how much medicine had done its job, and how much more should be given, and if he would keep it down at all. Finally, I tried to get him to sleep the regular way and he did sleep. I put him verrrry carefully on the bed, and the doctor came in for the test. To my surprise, two women in burkhas, I had imagined were patients came in too. They were apparently her assistants or students or something. My first experience of a burkha clad doctor!
Anyway, the doctor was a real soft and silent worker, and within no time, she had got some thingies attached behind both ears, his forehead, and crown, inserted two earbud-like things in his ears, and the test was started.
This has to be the most boring test ever, because there was absolutely no action other than various waves showing up in the software on the computer. The doctor whispered some instructions to the two burkha clad women, and exited, and they kind of took over, though it was mostly a lot of squiggly line watching.
Then, they started whispering among themselves, slowly graduating to talk. I suppose doctors are like any other students in any other classroom… and I was biting my nails hoping that my extremely sound alert son who also hadn’t had the proper sleeping dose didn’t wake up. That would be the mess to cap all messes – to wake up with strange strings attached, two women covered strangely next to him and no familiar face. I mean, I have nothing against burkha clad women, but I don’t think Nisarga has met any before. I had no clue how he would allow them to calm him in a strange surrounding after already having puked, etc. Fingers crossed, a few hints to keep volume low, finally an outright request and explaining the situation to them, seemed to work for a while.
Nisarga was sleeping well now, though he had frowned and made a few sounds when their voices had got loud earlier. The doctor came in to check a few times and asked them to do some things, which I didn’t understand. They changed a few settings. There was no change in the view – squiggly lines.
I hopped outside to ask my mother to stand up in the sun so that the cotton cloth at least would dry enough to wrap him and take him home when done, or we’d be parading him in a diaper. She wanted to visit the rest room. She is also a little slow and physically stiff, so it took a while, and by the time we were almost figured out, I got a call that Nisarga had woken up. Pointed stairs to mom and told her to keep going up till sunlight and ran back to Nisarga.
He was totally outraged. Furious, scared. Apparently, the test done, they had started talking in normal voices thinking that it was fine. He woke up among strange looking strangers. Took me a while to quiet him down.
Went to reception. Was told to go to OPD in next building to pay and return with receipt. Took the diaper clad baby hoping to hand him over to mom, but couldn’t find her, so juggled cranky baby, purse, etc and figured out payment. Called mom’s phone. Dad picked it up at home. She hadn’t taken it along. Dad started ranting at me and told me to abandon her and return home. I hung up on him, resumed search. Found mom. Handed baby, completed formalities, etc.
Took baby, covered with that thin cotton dupatta which was only slightly damp. Caught rickshaw. Headed home.