Jeff took the day off of work to be there. We were not anticipating this would go well at all. I went over the scenario from our first LP at this hospital over and over in my mind. Would I have to decide whether to restrain my conscious 4-year old while someone inserts a large bore needle into his spine, or go back to the OR where a calamity of serious (potentially damaging) problems have occurred?
Nico was given an oral medication that is not intended to make him sleep (just woozy). After about 20 minutes, Nico acted very drunk. He kept raising his eyebrows, babbled something incoherent and then belly laughed. At one point he lifted his hips off the table and roared with laughter. We realized he was peeing on the exam table, and he found it hilarious. At that point, just as he merrily lay into a puddle of his own urine, the practitioner arrived to perform the LP. It seemed so critical to time this at exactly the right moment, and the moment seemed right. So Jeff and I sprang to the head of Nico’s bed, threw a blanket over him and his urine-soaked sheets, and started to point out to Nico this completely bizarre contraption in the corner of the room. This machine looked like something out of the 1970s film Sleeper. It had speakers on the top, nylon threads protruding from the side, and the center was a giant clear tube filled with liquid that constantly erupted bubbles and plastic balls out of the top while changing colors. Nico was intrigued. There was a “it hurts” moment, but no tears were shed, and the whole thing was over less than 15 minutes later.
The practitioner seemed just as surprised as we were. He had commented, “Well, maybe he’ll surprise us” before he started. After the procedure was complete, nurses showed up in our treatment room and congratulated us. Our doctor stood in the doorway giving us thumbs-up. Jeff and I were elated. We changed Nico’s clothes while he continued to trip out on the pediatric version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. About a half an hour later, Nico had the munchies, snacked, and we were on our way out the door by lunchtime. This is unheard of and has never happened for any appointment we have ever had at this hospital. We stopped by the cafeteria to pick up soup and roll (what he eats every time we are there), and as we rolled out he vomited all over himself. Immediately after soaking the second set of clothes in vomit, he casually looked up at me and said: “I still want that dinner roll.” I kid you not, he was even hiccuping.
We left the hospital with a bag of clothes saturated in urine and vomit and a little boy wobbling out the door wearing only a pair of underwear and his tennis shoes. I will take a toddler frat party over the alternative any day. Jeff and I felt like we should be handing out cigars and patting everyone on the back. It finally went OK.