a new clinic, a weird feeling

A week ago we had our first appointment at the chronic pain clinic at Sydney Children’s Hospital. Our first contact with this team came about in the immediate days following Oscar’s surgeries. They have been a wonderful addition to Oscar’s team in that they were able to piece together some aspects of him and throw a new light on them which have provided definite improvements.

But our contact with the team had always been on ward and this was a chance for all components of the team to meet with us and assess Oscar.

I have no idea why I knew that but when faced with a room full of seven, yes seven, specialists was taken aback. Well, I do actually. I had just had no time or head space to actually think about what this appointment would be.

For an hour I answered questions from a doctor, a play therapist, a psychologist, an occupational therapist. Oscar even let the doctor check out his feet.

The play therapist was a gem in taking Oscar and Grover to the toilet when they needed to go while also keeping the boys fairly well occupied during the session.

We then left the room while they conferred. Then we went back into the room and their collective decision was for me to come back without any of the children and meet with each of them to discuss some strategies and also provide me with contact with the main government agency which provides support/respite services. Oh, and to add another medication.


None of that seems particularly startling does it? So why did I walk away from it feeling … well, feeling something a whole week later I can still not clearly explain or define?

Overwhelmed? No, not particularly.
Patronised or judged? Maybe? But then maybe that was just because I had my period and was feeling hyper-sensitive and paranoid.
Dismissed? A little.

I don’t know. I get the feeling that perhaps Oscar is not the typical patient they see? That maybe it’s not the most appropriate service for him? I’m kind of at a loss.

This additional drug they’ve put him on? It’s a very low does mild anti-depressant. It apparently works incredibly well with the Gabapentin. It will definitely improve the quality of his sleep.

But it has me in a bit of a spin. I KNOW. ME! The champion of the case for mental illness medication. My child is on an anti-depressant. It makes me uncomfortable. But here I am, doing it. Because I trust the nurse clinician implicitly. I know he – and the team – have very substantial experience and insight into this.

He’s been on it for four days. We’ve got an appointment with the doctor and nurse clinician in two months to review its impact. I’m back there next month for my meeting with the various specialists.

But I’m rankled. Something’s not sitting right with me. Weird.