Hey look at me, writing a blog which isn’t about beer. My first one ever!
That’s me, trying to be light hearted when really I’m a bag of nerves.
You see, I am the father of 3 boys, aged 6, 3 and 4 months. Only, when we were pregnant with the youngest one of his scans detected that his kidney was slightly larger than normal. That didn’t measure n anything significant at the time, other than it was flagged as something they would track and we had the bonus of extra scans during the pregnancy. Scans are when pregnancy feels at its most real and tangible, so a couple more felt like extra treats.
After birth he was given another scan which effectively set the starting point, from there they would be able to determine rate of change etc, but again it was simply left to be kept an eye on. After 3 months he was given another scan, only this time the sonographer reacted slightly differently, we were instantly informed that it was to be referred to a specialist in the area. That led to more tests and scans all of which ran very quickly into the here and now.
It’s Sunday night. Usually I spend Sunday night getting clothes ironed for the week, shoes polished, all in anticipation of work on the Monday, only this Monday is quite different. The short story (without the big long technical words) is that the little lad needs an operation, and they ain’t hanging around. We literally met with the consultant on Friday and he is having his op tomorrow.
Now I’m a loyal supporter of the NHS. I’ve always been incredibly impressed by the staff who I’ve dealt with. And this is no exception to that. Everyone is so articulate in how they have put information across to us, so we fully understand it all.
But there’s one thing core to it all that terrifies me. It’s the dread of that moment when my little boy will go off to theatre to be put to sleep. Off to theatre to be opened up and have bits cut, and other bits stitched. It’s the thought that man made materials will be intentionally left in there to be removed at a later date. And actually the worst bit of it all is that I haven’t allowed myself to think about it. In the build up I’ve done what everyone does with that piece of work you’re not looking forward to, I put it to one side and ignored it until it needs to be addressed. So this is me here now with it on the horizon and I can barely think straight about it never mind be calm about it.
I’m a very calm person really. I’ve always been good at giving context and perspective to things. But this one is too sizeable for me to do that.
I guess it would feel easier if all I had to sort out was the youngest, but I’ve got the rest of the family to look after too. The older boys are insisting that they’re allowed to visit, they don’t want to go a day without seeing their brother. Which warms my heart to hear, but adds to the logistics! However, my aim is to have the family together as much as is feasible. It’ll keep us all sane!
I also count us fortunate that it’s the youngest going in. He won’t have a clue what’s going on and won’t have any fear. The older boys would and it’d be far more difficult to handle with them.
And you know, we’re so fortunate to live within 3 miles of one of the best children’s hospitals in the country. Honestly it’s amazing, the building itself is massive but interesting, full of colour and interesting detail, and that’s just the outside! Inside there’s loads of character and all manner of things to fire up a kids imagination. It’s incredible really.
So I’m reverting back to the classic dad routine. Focussing on busying myself with practicalities, being the daft joke maker to ease my own nerves.
One thing that struck me, when we had our meeting on Friday and he explained exactly what he’d do etc. I sat there thinking, he could be telling me anything. The only thing I am in reality liking for is confidence from him. How much does he talk up or down the operation? How straight forward does he appear to think the operation will be. And that’s not a judgement on the severity of what’s to come, it’s us trying to cling to reassurance from his experience. I do feel reassured, but the way the consultant talks to you in those meetings is the basis for you to judge everything about the whole procedure.
So think of us tomorrow. He’s due to go into theatre first thing. I’m dreading the agonising wait for him to return, but focussing on the benefits that the operation will bring for him. Floor will be well and truly paced!
Thanks for reading. This isn’t what I usually blog about I realise but as a quiet man, every now and then I need an avenue to vent. I guess blogging has become what I do to rationalise thoughts. I’ve not edited or even reread this post. I’ve not written this for anyone to read to be honest, just felt I needed to write it down.