Or, otherwise entitled…
Annie may just (definitely) have another rant!
I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried!
“Super Mama Knickers”
A fictional* undergarment (pictured) possessing special powers. Typically worn when a boost of empowerment and an air of ‘mess with me at your peril, matey!’ is required in tricky/challenging times.
(* actually, maybe not so fictional, as I once bought my mate Jacqui a REAL pair of super mama knickers – yeah, I know, I’m weird buying knickers for other women, don’t worry about it – and suggested she wore them over her clothes at very important meetings with very important people…I’ve yet to see the photographic evidence!)
p.s. Garment originally intended for mama’s, but I’d never want to exclude the dads…whatever floats your boat and all that! *wink*
This isn’t a post about knickers, pantaloons, drawers or, in fact, any other item of lingerie.
Sorry about that!
(Although I hope you like my attempt at the graphics…oh, and whatever you do, just don’t google ‘super mama knickers’ like I did – what popped up was just wrong. It’d make your hair curl!)
Now, if I’d have published a post any earlier than this, it would’ve been COMPLETELY different. The original draft was a bit doom and gloom and “woe is me/us”.
No-one would’ve read it!
Blimey, I certainly wouldn’t’ve read it!
Actually, you may get to the end of this post and probably think you’ve just wasted a precious 5 minutes of your life by reading it!
…because it will get a bit Ranty McRantypants.
Isn’t it strange that in the course of a few hours, your mood/life can completely shift? Sometimes for the better, sometimes not so. It shifted for me not so long ago.
I’ve had a bit of time to calm down about it now, so I can write with a little more clarity (sort of)…and most definitely with a slice of sarcasm!
So, let’s go, eh?…
The other morning I woke up in the same way as I had done for the previous few days – not having restful sleep, a bit clammy, tight chested, feeling constantly pre-occupied/troubled/sluggish/unable to focus properly, limbs pulsing with adrenaline, feeling just on the cusp of an anxiety attack as the new day became yet another day nearer to the day of Hannah’s surgery.
I’d got myself into a bit of a tizz!
The countdown had begun. I vowed to myself I’d eradicate ‘The counting down’ toxic familial trait of yesteryear. It never was healthy. It was inane and propagated chronic anxiety. But in this instance I just couldn’t help myself.
And it’s all because Hannah’s surgery was scheduled for the 21st April.
But now, we have no idea when it’ll be scheduled.
…and that’s all my fault!
But as the day progressed, those feelings shifted – from anxiety to absolute fury…and I had to rustle about in the wardrobe and get my Super Mama knickers on…again!
(Metaphorically speaking, of course!)
In some ways I feel pretty bad being so anxious about something, which, ordinarily, ought to be a routine surgical procedure…with a bit of exploratory stuff and some other tinkering whilst Hannah’s in the ‘Land of Anaesthesia’. This ought to be NOTHING compared to the experiences of other children and their families I know or follow via their blogs.
…but, in my opinion, my feelings are/were pretty valid and, relatively justifiable.
And that’s because only recently I discovered that following Hannah’s cleft surgery in 2010 she’d suffered a cardiac arrest and no-one had bothered to tell me.
Well, fancy that!
Fancy not telling me, eh?
Well, after all, why bother telling ME?
Why would I need to know?
It’s not THAT important, surely?
I’M ONLY HER SODDING MOTHER; HER NUMBER ONE CAREGIVER. THE PERSON WHO ADVOCATES ON HER BEHALF…FOR EVERYTHING…THE. PERSON. WHO. ACTUALLY. NEEDS. TO. KNOW. THIS. KIND. OF. STUFF. BECAUSE. IT’S. REALLY. REALLY. REALLY. SODDING. IMPORTANT!!!!!!
*runs around living room (just once) in agitated state*
(Sorry about the big, shouty words…I think it’s pretty justifiable though, don’t you?)
Anyway, let’s quickly nip back in time to just after Hannah’s cleft surgery…
I knew she’d had a post op bleed…I saw quite a lot of the red stuff…and it certainly wasn’t ketchup! I knew her heart had stopped – I saw the monitors and heard the alarms ringing in my ears. I saw far too much, that no parent should ever see happening to their child and I’ll never, ever be able to erase that from my memory.
But what I didn’t know, because NOBODY BOTHERED TO TELL ME, was that this was actually due to a cardiac arrest.
(Btw, a cardiac arrest isn’t a heart attack. If you want to know what one is, then have a look at this: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/cardiac-arrest)
So, why after all this time, did I finally get to find out? Well, to cut a long story short (Yeah, I know, I DO go on, don’t I?) I only found out after I’d received a letter from the Haematology Department who did a couple of tests on Hannah’s blood prior to her proposed surgery.
A Doctor in Haematology actually bothered to pore through Hannah’s file (which is the size of War and Peace!) and discovered this rather important piece of information.
He subsequently cc’d me in to a letter. Which wasn’t perhaps the best way of finding out about it…but, hey, I can’t grumble about that, I found out!
Anyway, on receipt of said letter and after several phone calls – getting nowhere with snooty jobs-worth hospital people – my ‘Sod this for a game of soldiers’ attitude kicked in, I dug those Super Mama knickers out, then I called in the Big Boys…PALS (Patient Advisory Liaison Service). These chaps initially deal with complaints in the UK regarding health service matters.
In fact, we’ve had that much contact, I’ll probably be invited to their works Christmas ‘Do’ this year!
More phone calls and emails followed…and now someone, somewhere, has determined that Hannah REALLY OUGHT to have more tests done before surgery, so that everyone hopefully SHOULD know EXACTLY what they’re doing/what needs to be anticipated before, during and after her procedure.
You’d think this would have already been considered, wouldn’t you?
Erm, seemingly, not so.
..just like someone didn’t consider telling me that Hannah had suffered a cardiac arrest.
So whilst I was anxious about her surgery, that mood shifted significantly on receipt of the letter, because Hannah’s NOT having surgery until I’m assured that everything will be OK…and it’ll be a mighty challenge to convince me.
And I’m really, really, REALLY cross right now.
Temple pulsingly, gritting teeth, not messing about type cross!
…and I don’t just want Hannah to have more tests, I want answers too.
There may be attempts to palm me off with some rhetoric. Ranks will be closed. People will be on the defence, naturally. But I’m not falling for it anymore. If I’m further labelled as kicking up a stink, then so be it. I’ll take that. Because my girl deserves the best possible, AND SAFEST treatment. CONSISTENTLY.
Whilst I’ve been dubious of the rationale behind the medias portrayal of our once coveted NHS, the more I experience its inadequacies – especially involving Hannah – the more I think it’s becoming increasingly like our beautiful, much beloved terminally ill dog – in desperate need of being put out of its misery.
Far too many people – children and adults alike – are being harmed or die due to medical negligence or neglectful practice in the UK…from stuff that COULD be prevented. Just look through articles published by the British Medical Journal, and that’d make your hair curl too! Just over a couple of years ago, the NHS paid out over £1.1 billion in compensation to patients…the following year it was c £1.4 billion to cover medical negligence liabilities (NHS Litigation Authority Report and Accounts 2014/2015).
That’s a lotta litigation…and a lotta errors…and a lotta damaged (or dead) people…and a lotta happy and wealthy Lawyers too!
And the even scarier bit is that our children and adults with disabilities…the ones who don’t have a voice, are especially vulnerable to this neglect and maltreatment.
It feels almost sacrilegious to diss this once, much loved, establishment (the NHS). It feels almost sinful to feel so overwhelmingly distrustful of a place for sick children hailed as being filled with “saints” and “angels” who (hopefully/supposedly) work in the best interests of their patients.
…but, in my experience, they’re not all saints or angels…for some, it’s just a job…for some they possess no bedside/personable manner…for a tiny minority, they seemingly just don’t care.
…but for many, hopefully the majority, they’re doing the very best that they can. Theirs is a vocation; working long, quite stupid hours, in a system that doesn’t work efficiently anymore.
Sure, many people will have THE most amazing experiences in hospitals…where their lives have been turned around by effective health care and I’m not knocking individual nurses or doctors…after all, my mum and stepfather devoted much of their lives to the nursing profession. And I’ve come across some lovely, lovely people, doing a great job. No, I’m knocking ‘The System’.
…and, right now, I think it stinks.
I’ve recently been subjected to the “Oh, she’ll be fine this time” comments by well-meaning people. I’ve had the looks which suggest maybe I shouldn’t kick up a stink about this. But could I live with myself if anything happened to Hannah and I didn’t do everything in my power to make sure everyone knew what they were doing…and doing it properly and safely?
No. Definitely not!
Do I have trust issues? Absolutely!
Am I ashamed of that? Nope. NOT. ONE. BIT.
You see, no one will EVER grasp the enormity of feelings when handing their child over to a group of people with scrubs and masks and putting ALL your faith in complete strangers, unless you’ve experienced it yourself. This child, THE most precious person in your life. The person you live for and devote your life to.
She’ll be fine?
No-one has the right or knowledge to tell me this and I don’t welcome these kind of throw away comments. But you know what? I’ll do everything in my power to make sure Hannah’s as safe as she possibly can be…this time!
So, the Super Mama knickers are well and truly on…and they’re damned well staying on!
Here endeth the rant…for now!
Before I go, let me leave you with this quote…
“Unless someone can look into the core of your heart and see the degree of your passion, or look into the depths of your soul and see the extent of your will, then they have no business telling you what you can or cannot achieve. Because while they may know the odds, they do not know you. Nor do they know the power of your angels”. – Sandra Kring
So, that’s just about all for now my lovelies.
Oh, just another thing…To all you Super Mama’s (and daddies…again, whatever floats your boat *wink*)…I hope you’ll never, ever be afraid of putting those special knickers on, because if you don’t speak up, nothing will ever change…and actually, sometimes it needs to!
Until next time