And so my lovelies, Hannah will be having her dental surgery soon.
We’ve had to wait since November 2016 for Hannah to have this done and, whilst I know she needs it and has sometimes been in a great deal of pain, I’m feeling pretty anxious right now.
…the fear of the unknown always throws me!
A few well-meaning people have said “oh, she’ll be fine”…or worse… “I’m SURE she’ll be fine and it’s amazing what they can do these days” – with the aim (undoubtedly) to reassure me that she WILL be fine. And that’s really nice. But, if I’m perfectly honest, this hasn’t helped. It hasn’t helped one bit. Because:
(a) How DO they ACTUALLY know “she’ll be fine”?
(b) I was told this last time she was due to have surgery by several people including medical professionals…and she wasn’t fine. She needed resuscitation. I don’t consider that being “fine”, do you?
(c) Even though, when asked, I’ve tried hard to just stay factual about it, rather than all doom-and-gloom-like or minus the emotion that’s bubbling inside, it makes me feel like I’m worrying for nothing/being a drama queen – hopefully I AM worrying for nothing and I couldn’t give a monkeys if someone thinks I’m a drama queen! But the “oh, she’ll be fine” seems to be accompanied by an invisible dismissive wave of the hand; completely negating my angst as her mummy, what I know of Hannah’s needs and what Hannah’s experienced previously.
My response to the “Oh, she’ll be fine”?…
Well, mostly I’ve replied with “I hope so” (followed by a somewhat forced smile) as I wouldn’t want to offend those who mean well. But, even I, knowing Hannah better than ANYONE on this planet, don’t have the answer to this one.
You see, Hannah – because of the associated stuff linked to her syndrome e.g. her restricted airways and her heart condition, is deemed “high risk” for surgery. We wouldn’t have been asked to attend COUNTLESS appointments at the hospital in the build up to this (subsequently denying us a going on a MUCH needed holiday this year!), and Hannah subjected a load of tests and examinations if this was something easy/simple/run of the mill/me being a drama queen. Specialist team/other consultants wouldn’t be on hand, just in case.
…I don’t think the money people in their ivory towers at the NHS would’ve been too chuffed if all that stuff was done just for a laugh, do you?
Routine surgery ordinarily comes with risks. Routine surgery for children with significant additional needs – like Hannah – requires a whole raft of professionals coming together and doing their stuff to the best of their ability. And all we can do right now is put our faith in these people and hand over our precious girl to these virtual strangers…which will be unquestionably hard. REALLY hard. Especially after our experiences post surgery the last time around.
She’s celebrated her birthday this week and it was SO lovely to see her having fun at her party. In fact, all week she’s had fun and seemed to be in really good health. Thankfully! There’ve been times when I’ve just watched her playing on her own recently and it’s caught my breath….so happy, so innocent, so unaware of what’s to happen (thankfully), SO loved…and if I could go through this rather than her, I’d do it in a heartbeat. And I guess I’m bitter that, despite NEVER giving Hannah sweets (candy), giving her the best diet that I possibly can and brushing her teeth twice daily, she’s having problems. But it’s all down to her syndrome – cavities, overcrowding, who knows what else the surgeon will find.
But hey, there’s no point dwelling on it. Such is life, I guess.
Maybe, one day, someone you know whose child is having surgery may appreciate a text to say “I’m thinking of you” or “I hope all goes well” or whatever. Texts take just seconds out of your busy day, but may make a difference…just don’t say “good luck” (we don’t need luck!) or “call me if you need anything” (us special parents probably won’t ask for help…we’re a bit stubborn like that…well, I am anyway). If you’re feeling REALLY helpful, you could offer practical stuff like, say, food (hospital food is generally vile…in my opinion, that is…thank GOD there’s an M&S around the corner!) or parents may be too busy tending to a child who’s returned home rather than cooking something nutritious for themselves. Just think about doing something…I’m sure anything would be appreciated and, if the tables were ever turned, you’d probably appreciate some help too, don’t you think?
(n.b. For the handful of close friends we have…this isn’t a hint…just so we’re clear. You know me better than that! *blows kisses*…although feel free to bring crisps…or wine…or chocolate…or cake…or a pasty from the Chough Bakery in Padstow…or…)
So, my people, I need you to do Hannah a favour, please…
If you have a faith – no matter what religion you worship – please say a prayer for her…or a few. If you don’t, then please keep her in your thoughts; send her TONS of positive vibes; cross fingers, toes, eyes, legs, whatever.
I’ll keep you posted as soon as I can.