The message you have been expecting arrives, it is time. There is no more ‘waiting’. The situation is now severe. You thought you were mentally ready, you were prepared, you were wrong. You feel nauseous. Your world falls apart as everyone else carries on oblivious. All the appointments, the tests, the injections, the scares, the emergency admissions have led you here. The sleepless nights, the tears, the sadness, the inconsolable crying, are etched in your memories. Sadly this isn’t the end of the journey but only the start. You’re told there is a small chance of death/stroke, it’s tiny, they try to reassure you. You’ve experienced these low probability events before, so you try and bury your fears.
Her innocent, cheeky smile quickly fades as she realises she is back at the hospital. Her body language changes as she’s led into another room where she knows she will experience pain. You know that your ‘it’s ok’ line has lost its magic. She no longer believes your lies, she’s seen too much, she’s experienced too much. She looks you in the eyes and cries ‘no more’ as you hold her down again for the hundredth time. How she still trusts you you will never know. All you seem to do is trick her, helping the series of strangers to hurt her. She’s scared, she wants you to hold her, to protect her, to stop them. Why don’t you stop them daddy?! You can’t, it tears you apart inside, but you can’t. You carry her into another room, she grabs on to you with those little fingers with all her might. In your heart you know she’ll soon be going into theatre alone, without you. She fights the anaesthetic, pushing away, screaming, too young to know why it’s happening, but aware enough to be scared of what’s to come. Eventually her eyes close as she loses consciousness. You are told to leave….it is out of your hands now, like it ever was. Grab a coffee they say, we’ll let you know when she’s in recovery. You pace the corridors hoping for a ‘positive outcome’. All you can ever think is why her?! You feel guilty for never having enough time, always rushing, never really completely ‘there’. Maybe you could have done things differently.
You bless the NHS, you know she wouldn’t be alive without it.
She is only 2, yet she’s the bravest person you’ve ever met. She hasn’t had a choice, she’s had to be. P we love you! I hope one day you’ll understand. We’ll see you in a few hours…