Daughter number three needed to have a minor op today, to remove some back teeth that had grown through in the wrong way. Minor as in seriousness of subject matter, but serious enough nevertheless to warrant a visit to hospital and a general anaesthetic.
Being aged 8, she was most unimpressed to be told that she couldn't eat after 8 this morning. So, she got up, ate early and then took on a very hungry look for the rest of the morning.
Got to the hospital at the allotted time, 1.30 p.m. She had been told that she could drink non milk based drinks before 12, but she forgot and I was a negligent mother, so she got to the hospital thirsty. Asked if too late, and were told that two clear hours needed to pass between drink and op, so no.
To distract, I found a film in the waiting room of Chitty Chitty Ban Bang. Nice and long I thought. She should be there and back before the film is done.
They put Emla cream on her hand to avoid any pain when giving the anaesthetic, gave her some Calpol to alleviate after op pain, and indicated that she was at the top of the list. Great I thought. We'll be back home with the kettle on by 4 p.m.
A nurse, that we hadn't previously seen, popped by and asked us to turn down the T.V. due to disturbing other recovering patients. She was one of the matronesque variety of nurse. The sort that makes you quiver at the knees for fear of offending. The sort that I remember when I was in hospital having given birth to Eldest Daughter. Being a newborn baby of a completely inept new born mother, she had screamed very loudly at 3 a.m. After half an hour or so of trying to placate, I had gathered her up and started to walk towards the day room. I was then marched back by the Matronesque and told in no uncertain terms that mothers are NOT allowed to walk around the hospital with their babies. It took me until I had my next baby two years later to realise that I could have gone down to the day room, but with babe in cot on wheels. That's why the cots in matarnity wings have wheels. So that you can walk the babies around. Trouble is that pre natal classes are all geared to the physical process of giving birth. No-one gives you a run down on how to deal with matronesques, or cots on wheels.
But I digress. Back to today's Matronesque.
I weakly said to her that I wasn't sure how to work the t.v., and that I had just used the settings that were already in place. She looked at me slightly disbelievingly. One of the other mothers waiting for her child's op managed to find a remote control, and turned the set down. We all looked relieved and grateful to the more resourceful mother present.
We then proceeded to watch Chitty, virtually soundless.
It's a very long film.
Especially when you are trying to guess what is being said. Quite hard work really.
Film finished and we were still sitting there.
4 p.m. Just as the effect of the Emla cream had completely worn off, we went through to the ward. As resident parent, I too was allowed to go into to where the anaesthetist does his magic. And it is magic. A person goes from laughing one second to asleep a second later.
As a mother though it is terrifying to watch. You feel as if your child has been taken away from you, and that you are never going to see them again. You then spend the next half an hour, forty minutes, whatever it takes, willing the staff to call you into recovery.
Immediately after the op, the dental surgeon came by to tell me that he had completed all successfully and that she was in recovery. Is she awake I asked? She will be soon came the reply. Then another mother and I shared a second terrifying moment when we heard Doctors being called to the recovery room over the tannoy. No-one came to tell us all was well, and for those few minutes which seemed like hours my mind was going through hell.
Eventually though we were summoned into recovery, and thank you God, surgeon, and great anaesthetist, because all was in fact well.
The teeth were tucked into a little bag, ready for the tooth fairy, and attached to her bed. Youngest daughter who had had a jolly (?) afternoon in hospital waiting with me, was delighted to see that she too could take a ride down to the ward on the side bar of the bed. Only it wasn't a side bar, but a brake. The nurse was quite relieved to find that she hadn't lost all strength in a samsonite moment, and that the bed did after all wheel along quite well without a six year old standing on the brake.
Got back to the ward, and heard hissing sound coming from underneath the bed. Went to get member of staff. Found the only non English speaking person in Gloucestershire. Demonstrated problem in demonstrative fashion with Italianish accent, as staff member appeared to be Italian. She went to find someone who could deal with the matter. Fortunately it was only the Oxygen bottle that youngest daughter had stood on this time. So we didn't all fall asleep.
Got home. Went to handbag to find teeth to show hubby the nice bag that the hospital had put them in ready for the tooth fairy. They had gone. Emptied bag of all relevant stuff. Then emptied if of the last year's supermarket receipts, hair bobbles, letters from the school, tissues, and a lollipop. Still no teeth. I think the tooth fairy's already taken them I said to hubby. At that, as if by magic, I found them in a pocket of the bag that I don't think I have ever seen before.
Well. It is that time of the year isn't it?
4 months ago