1.37am in a hospital quiet room...

A minor op.
It went well.
'Text book' one might say.
Words that mask reality.

Today we brought our littlest soldier to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. 

The teams were fabulous, accommodating of her needs. Learning Disability nurses smoothed the way, made sure she understood, put her first on the list, made sure the appointment wasn't changed. We felt safe in expert hands, but still tears flowed as she drifted calmly, unsuspectingly into the gas, whispering, 'I'm hungry...'

A flashback to her heart surgery, natural parental fear.
We kissed her and told her of our love for her, promising cake when she woke.

The hour of her surgery stretched ahead of us. We paced, spoke to family, listened to every sound and voice in the ward, waiting for news of her safe return to us.

'She's out and in recovery.' Bob caught the snippet as it passed our door. 

Yes, it was our Natty. The relief is immense, no matter how minor or routine the op, the irrational fears that your mind fights, all centre on the anaesthetised time. The time when you are not in control, powerless, only able to trust others in whom you lay your child's life.

Natty woke, disorientated and feeling strange. She was distraught in a way I don't recall post heart op, but then we are 4 years down the line with a little girl who understands so much more and thinks so much more deeply.

We soothed. Morphine came to the rescue, and shortly she was eating soup demanding exactly who sat where and stroked her arm and watching Mamma Mia on a loop, to which she sang loudly (apologies to the rest of the ward).

This is how she feels when the morphine is working, but when it wears off and lesser painkillers are the baseline, she's struggling a bit.

Tonight has been hard for her. We are in High Dependency Unit to monitor her oxygen and breathing, surrounded by nurses who look vaguely familiar, who say they know us of old. Those who have been a crucial part of our journey so far, to whom we owe so much. The faceless medical angels whose lifework is supporting us all.

She has missed Daddy who has gone home to sleep and kiss her sister goodnight.

She is swollen, her face rounded, lips sore from the tubes. The catheter in her hand is bothering her. She's restless, fidgety, fussing over her latest syringe. She settled late, overtired after the day's events. Waking in the early hours for more pain relief.

But finally, after endless stroking and rocking and soothing she sleeps. 

She is safe, she will be well.

But darn it tonsills, you packed a mighty punch...

And yes, I'm off to get some rest too now. 
H, 2.33am x

You might also like to read about the emotions behind the operation here at Tonsil Op Cancelled at the Crack of Dawn.


  1. I remember those days vividly while in the hospital with my Katie all those years ago. All the added precautions, Doctors and Nurses. A "routine" surgery suddenly becomes so terrifying. ....

    1. It's tricky to explain to those who sail through such procedures isn't it. But I am so grateful for the NHS teams who help us all.

  2. Thank goodness for the morphine and the love of those angels who work tirelessly for the NHS. Hope you feel better very soon Natty, that you, Hayley, get some rest and that the blip that comes at 7 days post op is a small one. Much love, as ever x

    1. Thank you Jenny. Mum is on hand to help but poor Mia goes in for the same on Monday, so when that day 5 -7 blip comes, there will be 2 poorly soldiers... :/

  3. I felt every word of this. Lots of love, xx

  4. I was with you all of the way there, Hayley. You write so well. Am so glad Natty is recovering well. Singing is good medicine - for the one doing the singing anyway!! All good wishes for Mia on Monday. Enid xx

  5. Glad to hear you're now home. Giorgio had to have surgery for a fistula at five months and it was one of the toughest nights of my life.
    One of the nurses came to get me at the end of the operation and said, "you nearly lost him".. I was horrified! Seeing my expression she said, "no, because he's so cute we wanted to keep him." I wasn't sure whether to be relieved or punch her for giving me heart failure.

    1. That is quite possibly the worst thing I have ever heard of a medical professional saying Tania. I am gobsmacked.

  6. oh bless never easy, but when you have such a special daughter that has already faced so much, must be heart wrenching. I hope Natty heals quickly and bounces back to her happy self bless her and goodness mustn't forget good luck to Mia for later today bless, the following weeks will be spent with lots of extra cuddles I am sure for both girls, here is to an abundance of treats, smiles and hugs in the weeks ahead x

  7. So difficult - hope you have now found time to relax a little and recover from the stress yourself. Children bounce back so amazingly well really - hope the op has improved things for the long term x

  8. You took me back to 2011, when my eldest had to undergo oral surgery, with general anaesthesia. Longest 30 minutes of my life. And when they didn't come and get us after exactly 30 minutes we were so terrified...
    Everything was fine in the end, but it was hell.
    I am glad your Natty is doing fine, and hope you never have to go through something like that again :)

  9. Well done Natty and well done mummy. I bet that was so hard to sit around and wait for. Best wishes for a speedy recovery x

  10. Wow this brings back some memories for me too, so glad it all went well for you

  11. So hard to send them down for an op - all three of mine went through this, and just to say, it was SO worth it as each one has been much healthier since xx

  12. Much love to you and your little girl...here's hoping the road to recovery is a swift one xxx

  13. Well done your brave little Natty and big love to you Hayley. Mich x

  14. Hope Natty recovers well x


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