The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Week 55

The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Week 55

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 23, July, 2019

IT’S A STRANGE FEELING. Not for the first time in my life that I have to go for an operation in the hospital. But it is the first time in my life that I have to stay overnight away from both of the kids. The operation is not that big of a deal. It’s only a tonsillectomy (fancy word for getting the tonsils whipped out). I’m more stressing about leaving the kids for the night.

Now obviously, it’s not because I don’t trust James to look after them. Of course I do, he’s their Daddy. It’s just that James is a lot more laid back than I am. I would be the ‘stricter’ parent out of the two of us. What I mean is, I would spend time making home-made dinners whereas James would give them biscuits and ice cream for dinner. I make sure the kids have their teeth brushed and dressed in the morning whereas James would let them run about in their pyjamas all day. “Who cares?” James asks, “Who’s going to see them?”

I care. It’s all about routine. Not that I’m a complete control freak or anything. Ah-hem. I just have the kids in a routine and it works.

Unfortunately, I have been tortured with bouts of tonsillitis for the last 10 years or so and it’s steadily got worse and more frequent over the years. Have you ever had it? It’s horrible. It’s not just a sore throat, it’s like having the flu. It makes you feel run down, tired and drained. And if that’s not bad enough, the antibiotics the doc gives you make you feel sick and weak. Over the years I had a few spells off work and spent time off looking after myself which wasn’t so bad. But it’s not a good combination when you have little people to look after.

So, it was only March and already I was on my fourth course of antibiotics this year, enough was enough. I made an appointment to see the doctor and before I was even in the doctor’s office, she had already made me out a prescription for an antibiotic, assuming that was what I was in for. Thankfully, I wasn’t but I did explain the problems I was having and the doctor agreed that it was time to get something done. I couldn’t believe my ears when she told me that there was a 30-month waiting list to see the ear, nose and throat specialist for the initial consultation, let alone how long I would have to wait for an operation. Eh??!!

“There is another option.” She said. “If you don’t want to wait that time I can send a referral letter to the private hospital and they would be able to do the consultation and surgery within a couple of months.”

“Okay, how much is that going to cost?” I asked.

“I’m not exactly sure, you would need to ring them for the information.” She explained. “Here’s the number and you can have a think about what you want to do but I’ll put you down on the waiting list in the meantime. I can always take you off the list if needs be.”

Fox ache. 30 months! I’ll be bloody immune to the antibiotics by that stage, I was thinking.

“Okay, I’ll give them a ring and let you know, thanks.” I said.

This is going to be some handling. I’m either going to be on antibiotics steady for the next two-and-a-half years or I’m going to have to win the lottery. Great!

That evening, I explained the situation to James and naturally he said, we’ll do whatever we need to do to get you sorted. Of course it was lovely that I knew James would do whatever it took but I still felt guilty about it all. I mean, this was going to cost a fortune and with two kids and a house and a car, there are plenty things we could be spending the money on. We decided it would do no harm in ringing the hospital and find out what the story was.

The following morning, after I got Lily upstairs for her nap and Jamie was occupied with some toys, I rang the hospital. I spoke to a lovely lady that explained the whole procedure from start to finish. Basically, I go in for a consultation with one of the surgeons. That costs £200 and I would get an appointment within the next fortnight. You get a full check and then he/she tells you if you would be a candidate for surgery. If I want to go ahead with the surgery, I get booked in form the following month. I would arrive in the hospital in the morning, the surgery is done in the afternoon and then I stay overnight. As long as there are no problems or complications, I get to go home the next day. I then receive a follow up/check up a fortnight later. This costs £1800. So, all in all £2000 from start to finish.

My initial thought? Jesus Christ! £2000. Then I thought, actually it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

This got me thinking.

Why is it that we don’t spend a thought on buying a car? Or going on a holiday abroad once a year? Or even totalling up the amount of money we spend a year on going out for dinner or to the pub? Why is it, that when it comes to our health, we question whether or not it needs done? My answer – guilt. I would have thought nothing of it a few years ago when all I had was myself to think about. Nowadays, it’s a different story. Well, that was until I spoke to James.

James’ response was nothing like mine. “No problem”, he says.

“No problem?” I asked. “How can I justify spending two grand on myself like that?”

“I’ll tell you why.” James says. “How can you look after the kids properly when you’re sick all the time and feeling miserable?” he asked.

And then it made sense.

So, the following day I managed to get another appointment to see the doc and asked her to complete the referral letter to the private hospital for me.

“No problem.’ She said. ‘I’m not sure if I mentioned the last time that you should be entitled to your money back.”

“What?” I exclaimed, “How does that work?”

“Well”, She said, “It’s to do with the long waiting lists and here in Ireland the health directorate are able to offer refunds for any private surgery that has been referred by your GP. You need to pay for everything upfront, keep the receipts and complete the forms. You should get your money back within three months.”

“Excellent! No, you didn’t mention this before but that’s super.” I said, while thinking at the same time, no wonder there’s a bloody 30-month waiting list! But you have to do what you have to do.

With the referral complete and my initial consultation booked, I headed up to the hospital. My heart was in my throat and I was secretly wishing the consultant was going to tell me that I wasn’t a candidate for surgery because I was too old or that these bouts of tonsillitis would pass. If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.

“Yes”, the consultant said, ‘You are a prime candidate for a tonsillectomy. Do you want to go ahead with the surgery?” he asked.

I tentatively replied, “Yeah, okay, if it’s not going to get any better?” I asked with baited breath.

“No”, he replied, “If anything it will only get worse. Okay, we’ll get you booked in on the next available date and you’ll get a letter in the post.”

“Okay, great.” I replied.

“Oh, I need to advise you that because of your age, you are more susceptible to bleeding after the op. If that happens, you need to go to A&E immediately. Ok?”

“Okay” I said. 


So, here we are. Wednesday is fast approaching and I’m cacking it. I’m having my last glass of wine as I type. I have my lists ready and waiting. You know, the ‘what to pack for the hospital’ list, the ‘breakfast, lunch and dinner’ list for James and the ‘who to call in an emergency’ list, mostly for myself.

I’m actually thinking now, who cares if the kids have biscuits and ice cream for dinner? Who cares if they stay in their pyjamas all day? They are going to love spending the one-to-one time with their Daddy.

And the best part?

I won’t be able to shout at them for a few days after either!

Wish me luck….

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