By ‘eck grommets (Part II)

BILLY finally had his ear operation. And he seems absolutely fine. It was a huge relief to get it done.

Billy after his ear operation, not happy to be interrupted eating after eight hours nil-by-mouth

I feel a little embarrassed now, by how worried I was about my six-year-old going into hospital to get grommets fitted in his ears. After all, there are parents who have had to endure far worse with far, far poorlier kids.

And people were really lovely, very reassuring, very understanding. It wasn’t the actual operation I was too worried about, it was watching him be put under. I was worried I would blub in front of him.

It’s ridiculous. I used to be tough. I had some grim jobs as a junior reporter, having to do the dreaded ‘death knock,’ when someone has died and the paper send you to knock on the door of the bereaved. After I had children I couldn’t do them. I’d be on the doorstep in tears before they even answered. I became a snivelling wreck, crying at just about everything. TV shows. Sports events. Christmas. *Sniffs. Pathetic.

Bloke had taken the day off for Friday’s op, and we’d tried to be as nonchalant as possible with Billy, reassuring him without raising his suspicions that something scary was going to happen.

I thought Bloke would volunteer to go down to be with Bill in the anaesthesia room. Nope. He made me do it. He told me that Billy would want me there, and that I would be able to hold back the tears for his sake.

He was right, of course. I chatted incessantly until he was out-for-the-count. It was horrible to watch, I felt I had a weight on my heart, but I didn’t cry. Not until I was in the ladies loo anyway, and it was over in a nose-blow.

Everyone at Northampton General Hospital was great (although predictably understaffed). Everything from getting him settled and into his robe (“but it shows my pants!”) to having him come round and recover. He had a little cry in the recovery room, disorientated and a little tender. But with the help of smiley nurses and porters, a dose of paracetamol, some warm toast and a Penguin biscuit, and he was back to his usual self and complaining about how loud everyone was being.

We were in at 12noon, and out just before 6pm. I’m very grateful to all involved. He’s not complained once and is only grumpy about the fact he can’t go swimming for six weeks.

As I put him to bed last night, he said: “Mum, I ever don’t want to have any operations again, OK?” I told him I couldn’t promise, but hopefully that would be it. I didn’t tell him the little boy in the next bed was in for his second grommet op in two years.

Fingers crossed, he’s fixed. . .

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