30 April 2009

Counting Down

Firstly, apologies, I meant to update this last week, but I’ve been finding it tough to get started. We have all been home a week and a half now, and getting back into the swing of things. So, I’ll start at the start, and slowly work my way through the last 8 weeks or so. It will take a few posts, it might get a bit teary, but don’t worry, there is a happy ending.

About 8 weeks ago, the cardiac secretary phoned me to tell me that Cathal was scheduled for surgery the following week, March the 9th.


I only heard half of what I was told. “Come in on Thursday for echo, ecg and x-ray, and then come in Sunday to be admitted”……OK…..

I rang the Dad immediately, in floods of tears and chocking voice I told him the news.

Thursday came, Cathal and I went up to the hospital to get all the tests and checks done. I completely underestimated what it takes to be admitted for surgery. There were blood tests, x-ray, echo, ecg, MRSA swabs, urine sample, stool sample (luckily he gave those to the nurse on the day, and we didn’t have to store any in our fridge), consent to be signed, checklists to go through, cardiac liaison nurse to speak to. We spent the entire day in Crumlin, from about 10 in the morning, to 6.30 that night. I came home with a starving, exhausted child, a splitting headache and an unusable bathroom. Oh yes, you see the same week we got the news, our one and only bathroom was being ripped out and replaced…..good timing!!! Luckily, the guys doing our bathroom were amazing, and stayed till 11 on Friday night to finish the bathroom, so that they would not need to come back the following Monday, surgery day.

The weekend was spent franticly cleaning the house, getting in supplies of soup, dinners, biscuits and sweets. And also, having a small birthday celebration for the man in question.

Sunday….the day we go in to hospital. We were given a great tip off, don’t get admitted until about 4.30. Admissions close at 5, so get in just before they close. I stayed the night in the room with Cathal, on the floor on a mattress that can only be described as rock like. A tip for all those sleeping on those mattresses in Crumlin, make sure to get a light coloured one, they are softer, newer and you aren’t actually lying directly on the floor. Avoid all dark blue and green ones, these are instruments of torture. Cathal thought it was hilarious that I was on the floor, at 4 in the morning, he was lying on his tummy looking down at me grinning. Cathal was supposed to be first into surgery the following morning, so had to fast from 6am. But, things got switched around, and he ended up second on the list. He had to keep fasting through it all. He kept his spirits up, he was flirting with the nurses, sleeping, doing well. By about lunch time though, he had had enough and just ignored everyone, licking his lips with thirst, looking down at his sheets forlornly.

Finally, at 2pm, on Monday the 9th, he was called for surgery