We were lucky enough for Eleanor to not only have her port-a-cath surgery at the Royal Marsden but also by the same surgeon who fitted her first port-a-cath. Medics, like everyone in the world come in many flavours and finding a good surgeon who is both great at his job AND personable can be tough. When you are leaving your small child in the hands of a surgeon you WANT the good bedside manner, you want that warm personable touch because you are trusting them with the most important person in your world. Luckily Eleanor’s surgeon is both of these things, Tim and I both remember how he put us at ease last time and I was very relieved when I saw him walk in to the waiting room this time around!
First thing required was a cannula to enable the anaesthetic to work it’s magic. Eleanor has had more cannulas than I can remember now but her veins were not playing ball this time. I don’t know if it was because she was nervous or if it was just ‘one of those days’ but the poor nurse tried both arms and both times the veins bruised meaning the cannula wouldn’t work. Unfortunately we had only put numbing cream on the insides of her arms so the options were to try another vein in that area or go for one on the hands without numbing cream! The latter was not an option for Eleanor so instead we tried a heat pack on her arms to try and bring out a vein that could be used. Third time around and this time we were lucky… I think I held my breath until I saw blood in that line! Poor Eleanor, not a good start!
Before we knew it we were being called to theatre and we all walked hand in hand through the corridors of the Hospital. Eleanor was so brave and I looked at her lying on that bed filled with love and also sadness. Proud that she is taking of this all in her stride, chatting away and joking with the anaesthetists about Harry Potter and talking about what she would like to dream about while she was asleep, but also sadness that a child of 7 should even have to think about surgery and medication. She went off to sleep calmly with a big yawn and I stroked her hair and kissed her goodbye.
Without going into too much detail the surgery went well and was over in the blink of an eye. We didn’t even have time to finish our lunch and pop to the pharmacy to collect some medication before we were being whisked back up to theatre recovery! Fully prepared to be faced with a screaming disorientated Eleanor like the last two times she’s had surgery I was so pleased to walk into recovery to see her smiling and once again chatting away to unfamiliar adults! She amazes me so often, for someone so young and also with such a significant visual impairment, she is confident around adults and can certainly hold her own in a conversation!
Everything went well and after a bite to eat and a little check over we were sent home for a few days off school to recover.