We headed back from the hospital.
In the boot was a bag of scrubs and ointments that have to be administered to various parts of my daughter’s body in the five days leading up to her upcoming operation. The lotions and potions are to rub on her hair and skin, stick up her nose, and swill down her throat, all to minimise the risk of her developing an infection after her back surgery. They came with an explanatory booklet with the catchy title: 'A Patients’ Guide To Staphyloccuus Aureus Decolonisation', which sounds like something Douglas Adams and Philip K Dick would have come up with if they’d written a novel together.
My girl’s pre-op assessment was complete. She’d been weighed, measured, had her bloodpressure done, had nasal and groin swabs taken (yuk!) and is now, officially, paperworked up to the eyeballs.
The ever elusive date is still to materialise, but the vague timetable has shifted from 'May/early June' to 'possibly April'.
My daughter panicked when the nurse said this. “April? It won’t be on the 13th, will it, Mum? Because we’ve got travel training at school that day.” (Travel training is where her teaching assistant takes her out to improve her road sense, trying to teach her how to safely cross roads, and how to catch a bus etc.).
“Sweetheart, you can do travel training any time - you do it every week, don’t you?”
“Yes, but I don’t want to miss the 13th. I DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT.”
“Right, I’ll speak to school and if the op does clash with it, they will promise to do it another day with you so you don’t miss out, OK.”
“Are you happy with that?”
“Yes. As long as the op isn’t on the 13th.”
“Right. Remember, they’ve only said April - it could be any day in April. We just don’t know until we get a date, so there’s no point in worrying.”
“Ah, OK. Any day. Just not the 13th.”
Later, much later, when we were home, and the circular conversation had run its course, my girl headed for our TIVO box, and searched out her treasured saved programme folder of Topsy and Tim episodes.
“I’m watching the one where Topsy has her appendix out,” she told me, solemnly. “It’s like practice for me about being in hospital.”
She’s practised about a dozen times so far. Topsy and Tim are intensely irritating little shits, aren't they? Still, it could be worse. It could be Patch Adams.
Song is Jill Scott - Prepared