Sunday, 5 February 2012


Three years ago, my daughter had an operation.

It was just the small matter of ratcheting her scoliosis-twisted spine straight, and drilling in and bolting titanium rods millimetres from her spinal cord so her bones could fuse around the metal (see previous post Straight).

It was just the most agonising day of my life as she was wheeled into surgery that could potentially have left her paralysed. 

It was just seeing her in the recovery room, her cheeks and chin distorted from having been operated on face-down for seven hours, and hardly recognising her.

It was just coping with a few terrifying, helpless, morphine-fuelled days of recovery afterwards before she finally returned to any semblance of her old self. (See previous post Phantom).

A few months later - during which time I had popped out her baby brother - my girl had to have a second op.

This was to stick some more scaffolding onto the bottom few vertebrae, and this one was a lot less traumatic.

It only took two and a bit hours. And when we saw her come round in the High Dependency Unit, she gave us a little smile.

The following morning, the consultant on duty was doing his checks. To appreciate what happened next, you have to bear in mind that most children who have a spinal fusion operation (or adults for that matter) feel like they’ve been flattened by a tsunami after this surgery. But Prader-Willi Syndrome, as well as coming with an insatiable appetite, also features a high pain threshold - which in this case was definitely a good thing.

“I don't suppose she's managed any breakfast?” the doctor asked, expecting an answer along the lines of: “No, she’s not felt up to eating anything yet.”

There followed a small pause, then she looked at me, as if she was asking permission to speak.

I nodded, encouraging her. She smiled, shyly, and looked up at him. “Yes!” she said. “I had 'oops."

He looked amazed. But his eyebrows raised a whole inch higher when she added: "And I had tuna bake for tea yesterday. That was LOVELY.”

Video is clip from Life On Mars - "I'm 'avin' 'oops".

Video is David Bowie - Life On Mars


  1. Your 1st. born has great culinary taste.

    Have you scoped the US version of LOM with Harvey Keitel et al? It's well worth digging out. Even with their (crazy) ending.

  2. No, I didn't - but I did hear about said ending, which put me off! Haven't caught the US version of Shameless either, with William H. Macy doing a David Threlfall. I loved the first couple of UK series, which would be hard to beat, but the US version has got to be better than the later series, which