What Happens If…

G’s mother is going in for knee surgery.

Grandma wanted to Skype with the little travelers before the big day. I was in the shower when everyone sat in front of the laptop in Qatar looking into Grandmas home in Brisbane. People asked questions, repeated questions, repeated answers, talked of sausages for dinner and storms that were about to roll through.

G’s mother is an ex nurse. Is there such a thing? Nurses never stop being nurses. Grandma knows all about hospitals and surgery and anesthetics. She’s been putting this surgery off for a long time. Grandma is always on the move, she’s fit, busy, and loves to go on long walks. I repeat, she’s put this surgery off for as long as possible.

The night before the second little traveller had her fifth ear operation this July she ran through the usual questions.

“Will I get as many icypoles as I like?”

“Will I get jelly?’

“Will I get a treat after we leave the hospital?”

“What happens if I don’t wake up?”

Bang. There it was. The unspeakable.

“If you don’t wake up, I’ll come in and wake you up, I’ll yell “It’s time for ice-cream! That will wake you up”.

She giggled.

I felt sick. I didn’t tell her that this is the internal debate that every parent who has a child requiring surgery, has with themselves over and over again. What if they don’t wake up.

I don’t like ice-cream.

You don’t have to be a Grandma to be worried about not waking up.

I will wake up.

If not, please come in and shout “We have bubbles, G and the little travellers are outside in the car and we’re all heading to the beach”

There’s a lot to wake up for.

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