So this morning we have travelled in to our local children’s hospital for Alice’s bladder surgery. This will greatly improve the quality of her life, and will enable her to eventually self-catheterise. She had been on the waiting list for surgery for a while and finally we had the call. As with all previous surgeries we had kept in close communication with the social worker. The hospital sent the consent for a General Anaesthetic in advance for social services to sign. This time things didn’t go quite so smoothly, as social services would not give consent in advance. The manager of the service wanted to come on the day of surgery to meet both the surgeon and anaesthetist. What could possibly go wrong?
We arrived at Admissions at 7.30am and waited patiently. Time was passing and there was no sign of her. I could feel my blood pressure beginning to rise. I prayed that after all this preparation this would not be a waste of time for Alice, let along a waste of theatre time, anaesthetist and surgeons time. I began to seriously worry. The social worker gave me her personal number so I quickly texted her. She starts to make a few phone calls. Just as I was about to let the admission nurse know the manager came through the door. I felt such relief.
After quizzing the anaesthetist and surgeon (something I think could have happened prior to today) she gave consent and we finally went down to theatre. The anaesthetist took great care in ensuring Alice stayed calm as she was put to sleep. I left her there in theatre in the safe hands of the surgical team.
The four hours that she was in surgery felt like an eternity and I was very relieved when I was called up to recovery where she was being brought round from the anaesthetic. Now the next waiting game begins as we wait to see if surgery was successful and then recovery can begin. I reflect that this is something so important to Alice, both the surgery and my presence with her throughout. Fostering is about helping good decisions to be made for the child in care, but it is also about walking through those decisions with them.
A Less Ordinary Family Foster Carer’s Blog