Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Things I am thankful for

What things am I thankful for?

Sometimes it's the small things that pass you by, like finding the last chocolate biscuit at the bottom of the biscuit tin or being able to spend a sunny day in the back garden without interruption (rare in this house as it goes).

Then, there are bigger things.  Things which almost overwhelm you because you realise how grateful you are, and yet maybe you can't find a way to express it.

As some of my regular readers know already, our experience of parenthood hasn't always been a smooth one.  Our eldest child (the teen) was born with a congenital heart defect, which was only diagnosed when he was a month old.  I have written about that here on the blog before but despite this I still find the whole thing massively hard to talk about.

In addition to that, when our twins were born five years ago we discovered that DS3 (twin 2) also had a CHD.  Different to his eldest brother's condition, and not nearly as serious but it was a blow to us nonetheless.  Because of this I am always terribly nervous every time we have to visit Alder Hey for a check up with him.  His condition needs long term follow up to check that there are no changes.  If there are then it almost certainly means an overnight hospital stay and some form of operation.  Understandably we are keen to avoid this.

And so, back in February his annual check up rolled around again.

And despite my nervousness, it went very well.

But that's not the only thing I was thankful for.

For 15 years we have been going to that clinic every year.  For 15 years we have always seen the same consultant.  He has been there to guide us through some tough times as well as some good ones.

And now he has gone.  Onto bigger things, a change in direction for his career.

That appointment was the last one we will have with him.  15 years of putting our trust in one person, and now we start all over again.

While it is a little unsettling having to get used to a new consultant, who may have a different opinion or a different way of doing things, I am thankful that our boys were both able to have such a long period of care under one amazing doctor.  To have had the same point of contact and the same expert advice since they were both babies is something that we have maybe taken for granted at times, but it is a relatively rare thing to have.  I feel lucky that we have had that.

I am hopeful the boys' care will continue in the same vein with their new doctor.  We won't meet him until next year but he comes highly recommended.

When we do meet not only will the doctor be new, but the hospital too, as the new Alder Hey will have opened by then.  Which is another thing I am thankful for (lightheartedly) - exiting the old cramped car park for the very last time.  No longer will we have to trawl it for a parking space minutes before our appointment is due!

Exiting the car park for the very last time
(yes, I really did take a photo)

Count Your Lucky Stars
Little Hearts Big Love

12 comments:

  1. My niece has two different congenital heart defects - she'll have surgery in the next year or so to repair the hole. I can imagine how stressful it must all be for you - hope the transition to new doctor and facility goes smooth!

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    1. Thanks Shannon - I'm sorry to hear about your niece. Fingers crossed her surgery goes smoothly too. xx

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  2. It must have been so reassuring to have the same consultant all these years. But hopefully the move to Alder Hey and the new doctor will be fab too.

    I love your opening paragraph, about the small things and the big things. So true. Thanks for linking to #countluckystars xx

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    1. Thanks Sian. I'm sure it will. Funnily enough as we were sitting in the waiting room we were talking about how much longer we would be under the same care or whether we were likely to get a newer doctor. I really think it must be time to move on. Maybe a change will help me come to terms with it all a bit better - new beginnings and all that. Thanks for hosting #countluckystars too :)

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  3. What a difference it must make to have the same doctor for so many years, I'm sure it must make it easier for you all. Hopefully the new one will be just as good and I have been in Alder Hey car park...the new one opening really will be something to be thankful for, the last thing you need when you are visiting the hospital will be the stress of that car park! #countluckystars

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    1. It has and we've been spoiled by such good service. I really do think we're in safe hands with the new guy though - just takes some getting used to! Thank heavens for new hospitals and car parks too - quite excited to see the finished building now (although don't really want to end up there again before we have to of course!).

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  4. How reassuring it must have been to have the same doctor for all that time, and it must be unsettling to think of starting again. I'm sure that the new hospital and doctor will be amazing too though, especially as he comes highly recommended. Life is such a mix of the big and little things, isn't it? #countluckystars

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    1. It certainly is! Will be quite a change but we've never been let down before and it is encouraging to know that there are equally good doctors coming up the ranks behind the people that have been there for years.

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  5. So glad that all went well with your son's appointment and how amazing to have had the same consultant for all that time. I can imagine just how unsettling it must be to start again with someone new though - Jessica will have a different surgeon for her next op as the one that did all her previous ones has moved to the States. Whilst I am sure she will still have excellent care, it does make me more nervous about it all. So glad that your son is doing so well :-)

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    1. Our original surgeon has moved on too. Hopefully we won't need his services again with DS1 who is about to move into adult care anyway! DS3 still may have surgery but it isn't quite as complex as his brother's. I'm more relaxed about that side of things now. It will be strange to have a different first point of contact, but I'm sure we'll get used to it in time!

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    2. Glad you are feeling more relaxed about that side of things. Thank you for linking up to #hearttoheartlinky x

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