In the operating theatre as my son drifts off . . .

MY colleague stared at me blankly. (But then most of them do.) This time the perplexed reaction wasn’t provoked by one of my toe-curling puns – such as: “What’s the best time to play golf?” Tee-time – but because I’d mentioned the classic TV series Dallas.

If I hadn’t elicited a glimmer of recognition with Dallas, I certainly wouldn’t have done so with Kramer vs. Kramer, the 1979 film starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep as divorcees who fight a custody battle over son Billy.

At one point the youngster falls from playground equipment and cuts his face badly. I can’t remember the exact details, but there are a few “ooh . . . ah . . . wince” moments for father and son as the wound is stitched. We’ve had our own wincey moments recently, after James uncharacteristically shot down a slope in a bike park. His front wheel stopped, somehow, and he didn’t.

I reached A&E in time to go with him to the X-ray room and view pictures of his wrist bones in a very unusual arrangement. The gas-and-air cylinder in A&E was a godsend... and when I’d finished with it I let him have some, too.

The bones were later manipulated back into position under general anaesthetic and secured in a plaster cast, before we spent the night in hospital. Unfortunately, a week later, X-rays showed he was among the three-in-100 or so people for whom this technique doesn’t work. So he’s just been in to have the wrist wired. More anaesthetic. More anguish. A fresh cast.

You may also want to watch:

It’s a strange feeling sharing such an episode with your anxious child: not something you’d wish for, but a huge privilege. Accompanying him to the operating theatre, squeezing a hand as he drifts into unconsciousness, and getting through those initial painful hours after he returns is an experience neither of you will forget. A social worker I know once said that it’s overcoming the crisis moments that binds people together like glue. She was right.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus