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Sunday, January 31, 2010

'Trivial' Surgery

They are the words that every parent, at some point in their parenting career, dread to hear. For one reason or another a surgeon has decided that your beautiful child is going under general anaesthetic.
My first reason for hearing those dreaded words came from the fact that my extremely stubborn (then) eight year old son refused to allow a dentist within ten feet of him - and he needed a bloody filling. One filling and he had to be knocked out cold - that was the end of the Mi-Wadi!!
But it makes that experience no easier to know your baby isn't going in for a major life-saving operation. Maybe if it was major and potentially life-saving it might be easier. We are told, every day on TV that a general anaesthetic is not to be taken lightly and yet here is my child going under for something almost trivial.
I remember standing with him in the theatre, dressed up in my hospital scrubs and funny clogs, waiting for the 'magic' to happen. As I stood, listening to him drunkenly giggle and talk nonsense, I was amazed at how small an operating theatre actually is. This is the room where lives are lost and saved daily - surely for such major happenings, a larger spectrum is required? And then he was under and the scrub nurse was leading me out again.
My heart sank. What if?
For the next half hour as I strangled through a cup of tea, that 'what if?' haunted me. Finally the call came from Recovery that my baby was out of theatre and would soon be out of Recovery. I belted it as fast as I could muster, taking the stairs two at a time until I was finally with him as he exited Recovery.
A what a cranky little so-and-so he was too! All my worrying and here he was ready to take strips off me. But all was forgiven, the after-effects of the anaesthetic are not nice, I remember my own experience of coming around afterward - my poor little brother bore the brunt too and it took me some time to apologise after (the joy of being a teenager!)

By the time my son was brought into surgery for the second time (this time it was a necessity) I was better able to deal with it. I was aware that this time the surgery was a necessity, more was at stake than a mere filling. I was also aware that my son was not allergic to the anaesthetic, which had worried me most the first time. I didn't dress up in scrubs and accompany him through, I left him in the OT corridor, giggling with the scrub nurses.
I waited outside for an hour. I even managed to read a magazine. I knew he was safe. I knew he was coming back out and that while I would suffer the demonic after-effects, it would be worth it.

Why, you might ask, do I reminisce so? Well, because last Friday a good friend of mine went through her first surgery. My heart went out to her, this is no trivial matter for a mother. Her five year old son had chopped off the top of his finger, as many children do. My own sister had experienced this many times with both her own children and her friend's children. Children tend to chop off their finger-tops in doors - and that's a simple fact.
It's not nice, it causes a lot of blood to spit out all over the place. And of course, the poor child screams blue murder and terrifies all around. Everyone is convinced that death is imminent or at best, the poor child will be maimed for life. Generally, neither of things happen. And no, the child does not learn a valuable lesson either. Doors will still be slammed on fingers.

Knowing that the child was waiting to be stitched, I ventured over to her before my morning lecture. I finally located her in the Paediatric ER, a feat made easier by the loud laughter of her injured son and his uninjured older sister.
I don't think she'd expected that her beautiful son would be given a general anaesthetic - surely he only needed stitches? It's not until one thinks of how difficult a task this would be that one realises that knocking him out is the only option. Try getting a boisterous five year old to sit still, then try to get him to sit still while you sew the top of his very sore finger back on.
But for a mother, this fact does not make the experience any easier. The eternal 'what if?' crops up. In an effort to reassure her, I talked her through my own previous experiences and told her I would come back later to see how they were all getting along.
While I was of course interested to see how the Little Man came through, I think I was more worried about her. In her, I saw myself. I could still feel that churning.

The more one visit's a hospital the more one learns how to lie their way around. Once upon a time, when asked the question 'And you are?' I would have been honest. Now, I lie. I wanted to know where the Little Man was and so when asked who I was, I lied. I was now his aunt, his very worried aunt too. The poor nurse took it upon himself to escort me through to the OT reception so that I might find out if my 'nephew' was still in Recovery, or had he been moved down to the ward yet? He was in Recovery. I quickly texted my friend that I was now in situ outside the OT and that I had blagged my way around.
Little Man was fine. His finger had been reinstated and he was very cross - he hadn't wanted to go for a nap!! More importantly, his mother could finally relax. Emotional exhaustion had set in.
Before I left, just one short hour later, Little Man and his big sister were playing happily in the Ward's play-room, his mother now anxious to simply be set free so she could take her tired children home.

So a word for all you parents out there. Remember - children will chop their finger tops off. This is a fact. Why? Because the bone does not go all the way to the tip. Be prepared. If you are not going to remove all the doors in the world, at least psyche yourself up, accept it will happen and buy a good first aid kit.
Also remember that at some point your child too may need surgery - don't panic. Ok, panic. But try to remember - this is not your fault, no matter what the reason, chances are you could not have prevented it from happening. The surgery may seem trivial but it is likely still necessary. And always remember, the amount of anaesthetic they will be given would not be likely to even numb your foot. The people who accompany your child into theatre are the highest quality of doctors and nurses. They treat all surgeries, no matter how trivial to you and me, equally. Your child will come home repaired, usually that very same day.
Oh and one final piece of advice - your beautiful child will wake up as cantankerous as sin - ignore it, smile and reassure them, even if they reject your sentiments, they don't mean to.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Newgrange

Following a visit to Newgrange and the surrounding mounds in Fourknocks, I wrote the following poem. Having visited a 'burial tomb' in its natural state and having just previously visiting Newgrange, I realised how wrong the archeologist had got it.
Newgrange was destroyed rather than rebuilt. My guide, a very close family friend, has lived in the area since childhood. He remembered the untouched mound and he also told a very sad tale of arrogance and ignorance. Newgrange is a testament to how an oversized ego can truly destroy a very precious monument. He had worked on the site and spoke from experience in regard to those 'professionals' who knew better.
The poem refers more to Fourknocks and less to Newgrange, except for the final verse, which truly does refer to the desecrated site, once held so sacred.

Newgrange

Cobwebs grow up on the wall,
In a corner, way up tall.
The roof half gone, the rain comes in,
Beside the puddles, the faeries sing.

The grass grows tall between the stones,
Beneath the ground lie ancient bones.
The moonlight glitters across the floor,
Softly wafting through the door.

The sun, the moon and a thousand stars,
Pluto, Venus and tiny Mars.
The bones below with a thousand tales,
For every star, a soul for sale.

Making magic the wee folk dance,
Across the dead they sing and prance.
Beneath the moon and stars by night,
Appearing heedless, for fear no fright.

A ghostly white, soft shimmering,
Above, around, this ancient ring.
Resting centuries undisturbed,
Meddled by man, the spirits perturbed.

All it now but a memory,
Stored up long in Them and Me.
Looks so strange to the opened eye,
The hooded past; the modern lie.

Warrior Princess

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crap Poetry

A few years back I was invited to participate in a poetry reading at the Newman Institute in Mayo. I was extremely nervous at the prospect of standing up and reading aloud to an unknown group. This poem was one which formed in my mind on the morning of the reading.
There were a few of us reading before the 'main act', some poet who I never heard of before (nor since) and who's name I fail to recall.
Alas, I read just previous to her. I was mortified to the max when I realised that she fell into the category of 'crap poetry'. Had this fact been ignored by those around me, this would not have been such a painful experience, however, it was not. I was congratulated for it many times, while over shoulders I received many glaring looks from our 'Honoured Guest'.

Crap Poetry


When I was in the library, I found a book,
And loving poetry, I took a look.
I found some good ones, and some bad
And some really crappy ones, that made me mad.

I sat and I read for about an hour,
Then went home for my tea, and a shower.
I painted my face and brushed my hair,
In front of the mirror, I practised with care. [pause]

My knees tremble, my hands shake,
And deep in my tummy, there's a nervous quake.
Finally it's time, my turn has come,
I stumble and fall and land on my bum.

So sat on my arse, I think of that book,
And printed within it, the crap that it took.
Now taking a stand, I take a deep breath,
Suddenly reading my poetry's no longer a threat.

In front of the room, I hide a small smile,
My tummy's stopped churning, at least for a while.
I'm still just a novice, so cut me come slack,
And always remember, the pro's who print crap!

Warrior Princess

Friday, January 22, 2010

Are Our Children Truly Safe?

Reading of the horrendous torture bestowed on those two young boys in Edlington in England just chills me to the bone. The idea that they were so viciously attacked, so near home and left for dead by two boys in and around their own age only serves to add to the horror.
As the mother of a boy within this same age category, my gut wrenched as I read the gruesome details of these most evil of acts. As a mother I empathise very strongly with the mothers of the victims; I also must admit I greatly admire them too. I would not have been so merciful as they, I would have shot both brothers on sight and felt no remorse for doing so either.

This incident, like that of baby Jamie Bulger's death, tends to bring out the most basic animal instinct present deep within every mother (and father too, I'm sure) the world over. What rights should these sociopath's have? They are obviously not normal, not human, they are not even feral, they are simply malefic beings.
Like Venables and Thompson, they too shall be given all the best of everything, from now until they die in anonymity whenever the good Lord (or more likely Satan) calls them. All the while, the victims of this crime and their families shall have to continue to live with the constant reminders of that faithless day. They shall also have to pay the taxes that will eventually fund the happy existence that those two monsters will eventually live upon their release.
Is that justice?

Looking at the case further, evidence has now been published of how the system neglected these perpetrators, ignoring what was obviously abusive parenting. This mother was drug-dependent, the partner matched her well. And yet she was allowed by this society of ours to produce not just two of these monsters but SEVEN. That means there are another five of them waiting in the wings and God only knows what they are getting up too.
Should people like this have the right to procreate at random?

Should people who are so obviously abusive be allowed to rear them? Should a parent have the right to destroy a child and in doing so, destroy their potential and their future, just because they 'got up the pole' as many of them so elegantly put it?
This woman is a drug addict. The chances are that she took drugs while pregnant too, she most certainly would have had 'the odd drink'. Were her children born with drugs in their system too? It is obvious that many pregnancies ago, it would have been obvious to healthcare workers that this woman was a menace to her children and in turn to society. Why were her children not taken off her at birth? Why was she not sterilised? And yes, I am promoting eugenics here, some people should NOT be allowed to procreate, and this woman is one of them - just look at the great job she's done so far.

Kerry Robertson from Dunfermline in Fife was not allowed to marry her finance because she was deemed 'not intelligent enough'. She had her baby snatched from her breast only days ago. This woman is NOT a drug addict, she is not an abusive parent, she loves her son, she planned to marry his father and give him a good home. Yet her baby was removed from her care while 'monster-mom' over in Edlington was allowed, time and again, to keep all of hers.
Is this justice?

Surely society needs to start getting a grip of itself. We claim we live in a 'civilised' society. Tell me how we can call our society 'civilised' when we cannot even trust the children who live within it's confines? Our children are no longer safe even in the company of their own peers. Parents must now explain to children that while they must be vigilant for strangers bearing sweets, they must be more wary of the children down the road and the children in school, because society will not protect them from other children. As we all know, while the stranger with sweets rarely appears, there is no hiding from those children, everywhere.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Writing on the Bookies Wall

One sunny afternoon as I sat in the car waiting for my younger brother to emerge from his then job in the bookies, I noticed two hand prints on the wall, as I sat there, this poem seeped into my mind and formed itself onto a nearby napkin.

The truth of their existence was not as morbid as my mind had projected. In fact I discovered they were put there by my brother's work colleague in a much less dramatic manner.

The Writing on the Bookies Wall

Two prints on the wall tell a tale,
Sweated and once slid they shine,
As he fell in despair grasping for the past,
But alas, it was not there
And to the ground he fell
Once again wishing; wishing for two hours lost
And the fortune within them.

Warrior Princess

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Well Hello Blog-World!!

So here we are, finally I've started blogging!! Sure it takes time, but we all get there in the end!

First off I'm going to start with a "I told you so" and take it further by gloating "yes I did!" Lol!

Just this very morning passed, I had a debate/discussion in regards to those shagging glaciers. It was a "will they, won't they/are they, aren't they" - receding rapidly that is. Well I was right, they've (they who??? The 'Scientists') finally admitted (although only marginally) that the Himalayan Glaciers WILL NOT have disappeared by 2035 as stated by the IPCC (UN Climate Science Body) in 2007. They will not have disappeared by 2035 or anytime soon by the looks of things. But sure after the whole 'Climate-change leaked Emails' scandal, can anyone truly believe anything any of these people say? I don't think so!

Methinks climate change is about as scientifically 'proven' as the origin of language!! (in-house joke, people)

Ok, rant over :) time to get back to Facebook - oh I mean studying of course!