Recovery from heart surgery | Day 11 | Chinese restaurant

Hannah’s Recovery from heart surgery | Day 11

11th day after Hannah’s heart surgery…

…and mine & Simon’s 18th Wedding Anniversary

About to head across to the hospital so Simon can come over and get showered & changed. Hope Hannah had a good night!

But, before the day truly begins, I want to say how lucky I am. In 1991 I made some fairly ‘tipsy’ advances on a Brummie called Simon at the FND (Friday Night Disco) at Bradford Uni and he didn’t seem to mind…

On 23rd August 1996 we both said ‘YES’ (technically, I said ‘Ja’) at Junglinster registry office in Luxembourg.

We’ve been through so much together but what could have broken us made us – and our marriage – stronger.

Happy 18th Wedding Anniversary, Simon. Here’s to many, many more years of happy nagging and bickering 😉 Love you more than ever. xxxxx


On my way over to the ward from parents’ accommodation, I felt quite tearful and emotional. I was thinking about everything Simon and I – and the girls, of course – have been through over the years. How the stress and trauma, perhaps especially in the early years, when the marriage was – and WE were – so very young, could have broken us, but didn’t.
I also thought about the fact that, 2 weeks ago today, we woke up in our own beds, knowing it would be the last time in however long it would take for Hannah to recover – and feeling at once full of anticipation about this surgery and grateful we’d got a date (and one that fitted with our holiday and Hannah’s school) – so quickly, but also, mostly, terrified. What if something went wrong? It was so scary sending a seemingly healthy Hannah into potentially life threatening surgery. The decisions we make as parents never come easy, but this was amongst the hardest ones ever!
I think the emotions and fatigue of the last 2 weeks were starting to take hold of me. It wasn’t sadness, just raw emotion.

I walked into Hannah’s room, saw her gorgeous smile, and my world lit up!

Plans / moving forward

Tracy, the Ward Sister, came to see Simon and Hannah before I got here.

It looks like they want to discharge Hannah today, which is great, but as she’s not been off the oxygen 24 hours yet, we’d rather have another night (let’s not forget that, a week ago, it looked like the Pneumothorax – it is actually, for accuracy’s sake – not ONE Pneumothorax but TWO, bilateral Pneumothoraces – had gone…they took Hannah off the oxygen and within about 24 hours she started feeling pains in her ribcage and struggling to take big breaths…the Pneumothoraces hadn’t gone).

It looks like Hannah might spend the night in parents’ accommodation with me so we can have her checked over again in the morning before we go home.

We’ll see what they say at ward rounds.

Evening wrap-up

Tracey came to see me and Hannah just before ward rounds and re-iterated what had been discussed with Simon.  The Registrar examined Hannah and was happy with air entry into both her lungs and that there were no sounds indicating a return of the Pneumothorax/ces.

We therefore agreed they’d keep her bedspace and we could go out for the day, have Hannah sleep at Ronald McDonald House with one of us (other than painkillers, she’d already had all her medication for the day, so they just told us when she could have Paracetamol again and recommended we give it even if she’s not in pain, to keep on top of it, especially as she’d be more active today than previously) and come back for ward rounds in the morning.  No rush as the Registrar would be around all day.  Assuming all is well tomorrow, they’ll then discharge her.

We’ve had a great day!

First, we came back to Ronald McDonald House to drop off all of Hannah’s stuff.  I hadn’t had breakfast yet, so we went to Philpotts for brunch.  Hannah couldn’t eat much as she was still full from breakfast, but enjoyed the bit of cake she had (and Simon and I sacrificed ourselves to finish it off for her! heehee).

Recovering from heart surgery | Day 11 | Brunch at Philpotts

Enjoying Brunch at Philpotts

We then came back to Ronald McDonald House to pick up a few of Simon’s things before heading to his mum’s house.

There, we watched some DVDs and generally had a relaxing afternoon.

It got a little bit scary when I started having repeated severe dizzy spells – the whole room was spinning and I felt nauseous.

I did wonder, briefly, whether there’d been some kind of virus going around the hospital, as one of Hannah’s nurses had had a very similar ‘funny turn’ when writing down Hannah’s observations a couple of days ago.   It is, however, highly likely that it was simply a combination of relief from the stress and worry, combined with extreme fatigue.

I went to bed for a bit and felt slightly better…well enough to still go out for the chinese meal we’d promised Hannah.  The journey in the car made me feel really queasy, in the way I do when I have a migraine, so we did wonder whether it was a strange/different onset migraine that had given me the dizzy spells.  Either way, once we had the meal, I was absolutely fine and have been since, thank goodness.

Once we get home and I have a proper rest, I’ll be fine! The important thing, for now, is that we’ve got Hannah to the point of being able to come home and she’s well on her road to going back to school etc.

We had a fantastic meal at Chung Ying Cantonese Restaurant in the Chinese Quarter.

Recovery from heart surgery | Day 11 | Chinese restaurant

‘Selfie’ at Chung Ying Cantonese Restaurant

I had eaten there with my colleagues at SRG many years ago (2004?), during the initial REC training (when the REC still covered individual and corporate membership, before it split into the IRP for individuals and qualifications) that 8 of us from different regional offices were undergoing.  I remembered it as a fantastic restaurant with a big and varied menu and that was still the case.  I particularly enjoyed my frogs’ legs and the salt & pepper ducks’ tongues.  Yum!!

Simon then dropped me and Hannah back off at Ronald McDonald House before going back home to his mum’s.

Hannah and I have had a fabulous girlie evening, catching up with yet more “Dragons’ Den” while I filed her nails and she moisturised her legs & arms (Hannah is willingly moisturising…whatever next?!).

Of course, we had to take some ‘selfies’ to mark the occasion! 😉

Recovering from heart surgery | nearly home | Ronald McDonald House selfie 1Recovering from heart surgery | nearly home | Ronald McDonald House selfie 2Hannah has looked (and felt…or so she assured me on the MANY occasions on which I asked her if she was ok!) absolutely brilliant.  Obviously she still needs to walk quite slowly and easily gets out of breath (getting out of breath is good though, according the the physios, as it forces her to take big breaths).  We’ve had lots of giggles (also very good for lung expansion!) and it’s just been a fantastic day!

She’s now fast asleep in bed, looking so comfy and cosy.  She can’t wait to get back to her own bed (that goes for all of us!) but at least tonight she’s in a normal bed with a lovely comfy quilt.

Thank goodness for Ronald McDonald House and for how wonderful Ward 12 staff are at understanding the needs of their patients & families during the recovery process!

Hopefully the night will continue uneventfully and we’ll both wake up rested and ready for her to be discharged so we can go HOME! 🙂

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