Operational delays…

5 minutes later we were told to go home

Thank you everyone for all your kind comments and well wishes for Joseph. Unfortunately, they were all a bit premature and you’ll have to send them all again on the 3rd of February!

Joseph checked into the hospital (with the help of his parents of course) on Wednesday 21st January and stayed in overnight in order to be ready for an early morning operation on Thursday. Joseph didn’t show any signs of nerves, unlike his parents, and in fact seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself: especially the occasions when he got to ride in an elevator where he had a mirror to admire himself and a captive audience to entertain and screech at full volume!

Anyway, Thursday morning came and Joey was ready to go down to the operating theatre – he was all dressed up in his gown and had little anaesthetic patches in place ready for various drips to be inserted. Then at the very last minute the surgeon arrived and told us that they were having difficulty finding a room in intensive care for afterwards. 30 minutes later the surgeon came back and told us to go home as he was unable to reserve any rooms. Seemingly there’s been a massive outbreak of gastro bugs and bronchitis in the region and the pediatric intensive care is completely overloaded.

Being English and used to the British health system and its waiting lists, this came as no surprise. However, for any French people we have told, any slight hiccup in their health system seems to be greeted with looks of total despair and moral outrage: their health service is their national treasure.

Since Christmas Joseph has been a bit tired but generally on great form. I think the Christmas holidays took a lot out of him. I don’t think it was the travel so much or the unfamiliar surroundings. In fact, I think it was his adoring fan club which he felt he had to entertain 24×7. He was totally spoiled and loved every second of it!

A big worry with the operation is not so much the risks associated with the operation itself, but instead how much it will set him back. It will be quite a major operation with two goals and lasting around 3 hours. The first goal is to put a tube feed directly into his stomach (replacing his nasal feed tube), and the second is to put a valve in his oesophagus which will prevent acid reflux. He will then spend 48 hours in intensive care and then a further 6 days in the children’s ward on an IV drip until his stomach is recovered enough to be able to accept food again.

If all things go well, he should be home again around the 10th February.

Keep those fingers crossed!

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