Stranger than fiction

Sadly, this will be our last post. Meg is ALL FIXED (apart from wobbly eyes) and we want her to have a few days of chilling (in this heat) and resting.  We have a couple of loose ends to tie up at Children’s this week and then we hope to change our flights so that we can return early. We have been reflecting on the whole experience and have identified some of the more surreal moments:

  • While waiting in the parents’ area during Meg’s surgery we chatted to another couple whose baby was having surgery. The baby’s father is a paediatrician – and a Wykehamist! He went to Winchester College so he and Josh compared notes about their experiences.
  • While still waiting we were treated to a harpist,  two clowns (Dr Maladjusted), a robot, a chaplain and Doris. Doris was our serenely calm updater.
  • While still, still waiting we had access to our own cafe, telephone, beds – you name it, we had it.
  • At Legal Seafoods (where we had dinner with PB) the table water was Hildon Water – all the way from Broughton, our next village!
  • Eating tea and buns at 3am at Au Bon Pain in Children’s during Meg’s first night in ICU.
  • Listening to the Archers and Test Match Special in ICU – wireless and mobiles allowed.
  • No hot doctors. At all. Anywhere. Except for PB. How disappointing is that?
  • A prescription for Meg’s epilepsy medicine was given to the pharmacy for dispensing. The cost? $550. Luckily, we had brought plenty with us from the UK.
  • Josh’s haircut taking 80 minutes.
  • The amount cars use their horns. One guy drove through a red light. The driver behind him leant on his horn because he was going through too – and the first car wasn’t going through fast enough.
  • A police presence at all road works. Sometimes there are five police in attendance. Not doing very much.
  • Spending hours watching the house opposite our B and B being moved. And piles of earth being shifted.
  • Eating a side of fries with a coffee – after dinner (Josh).
  • Browsing in bookshops until 11pm.

And the most amazing thing of all? That Meg is wonderfully well, due to the skill and care of all at Children’s and because none of us (and that includes you) ever once gave up hope.

Bless you all

Helen XX

PS Now go buy your ball tickets!

All of us at the Bertram Inn



Meg’s vital functions

Meg is still being monitored closely. Only now different functions are being tracked. She is wired up twice an hour and has the following functions measured:

Meg’s fun vital signs

These are entered into her medical notes so that her adjuvant therapies can be adjusted accordingly. Unfortunately medication for retail therapy is running low so we think this will increase next week. It is a fine line keeping these functions balanced. She has had a good dose of retail therapy today which has resulted in high happiness and low grumpiness, although this is increasing SHARPLY as I write. Sleepy functions need watching closely after such activity as this alleviates grumpy functions. As does putting on pyjamas.

Tomorrow we predict that there will be a dip in happy and retail, and grumpy and sleepy will be high – we have an early start and more tests at Children’s.

Meg says a big hello. She wishes it was hotter here because her bald patch on her head is cold. She says she now understands how Peter feels.

Love from all Stateside X

Meg and Superman – a comedy and a philosophy

A consulting room. Somewhere in Boston. Professor Black (dressed in doctor’s coat) is waiting for his next patient. Meg Jones enters stage right.

PB: Good morning, Meg.

MJ: Sorry we kept you up so late last night.

PB: That’s OK, Meg. You’re quite the most beautiful patient we have ever had. How are you feeling?

MJ: Fine. I still have my retail therapy lobe don’t I? It seems to be working very well.

PB: We always try to preserve that, particularly in young ladies who bring their mothers to Boston.

MJ: And my pyjama wearing lobe?

PB: I am sorry. That was too fundamental so we couldn’t do anything about that. So you will still need to wear your pyjamas during the day and will need regular scans. But we have managed to remove your tumour and don’t think you will need further therapy, except of the retail kind.

MJ: Would that be a tumour with a ‘u’ or without?

PB: Oh definitely with. We have successfully removed it all, even the ‘u’.

MJ: Thank you. You’re my superman.

PB closes the file and smiles broadly. MJ exits stage left. Lights dim.

Meg and Prof Black

Everything looks a little bit wide

Meg inhabits a new world where we all look wide and flat. Not sure about the wide bit; don’t mind the flat. It has this effect on her hair:

Meg’s wide hair

This new world also involves Upper Crust pizzas (wide and flat) and Vera Wang dresses (not wide but flat). She is getting used to this new world and her eyes are not troubling her quite so much, but crossing American roads are a bit of an issue. This isn’t a problem for me though because I have discovered that if you are knocked down on a crossing then it is an automatic $1 mill payout. Wouldn’t that look good in the charity’s account! I’m working on it . . .

This afternoon’s agenda for Meg is sleeping in her wide and flat bed and then tea and wide and flat cookies before we venture out this evening for dinner with Prof Black (not wide and flat, but normal).

Tomorrow and Friday we are back at Children’s for follow up and tests. We’ll keep you updated with our wide and flat progress!

Helen X

Post op day 4

Hello everyone!

What have we done today (and it’s only lunchtime)? Firstly, we didn’t get up between 4am and 5am to walk to the hospital and we didn’t get our security badges renewed and we didn’t visit ‘au bon pain’ for sticky buns for breakfast (shame). We did all have a lie in and had our first breakfast at the B&B since we arrived last Monday. Meg has had a bath (too much information), and eaten fresh fruit, porridge (sorry, hot oatmeal), yoghurt and granola, has dressed (unusual – she always wears pyjamas during the day when she can), has been for a walk (a little one) and she is now playing draughts with Josh on the deck, which is well shaded and not too bright. Sleep is on the agenda for this afternoon (for Peter, Josh and I) because we can’t keep up with Meg.

Meg with Catherine’s flowers

Meg says (she can’t read or really look at things at the moment) to let you know that she has put up all your cards in her room and her flowers from Catherine are funky and fab. She loves us reading your comments and emails to her so keep them coming. She’s not envious of all her friends at uni because they will be feeling worse than her today after their post exam parties. She says sorry for not being able to send personal emails but it hurts her eyes looking at things and her sight is a bit gappy. And of course, lots of love and thanks to you all.

I am going to attempt to improve on PB’s hairstyle this afternoon – it is a bit like an inverse mohican: instead of a strip left over her head it is a strip removed. So not much happening. Dull and boring is good right now!

Helen XX

Post op day 3

Howdy all!

Meg thankfully has had another incredibly boring night in ICU and it has been declared by PB that she is far too healthy to be here. So today she will achieve a first – she will be the first patient to be discharged from ICU to ‘home’. It’s time we left anyway – Childrens is running on emergency power today (did you feel the ‘power bump’ at 5am as the power was switched to generators?) so Au Bon Pain is closed. No sticky buns today then.

Meg is waiting for her breakfast (which she is complaining is late) but she has some tea from dunkin donuts to shut her up. ET finger still glowing well and still one IV to go. And if you want to know her vital functions, here they are . . .

Meg’s fan club is superb. You have caused much merriment with the nursing staff and have kept us going – thank you!


Meg’s vital signs