Monday, 23 February 2015

Surgery Advice From One Parent to Another

Harry gowned up and ready to go!

Your child needing to have an operation whether they are a baby or a teenager is completely daunting and a scary thought. It could be the smallest of surgeries but you will still be filled with dread about the day and what it involves.  Just a couple of weeks ago my son Harry had a 6 hour long operation to have a cochlear implant, it was the most terrifying day of our lives but we got through it and surprisingly coped with it a lot better than we imagined we would!  These are the reasons why…

Harry in the recovery area straight after his operation

We knew exactly what was going to happen to Harry before, during and after the surgery and we had tons of information about expectations on the day.  We knew what to expect when he came round from the anaesthetic and there were no shocks or surprises.  Even though he looked such a swollen mess afterwards I knew that is what he would look like so I was prepared for it at least!
Make sure you have been provided absolutely everything you need to know about your childs operation, if you know everything good and bad you will automatically feel more confident about the whole process.  Questions to ask would usually be – how long will it take?  How long will the hospital stay be?  Can I stay with my child? What happens in the operating room? Whats the average recovery time? What extra precautions do I need to take after surgery?

In recovery and having his first sip of water!

Friends and Family
For me, having our family there to support us was so important and I’m so glad they came.  We were able to take it in turns to entertain Harry - who wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything and didn’t actually go down to theatre until 2.30pm!!  It also helped having them there to talk about something other than the operation and to help take our minds on what was about to happen.  If you have someone who can come along with you to keep you company and help out where possible then take them up on their offer, trust me you will be grateful to have them there!

Back on the ward and downing all the water!

Look After Yourself
We made sure we had a bag jam packed with food and drink as we weren’t sure if we would be able to get access to anything whilst Harry was waiting for his surgery or when he was in recovery. This turned out to be pretty true after surgery, he was of course very clingey and I didn’t really want to leave his side either. Its really important you look after yourself during this time so you can deal with your little one as and when they need you! Things like crisps, biscuits, breakfast bars and energy drinks are good things to pack

Sucking on a biscuit the morning after the night before!

Fresh Air
As I mentioned Harrys surgery was 6 hours long and cochlear implant surgery is often up to 8 hours so once he had gone down to thatre, we actually took ourselves away from the hospital and went for lunch and a browse round the shops before heading back to be near our boy.  It felt really weird leaving him in the hands of surgeons but it did us the world of good to get some fresh air, fill our tummies and it made the time go a lot faster.  By the time we were back in the hospital he was pretty much back in my arms right away.  Even if you just go for a walk outside, get out there and breathe!

Just after having his bandages removed - look at his sticky out ears!

All the Medicine
We made sure we were super stocked up at home with Calpol and Nurofen as well as the antibiotics prescribed after his operation.  Its handy to have pain relief to hand if its really needed, Harry was dosed up for a good 4 or 5 days after his surgery and it was a lifesaver having it all at home ready without us having to drag ourselves to the chemist!
If your little one is due an operation, I wish you all the best and hope my tips help you to “keep calm and carry on” as they say!!


Friday, 13 February 2015

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Often Afternoon Tea can be more about the location than the actual food and drink and you could be left with a caffeine headache and a less than full tummy. However if you decide to take your tea at Sketch in the heart of Mayfair, London this will certainly not be the case! The savouries are bottomless - that's right, you can literally gobble as many finger sandwiches as you dare!

Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start), where my friend Sarah and I settled ourselves into The Gallery, a beautiful pink clad dining hall with walls adorned with artwork by David Shringlry. The pieces are cartoon like doodles which had us in stitches! A couple of our faves are below

The atmosphere felt so cosy for such a large room, unlike some other "posh" high teas we've been to, we felt at ease and relaxed into our comfy seats! The staff were ridiculously friendly and on top form immediately realising we were ladies in need of champers, and pronto! We of course sipped these like absolute ladies guzzled them down and moved swiftly on to filling our bellies with the sweet delights we could see around us! 

We weren't disappointed.. First off we tried the most delicious toasted cheese sarnie that's ever passed my lips! So delicious in fact that we ordered a second round! There was also amazing smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches all just as tasty, not a dry bit of crust in sight! Next was scones, 2 types of jam and of course lashings of clotted cream on top Nom Nom! This was followed by various miniature pastries and something in a shot glass (no idea what but it was sweet, fruity and oh sooooo good!) Oh and I mustn't forget to tell you about the tiny bowl of raspberry filled macaroon marshmallow goodness that literally melted in our mouths!

Our teapots were filled with good old British tea but the selection is vast if you're after something more exotic (I hear their chai is amazing) These weren't just any old tea sets though, each one had little hand written messages on them which has inspired me to "DIY Sharpie" onto some of my own cups and saucers!

One of my favourite parts of the experience was going to the toilet - and not in a TMI sort of way! In fact Meg from told me "make sure you go to the toilets at LEAST 3 times!!" Which I did. 
I don't want to ruin it for any of you who haven't had the chance to go to Sketch yet so I will leave most of my photos out and let you experience it yourself!! It's so fun!

Sarah and I spent a good few hours in Sketch and we felt under no pressure to order more drinks, food or to leave even though I'm pretty sure they were fully booked! We then tottered over to Libertys to try on some adorable hats and sniff out the latest Diptyque fragrance!

If you're looking for an Afternoon Tea with a difference and a relaxed but quirky atmosphere then Sketch is the place to go! I would love to hear all about it if you take a trip there!! Xx

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