As CHD awareness week is coming to an end, I thought I would dedicate this post to my parents. I must have done something right in my past life to be born into such a loving unit. Throughout my whole life I have been surrounded by the most amazing and most beautiful people I could ever imagine. They have been with me through thick and through thin and have kept my head above water so many times. They are the most precious thing in my life and I am eternally grateful to both of them for everything they have done for me.
My parents are the strongest and most courageous people I know. I know it was me who had the heart operations, but I was two years old and had no idea what was happening. However my mum and dad knew everything that was going on. They watched their daughter go through life saving surgery, they knew the risks and they kept a strong face – though apparently I told my mum not to cry as she carried me down to theatre. They never left my side when I was in hospital, they slept on chairs, barely ate, watched me sleep and was always there when I woke up. Even when I was having my appendix out at the age of 17, my mum fought with the nurse on the ward so that she didn’t have to leave my side when visiting times were over. It’s small things like this which mean the absolute world, and makes hospital visits that little bit easier.
I’m so glad that I had the operation when I did because if I was any older I don’t know how I would have coped knowing I was going in for open heart surgery. Having my appendix out was a big enough challenge itself. Even then when I was on the hospital bed, I looked at my mum for the last time before I was put under anesthetic and wondered if I would ever see her again, and that is the most terrifying thought. God knows how my parents must have felt when they left me in the doctor’s hands all those years ago.
The strength they have is unbelievable and going through all of these hospital visits and stays has created such a strong bond between us that, in a way, I wouldn’t change anything I’ve been through. It makes you appreciate life so much more, and has made me realise how fragile life is and to not take anything for granted.
When I’d had my appendix out I was so self conscious about the scars it had left. It was only key hole, but at the time the scars were red and bruised and it looked as though I had a zombie belly button! I remember seeing a top I liked in town, however it was cropped and so I put it down immediately. My dad saw this and came over to me and spoke to me about my appearance. He reassured me that in time the scars would fade to a silver line and no one would notice them. I don’t know if he remembers having this conversation, but it meant so much to me at the time. And you know, he was right! Although my scars are still slightly raised, they really have faded and even though I was too afraid to get the crop top at the time, they have now become an essential in my wardrobe.
That’s the thing about my parents, they have always been so positive about my scars and operations. I mentioned this in my previous blog, but when I had my drains removed and the scars from them were still healing, my mum told me they were where I had been kissed better. It made me less afraid of them and easier to accept them. My mum and dad have done everything they possibly can to make my scars less bumpy and red. They bought patches for me when I was little that were kind of like a plaster with gel on one side. I don’t know how they worked but they made my scars a lot smoother. My mum made sure I wore them as frequently as I needed to. At the time I didn’t think about this, but if it wasn’t for her showing concern and making sure I had these patches on, my scars might have looked a lot more prominent than they do today. I’m so thankful that she took the time and effort to keep up with them for me.
They are the two most loving and kind hearted people I know. If it wasn’t for them I would definitely not be the person I am today. I feel as though I don’t thank them enough, but I’m sure they know deep down how appreciative and grateful I am for showing me their love and for supporting me through everything I’ve been through.
I love them both so much, and cannot thank them enough.
I am forever in their debt.