An update on some bits and bobs that have been happening in my life:
The bad news first, to get it over with. After months of faffing around with the GP and the hospital appointment system, my mother-in-law finally got the horrible-looking thing on her back looked at by someone who knew what they were doing, and it’s a melanoma. Ick. Breslow thickness 5 mm, which, in plain English, is Not Good. It’s been removed successfully – at last – and she feels fine and we had a great weekend with the two of them visiting, but she’s now been called back for a scan next Monday and we’re waiting to see what the outcome of that is. So. Not great. Ack.
In happier news, despite Jo being snowed under with stuff to do before her trip to China (to meet! her! daughter! How exciting is that?!) she actually managed to make time to meet me for a coffee on Saturday morning. Well, she had a coffee and I had one of the lime milkshakes that the café had been promising on their menu for months but which never seemed to be available when I was in there (and, yes, it was delicious), and we talked about Xue and the upcoming trip and this, that, and the other, and I had a brilliant time (while Jamie stayed at home with Barry, thus giving us probably about the only chance we’ll have for the next ten years to have a chat that isn’t punctuated by constant Joyce Grenfell-style asides).
And then, later, when I was thinking back on the conversation, it suddenly occurred to me that every damn time she’d said something about her daughter, I had immediately used it as the lead-in to an enthusiastic, and sometimes lengthy, anecdote about my son. Hello, my name is Sarah and I am a Doting Mother. It started off so simply – a quick mention of his activities here, a lingering thought about his charms there… Anyway, the point is, I think I’d better work on this. While he is indeed a child of rare adorableness and fascination, so is Xue, and I do genuinely want to hear all about her even if it didn’t sound that way at the time, and I’ll get to hear more if I can actually shut up about my own child for a bit. Jo, if you can bear to meet me again once she’s here, I promise I’ll do less talking and more listening this time!
On which note, I move smoothly on to talking about my son again. Specifically, an update on his squint. (Categorising this under ‘the ugly’ is stretching things more than somewhat, as he is a child of such beauty that passing acquaintances go into raptures about his eyes and their slight misalignment is the merest blip on this perfection. However, I’m not one to pass up a shot at a good blog title, so consider it poetic licence.)
Since my previous post on the subject, Jamie’s been reviewed by both the optometrist/orthoptist (no, I still haven’t figured out what the difference is or which one she actually is, but she’s one or the other, anyway) and the ophthalmologist. His vision in the squinting eye is, apparently, fine, and we have been given permission to reduce his patching time from two hours a day to one (which is good, as he’s getting more narky about keeping the patches on and I swear lately it’s been harder to keep one on him for an hour than it used to be with two hours). His glasses prescription has also been updated.
Now, we have the decision about the squint operation. The ophthalmologist recommended that we should go ahead with it. He says it’s purely cosmetic and won’t make a difference to his vision (thinking about that later, I’m confused. Surely, once his eyes are aligned and he can look at things with both eyes at the same time, we’ll be able to stop worrying about the whole issue of him potentially losing his vision in the squinting eye through not being able to use it at the same time as the other one? Or did the ophthalmologist mean that it wouldn’t make a direct difference? Must ask about this when he has his next appointment.) However, it’s a very simple, quick, and low-risk operation. The waiting list is about six months, so if we put his name down for it now he’ll have it when he’s around two and a half. Alternatively, we could wait and have it done at any time down the line, although the ophthalmologist doesn’t want to leave it until after he’s started school (with which I totally agree – I don’t want to be taking him out of school for something that we can sort out at a time of his life when the most important thing he’s likely to miss is a Tumbletots’ session, so if we do this at all, then I think we should do it before he starts school).
So, we can choose to have him operated on any time between the ages of two and a half and five. Alternatively, we can leave him to grow up with the squint still there and concentrate on teaching him that beauty’s only skin deep anyway. Personally, I’m in favour of just putting his name down now and getting it over and done with. Barry’s a bit more leery about it – the thought of the general anaesthetic has him concerned (what if it ends up being one of those horrible the-anaesthetist-hooked-up-the-wrong-pipe stories that end up in women’s magazines with lurid headlines?) Anyway, we’ll talk about it a bit more and if we do manage to reach a consensus on going ahead now, I can tell the opt-whatever at his next appointment (end of this month) and we can get his name put on the list.