Things are really busy around here at the moment and next week they are set to get even busier. On Tuesday, we have an appointment at the eye hospital for Libby for a pre-operation check-up. Wednesday is her second birthday and the following week, she is provisionally booked in to have an operation on her eyes to correct her squint.
Because the eyes operate separately from each other, she often appears cross-eyed. This means that she will never be able to see in three dimensions (it is too late to correct that), but the operation will aim to stop her from appearing cross-eyed. Much as we are gutted that she has to have an operation, we are also sure that it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately looking different as she does would be a real disadvantage when she starts school. We feel that we would be setting her up to be bullied and have a tough time of it if we didn’t put her through the operation.
Libby is at a really difficult age at the moment. She knows what’s happening, but doesn’t necessarily understand why. We had been worrying about how to prepare her for her operation, when I became aware of a fabulous new idea involving this little guy from Monkey Wellbeing.
Monkey is the star of a series of books aimed at telling children about health care and the NHS. There are some lovely books about blood tests, healthy living and emergencies. For us though, the relevant book was the one entitled “Monkey has an Operation”. They are leaflet style books, along with a magazine with activities to colour in and draw on. The one about an operation fascinated Libby, she was happy to sit still and listen and look at the pictures of monkey. We discussed which toy she would take to the hospital and we discussed our previous trips to the hospital and all the nice things she was able to do there.
We also received some stickers with monkey and the books. Libby is a huge fan of stickers, so we had a look at those and discussed what was on them all – the doctor, monkey, various items of hospital equipment and even some bananas. These are all great things to keep going back to between now and her operation so that hopefully, the whole experience won’t be quite so scary. I think that these are a fabulous idea for children. The books are really aimed at older children than Libby so we will keep them to look at healthy living and dealing with emergencies when she is old enough to understand. For now though, an operation doesn’t seem like too scary a prospect for her, especially when there are stickers involved!