If you haven’t already then you will probably need to read my previous two blog posts that I wrote and published today for this one to make any sense, as it’s a bit of a continuation from that.
I got to London with plenty of time for my appointment today , which was lucky really as the tube station was extremely busy so much so I didn’t even attempt to get on the first god knows how many.Before attempting and failing to get on a further load .As I didn’t particularly fancy being rammed into a tiny little standing spot, although I don’t mind standing on the tube at all .I had a brisk walk across to Great Ormond Street as it was absolutely freezing out this morning .I arrived at GOSH with plenty of time before my appointment so went to check in early.I’ve decided I’m not going to worry about the what if’s and what may or may not happen and just go with the flow of how the appointment goes today.
Arrived at the Dental and Maxilliofacial department and all I had to say was that I had an appointment at 10.15 and Astrid the receptionist said ” it’s Mr Gill you see isn’t it ” and it’s Bethan Harvey ” so she basically checked me in without me having to do much at all … Just goes to show just how long and often I’ve been coming up to GOSH really.If the staff even remember and recognize me when they get so many different patients and families coming through the door every day. To be fair though Astrid has been working there for as long as I can remember and Well I suppose I have and do class GOSH as my second home really so , that clearly explains it LOL.
I didn’t have to wait too long until I was called through , although it was slightly past my scheduled appointment time.I think I was the second person to get called through in the time that I had been sitting there so wasn’t bad going really.
I didn’t see Mr Gill my consultant today like I usually do , instead I saw one of the fellows that I’m sure I’ve met before ..I’m pretty certain it was the same one I saw at my last appointment to get my new retainer made ,She seemed to recognize me too , so it must have been her I saw last time. I knew then that any questions of surgery were not going to be brought up , as from what I’ve experienced in the past it’s only the consultant or the person your scheduled to actually see for appointments that would ever talk through things like that. I was only in there for a couple of minutes at the very most , was definitely one of my quicker in and out appointments, which in a way is rather annoying given how much it costs me to travel up to the hospital from where I live .Anyway all she wanted to do was check that everything has been going alright since my last appointment which it has been…Yes for once I hadn’t snapped/cracked or broken either of my retainers in any way shape or form , which must be some sort of record for me , as think most times I’ve gone for retainer checks I’ve had to get new ones made…Then again I’ve not had this new one very long, so lets give it time LOL. She looked through my records and said that my braces had come off in 2014 and that seeing as they have been off over a year now, that she couldn’t really see me needing or having to have any more retainer checks as apparently the norm is usually around a year or so.
So yeah she just checked over both retainers, got me to put them in and take them out and then checked over them to make sure that they were fitting properly and that they were not too tight or too loose and then got me to take them back out and had a quick check over of my teeth.Before asking me if anyone had made any plans for me to have any surgeries which I said I didn’t have any scheduled,planned or upcoming .. or at least not to my knowledge I didn’t. So she said she wasn’t really sure what to do and asked if I was alright for her to go and speak to Mr Gill and ask him what he wanted her to do etc.Which I said I was fine about , as well he is my consultant and the one over seeing my care and treatment. Whilst she was gone the dental Nurse Danielle asked if I was happy with how my teeth were looking and the improvement they have made , which I honestly am as I feel for me personally anyway they’ve made a huge difference and although it may sound a little weird I think in a way it hides my jaw issues a little more, and doesn’t make it look quite as obvious as what it used to appear to me.
The fellow was back within a few minutes and said she and Mr Gill were happy and that he didn’t want or need her to do anything else and didn’t need to see again and was happy for me to be discharged… In a way a bit of a shock to the system , as although I knew it would be coming up soon purely due to my age and everything, I didn’t really expect it to be today .I suppose I thought and expected that when I was discharged I would have seen my consultant Mr Gill and he would have done it , or as had been discussed a few years ago when I was discharged from the ENT clinic with Neil Bulstrode that I would be seen in multi disciplinary clinic , as he had asked one of the other consultants if that would be happening as he said he would have liked to say goodbye properly etc when the time came. So yeah a little bit of a shock but in honesty I was expecting it to happen some time soon , as things have been good for a while now and been going as planned and well whether I like or not I am getting older now and the hospital is classed as a children’s hospital , so it was going to happen soon really.It was a bit of a shame as the fellow I saw said she would see if Mr Gill would pop in to see me to say goodbye and everything but he unfortunately couldn’t as he was busy with other things which is completely understandable although it would have been nice to have had the chance to thank him for everything he’s done for me since 2012 when he took over being my consultant.
I didn’t really know how to feel about it all and honestly I still don’t ,I mean don’t get me wrong I know it’s a good thing and I do see it as a good thing and as the end of an era or chapter or whatever you like. But at the same time although knowing this day would come at some point I guess part of me never really believed or expected it to though, as silly as it sounds.As I’ve been under Great Ormond Street Hospital’s care since I was 22 weeks in the womb before I became a patient at the age of 3 months old, so really it’s all I’ve ever known throughout all of my life and it definitely feels a little strange knowing I won’t ever be going back as a GOSH patient anymore.It’s a little sad too as I’ve met some absolutely amazing teams of people from the consultants,surgeons,doctors,nurses,play specialists, the receptionists etc so much so they’ve become my second family and second home too. So a little sad knowing I won’t be seeing them anymore and it means I’m growing up whether I want to or not I’m becoming an adult .. oh dear… LOL . But of course I see all the good and the positives too such as it means now I’m no longer under any hospitals , my health is good , my conditions are doing as well as they can be,I’m happy and it just means a new door will have to open and the next chapter of life can and will begin.
I went to sit in the Lagoon cafe for a bit of breakfast and a hot chocolate seeing as I hadn’t eaten before I left the hospital for the last time as a patient and to type all of this up onto my phone too of course🙂. I think looking back at the whole of today and the last few months I could see this completely being on the cards and I know now looking at everything I am happy as I am and that although in a sense the surgery decision has been made for me , it’s completely the right and best thing and I am happy that I’ve not had the two further surgeries .Although I would still like to get a few bits done but nothing facial or anything as I’ve decided I am happy as the person I am and it’s time to just work on the confidence and accept it all fully that this is who I am and have become .It’s been one massive journey from start to finish but the whole experience and journey with GOSH has been incredible.. It’s strange yes that it’s come to an end after 20 years and 5 months of being a patient and I am of course going to miss the hospital, the teams of staff that have helped and supported me throughout various parts of my journey but they will always be extremely special to me and hold a very special place in my life that will forever stay in my heart and with me.I have never been able to fully thank any of the amazing staff or teams of people for the things that they’ve done for me throughout the years.Well this certainly is not exception that I still owe absolutely everything to them and will never be able to thank them enough for everything they’ve done for me.
Now I just couldn’t leave without first taking these photos as peter pan and the hospital have become so special to me: