Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


Something Delicious

Usually we visit Freddie’s neurologist as a family even though Ruby only sometimes comes with us. The last visit, which was in August, I travelled on my own. Freddie was in seizure activity and a bit too fragile for the journey. Lisa too was getting fed up with the journey down, the waiting and a meeting that didn’t produce anything or for which there was no need of Freddie being there. So I went as the representative of the Verling family.

Outside the waiting rooms, I sat and waited. When it looked like I’d be waiting for a while, I took a stroll down to see if I could find my friend Brian in his consulting rooms. He wasn’t there but on my way back to the suite where my appointment was I met him. We chatted for a while, joking and commenting about all things under the sun. As we chatted, I saw out of the corner of my eye an old friend coming round the far corner of the long corridor. Mike O’Connor, an old college friend and now a consultant in the CUH. He waved at Brian then, when he spotted me, he stopped in recognition and changed course to see me. After Brian left, Mike and I chatted for a while, catching up on each other’s lives. Mike asked why I was up in the CUH on a Friday afternoon. He got the full story, condensed into a few minutes. Then he asked what hope we had for the future with medicines etc…so he got the full story of the PET scan and how long we’ve being waiting. He was taken aback but confessed that he knew very little of the PET scan department but if I needed any help with anything to call him…anytime.

We parted with me again getting emotional how friends are being friends to me and the unconditional offering of help for Freddie.

At the meeting I was promised that the scan situation would be sorted by the middle of September…

On Monday of this week, Lisa rang in the late afternoon to say Freddie had had a seizure in the bathroom. The little man had gone in feeling ill and Lisa had gone with him, to keep an eye on him. Just as well she did, as she was able to catch him before he cracked his head on the bowl or the sink or the floor. Being the wonderful woman that she is she got him through it and back to the sitting room. The two were now lying out on the couch, Fred in a deep sleep.

After hanging up I was distraught, another week, more of the same, deep into September and still no sign of the PET scan. It felt like we were alone.

I rang Mike immediately.

He answered on the second ring.

“Hi John, you never got back to me on that scan…did you get it?” was the first line out of his mouth, he remembered our talk…

“Sorry to be bothering you Mike” I replied, “but that’s why I’m ringing you.”

I brought him up-to-date, right up to Freddie sleeping on the couch that very afternoon.

“Email me Freddie’s name, address and date of birth and I’ll follow it up in the morning”

I did it immediately.

The next afternoon, Tuesday, I got a text.

“Expect a call within 24 hours regarding scan. Appointment likely Thursday. Regards, Mike.”

I couldn’t believe it.

I read the text over and over again.

Our months of waiting could be coming to an end, eventually. The rush of relief and excitement was like I’d had twelve espressos followed by a dozen Red Bulls. However tempered with previous disappointments and the knowledge of Freddie still knocked out on the couch at home, I came down from my high quickly enough. Telling Lisa, I decided, would wait till everything was confirmed.

However, I burst out with the news when I got home. Though obviously excited and relieved she too knew that nothing was yet in stone.

Wednesday afternoon, just under the 24-hour mark since Mike’s text, my phone rang.

A Cork number….I answered immediately.

After confirming that I was Freddie’s father, he gave me the news that we’d been waiting for…”Freddie’s appointment is set for 8.30 next Tuesday morning.” We went through what would be involved, precautions, fasting etc and handed me over to a lady who gave me more details but it was all a bit of a blur at that stage. My eyes were filling up. The first stage in Freddie’s next step of trying to find a cure was beginning. Thanking them profusely, I hung up and rang Lisa. Oh the joy.

Now I’m angry with myself for not calling Mike sooner but I stupidly trusted the system to deliver. Never again…I should have known the last time with the telemetry when I had to ask Brian to intervene.

That evening I rang Mike to thank him and being the man that he is, he didn’t want any but he did apologise that it had taken so long…He’d gone on a trip down to the PET centre himself that morning to follow up on things, his first visit, and was really impressed by it all.

“Everything span new boy” he joked but he was genuinely impressed by the staff and the equipment. It is all new. Gives us more hope.

Whilst on the phone, Freddie wandered into the kitchen. When I finished chatting with Mike, I spotted my little man, still there, looking around.

“Watchya doing?” I asked…

“Oh nothing” he answered, but I knew what he was up to.

Lisa had baked scones that afternoon and Fred is a martyr for them.

“Just looking for something delicious,” he eventually admitted, after opening tins and looking under cloths.

For the night that was in it, I couldn’t deny him a delicious fresh scone with butter.

Sitting with him demolishing the scone was a perfect end to a great day.

Thank you again Mike.


Posted by John Verling

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