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Operations cancelled…We’re going to Dubai

A man in sunglasses and black t-shirt standing in front of huge skyscrapers in Dubai

Updated on December 6th, 2022

Dubai, Dec 2014

I’ve been receiving reminders on Facebook this week about memories from last year.  Terry’s operation (open heart surgery) was originally planned for 2nd December.  About 2 weeks beforehand we were told that one of the surgeons could no longer make it and it was being postponed for a week.  In true Terry style, there was no way he was sitting around waiting for a week, so we decided to go to Dubai – to get a bit of sun & to get his head in the right place.

I remember having to watch Terry make huge physical demands on himself as he completed the last few drumming gigs (all of which were incredibly important to him). I remember saying at the time how relieved I was when he finished the last gig. To me, he always looked like he was about to keel over while drumming & knowing how at-risk he was now it took on a whole other element of worry. Of course, I never mentioned that to him.

I also never mentioned how concerned I was that something may happen in Dubai, & that if it did we were screwed. I was fully aware that no insurance company would cover the cost of any treatment if we needed it, that if we did need it, it would probably be major, that we had not asked the surgeon if we could go & that if we had I have no doubt he would have said “No”. If something happened that would be at least all the inheritance I was due from losing my Dad earlier that year. But Terry needed to go & I wasn’t about to let any of this stop us.

It was a poignant trip in the end. We had lost both our fathers over the course of the previous 6 months (mine in March & Terrys Dad, John at the end of October). As we did a toast over our Bloody Mary’s on the plane (I’m sure we’re not alone in having a “plane drink” – pretty much the only time we ever drank Bloody Mary’s), we raised our glasses to those we’d lost & it was quite a list – all 4 parents, family & friends. It was a ritual we performed every time we had our first drink for the duration of the trip. Little did we expect Terry to join the list so soon afterwards.

Since everything that happened after this holiday, looking back I don’t like any of the photos we took while we were there. Of course, I never noticed at the time, but now I look at them & Terry doesn’t look himself. He doesn’t look well to me now & he seems to have lost that cheeky glint in his eye that we all know & love.

The holiday was good. We sat by the pool most days, we had some lovely food & found some interesting bars. Terry prepared himself mentally for what was to come by reading books on positive thinking. We watched air displays outside our hotel every evening – performed by the UAE version of the Red Arrows (no idea why but it was amazing). We unexpectedly caught up with friends & we talked a lot, but somehow I don’t look at that trip as our last proper holiday together. It was functional & exactly what Terry needed. For me, our last holiday together will always be Bali in September. I love the photos from that trip & have plenty of very happy memories. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Dubai.

As we landed back home I remember turning to Terry & telling him how relieved I was that we made it out & back in one piece. I told him about my concerns & his response was – “Blimey, I hadn’t even thought of that!” I’m pleased – we had made the choice when we decided to go for the surgery – live with Risk or focus on Recovery. We chose Recovery.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go to plan….


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