David’s first request on waking up

095-A What do teenage boys think of as they lie in a hospital bed? In David’s case, it was a Starbucks banana Java chip coffee based Frappaccino, with no whipped cream. I thought this might be too rich, but David reasserted his request when waking up after his bone biopsies, so I headed for Starbucks in nearby Ely this afternoon after we returned home to make him a happy chappy following his ordeal.

Being an uncool mum, I read my order from a piece of paper. I am a purist when it comes to coffee, I enjoy a straight forward filter coffee, and confess that Sainsbury’s own five-strength continental brand is my favourite. David, it seems, has much more sophisticated tastes.

“Is this the first time you have ordered one?” asked the assistant, with a big grin on his face.

I explained it was my son’s first request following a visit to hospital, and the assistant nodded approvingly, saying he had very good taste.

And actually it was my first time, I usually wait outside in my car on double yellow lines while David dashes in with his order after I collect him from the rail station when his college has finished. This was a takeaway order as David was resting at home.

David hangs out in Starbucks regularly. And it’s not cheap for a student, his fancy Frappaccino set me back £3.20. One of their staff rang me the other day from their Cambridge branch: “Your son or daughter has left their mobile phone here,” they said, after dialling “mum”.

When David applied to get a job in the newly opened Ely branch, he was told there was a very long waiting list, they were not taking any more names, that’s how popular it is.

I picked up a leaflet while I waited for his order to be frothed up; I learnt that the Man in White is appearing in Ely next month, so I hope to book a ticket to meet up with Martin Bell. I remember him vividly as a failed MEP candidate in the last Euro elections. I would like to meet him and ask him about his experiences, if he has any further political ambitions.

As far as the hospital went, David had four biopsies from his jaw, two from his infected area and two others from unaffected areas. These will be sent off as a “blind” test for the microbiologists. The last time David had a similar biopsy at Great Ormond Street Hospital two years ago, the “good” bone was also reported to be infected, so David’s consultant suggested we have this biopsy – and a more extensive one – at the University College Hospital where he believes they have “world class” microbiologists.

I discovered at the last minute that there was a parent’s room available where I could spend the night, so I had no need to travel to 18 Doughty Street, and I am so very grateful for their kind offer as it gave me peace of mind in the run-up to David’s visit.

His op was delayed because the notes had not been transferred from GOS, but David is a good patient, he has never been phased about needles and blood tests. He has always been very easy going. His face is pretty sore now, as you would expect, but not as swollen as previous times. (10 mins later – spoke too soon, it takes time for the swelling to appear, his normal oval shaped face is now very rectangular, poor chap, he can only speak through slowly and softly through clenched teeth).

This was David’s fourth biopsy. Being on the 12th floor, David had a room with a view of some of the top London tourist sites, and we even saw the Proms’ final night fireworks. The nurses joined us for this wonderful spectacle.

The UCL allows patients in the teen wards to use mobile phones for texting and incoming calls, but they are also used by families quite openly for calls home. Nobody seemed to mind.

We had a few hours to spare the night before the op, so David put on his posh Prada sunglasses (I can only afford Boots’) and we headed for Oxford Street to shop, shop and shop (for him, not me!) Only the stores had closed (thankfully) so we settled for a delicious Italian dinner in Covent Garden instead.

We have to wait up to four weeks for David’s results. He is recovering home with me for the remaining week, I shall enjoy pampering him while I can. It won’t be long before he flies the nest.

P.S. There was only one unpleasant episode, a thief stole the food and drink I took with me and left in the fridge on the hospital ward, it was my favourite fresh fruit.


  1. I love a good cappuccino, and must admit that Starbucks make a decent one…good thick foaming milk to drink the espresso through..and it does last right to the end.
    I always find the staff at Starbucks in Ely or Colchester to be very pleasant, however at their prices I often think they should be wearing a stripey jumper and a mask instead of an apron.
    I often buy my cappuccino from Ely railway station’s Golden Bean kiosk. At £1.50 it is much better value and you are always served by one of two very attractive Eastern European ladies with a nice smile. Reminds me of the Harry Enfield sketch.

  2. £3.20!… I’m glad I’ve weened myself off coffee and onto tea!

    Best of luck to David when the results come through.

  3. Thanks everyone for your kind words about David. His face is naturally very sore and swollen as the biopsies were taken from both sides. I will keep you informed and let you know the results.

  4. Fingers crossed for you all

  5. I heartily approve of David’s good taste! Please tell him I send good wishes from Africa. I imagine the waiting is excruciating, but both of you just keep breathing. I’m with David on the shopping, a good diversion! Take care of yourself Mum. You are both in my prayers.

  6. Banana Java chip coffee based Frappaccino with no whipped cream is my favourite Starbuck’s drink too. I first tried it on a hot summer’s day in Paris and have been addicted ever since.

    May I wish David a speedy recovery.

  7. All my very best to David and to you during this . and he has great taste in shirts and coffee that lad.

  8. Sounds like he sailed through the surgery with flying colors… now let’s hope the test results turn out well.

    As for Starbuck’s — I’m with you. I don’t go for this mocha-latte-creme-frappe-java business. But I have an addict in the family, too: My Older Daughter has actually gone to work at a Starbuck’s (this is the one who already has an English degree) while she goes back to school to pick up the pre-reqs for a nursing degree.

    I don’t know what accounts for the exorbitant prices at Starbuck’s in your neck of the woods, but here in the States they apparently pay health insurance benefits for employees working 20 or more hours a week.

    It’s almost enough to make me drink their coffee….

  9. I’m glad to hear that the biopsy is over with, although the recovery period is another thing. I know the waiting for results is an huge ordeal as well.
    You need to learn another language to go to Starbucks. I visit seldom but I obstinately order a skim milk latte and refuse to say “skinny” as is usual.

  10. Hi, Ellee. Well, David sounds in fine form and I loved the story of your ordering at Starbuck’s. [I’m an espresso girl myself.] The ward sounds nice and relaxed and, though of course you’d both rather have been at home, it must have been fun to have seen those fireworks. What a mean thief! Hope all goes well now for David. Love from Sicily.

  11. Ellee: I send you my ver Best for David from “across the pond”!

  12. Hi Ellee,

    Hope David is feeling better and hopefully they will find something to help him. Wish him all the best from all of us, the sylish young fellow that he is 🙂

  13. Well, I guess David deserves a treat like that after his ordeal.

  14. lol Elle,
    when I started reading, I thought you were going to say UCL actually had a Starbucks.

    Sorry no op because the notes haven’t arrived from the 12th floor, but please wait in our food area and BUY your son a Frappaccino.

    Crazy that hospitals charge for parking and frappaccinos (a conservative idea?) has that made the medical services any better or the operations any cheaper – I doubt it.

    But I shouldn’t bash the Medical Profession, we all know they are doing their best – don’t we.

    PS – Do you get free airmiles if you are a frequent visitor (flyer) to hospitals – lol!


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