TUMMY TIME: Tracey and Bruce Devereaux are preparing for Tracey's final operation.
TUMMY TIME: Tracey and Bruce Devereaux are preparing for Tracey's final operation.

It's taken guts to get this far

A COUPLE of things have happened.

Big things.


Not the least of which is Tracey is finally getting her tummy tuck and, if not a beach body, should end up skinny enough people stop thinking she's pregnant.

Speaking of which, a beach body would have been handy this weekend because we are booked in for a night away.

Without the kids.





You people in houses where your children sleep on the other side of doors and walls and other noise cancelling buffers can't know how excited we are about this. Despite the kids constantly suggesting we get one, it's been six months since we had a room.

Every spare minute this week has been spent Googling potential accommodation trying to get Tracey to make a decision about whether she wants to "sleep” in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast - no easy feat. Tracey always has a go at me for elbowing her out of the way with the naming of our kids but I swear if I'd left it to her they'd all still be pending a final stamp of approval.

I don't think she's seriously decided for certain if she wants to be Nanny, Nanna, Nan or Grandma yet, and our grandson, Izzy, is 18 months old.

It won't be long after the op and we'll finally be heading off on the long leg of our big lap - NT, WA, SA, TAS, and VIC. At least six months we'll be on the road this time and the most exciting thing about this is we'll get to spend heaps of time with our grandson and his parents. We have a bus full of uncles and aunties keen to toss him about and make him giggle. Not to mention his grandparents are in desperate need of hugs.

Now usually I'd tease the details of this appointment out - I am, after all, a tall story teller - but bugger suspense. I'm just going to tell you: she's booked in for her hernia op next Thursday.

Finally, it feels like the adventures of The Gutless Wonder are coming to a close with just this hurdle to jump.

Some of the things they had to organise at the hospital were the usual blood tests and the like, but we also got to have a final assessment of her hernia before it gets taken out, or rather in.

The gap between the left and right muscles of her stomach is big but not frightening - 9cm apart at the top and bottom, and 13cm in the middle. There's every chance she'll end up with mesh in her guts to hold it together, but he won't really know until he gets in there and sees how it pans out. Which is fine.

"How attached are you to your belly button?” was something else Dr Brown threw at her.

"If you woke up and didn't have one would that upset you?”

"People wake up without legs,” I said over his shoulder.

"Who cares about belly buttons?”

"Shhh,” Tracey hissed at me, indicating she's more attached to it than I thought. I guess it does play a vital lint collecting role.

"If we cut it out we can make you a fake one,” Dr Brown suggested. Tracey went with that.

I don't think either of them heard me suggesting he make her three since she apparently likes them so bloody much.

That, or they both ignored me.

So I'm looking forward to our night away almost as much as I'm looking forward to Tracey finally getting the last of these operations over and done with.

I'm anxious but excited.

And even betterer than all of the above, after a couple of months of recuperation we'll finally be heading off on our adventure so Izzy can finally spend some time with his uncle, aunties, pop and - well, she answers to Tracey when the mood takes her.

This is probably the sort of thing we'll be chatting about this weekend. You know, eventually.

And come next Thursday Tracey will begin her recovery, no doubt by waking up, blinking off the anaesthetic before turning to the nearest nurse to hoarsely demand someone fetches her a bikini to try on.

Learn more about Bruce's efforts to raise his family on little more than laughs at bigfamilylittleincome.com

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