Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"She Looks Perfect!"


Now that our (her) THRID surgery is under her belt and we had our post-op visit, I can finally update about our day.

The day started at 0315. 
That's the time my alarm went off.
However, being the Mom that I am, I didn't sleep.
It's amazing what noises you hear when the house is asleep and it's just you and your thoughts and prayers laying in bed together.
Why didn't I just get up and make myself useful:  wash a floor, catch up on my Christmas scrapbook, crochet a blanket.

We just laid there.  Me and my prayers.

We arrived at the Outpatient Surgical Center at 0530.
Surgery was scheduled for 0700.
Kate was happy and giggly....perfect medicine for me, the nervous Mom.
Pre-op was uneventful.

I don't know if it is comforting or scary when the anesthesiologist walks into our room and says "Good morning!  I've cared for your daughter before.  How have you been?" like we are old drinking buds.
Nonetheless, I immediately felt at ease.
She was in good hands.

The Optho resident came in next.
I like her.
Soft spoken, pleasant, caring.
Either she's a Mom....or she was warned about me.
Consents are signed and my heart starts to pick up speed.
I'd like to throw up, but there isn't an emesis basin to be found.
And if my daughter sees me flipping out, then she's going to flip out.

So I sit.
And silently pray.

Just then, he walks in:  our surgeon.
Part of me is relieved because I like him and have the utmost faith in this man.
Part of me wants to cry.
And as hard as I try not to, I begin to well with tears.
And what makes this man, this doctor, this surgeon so top-notch is that he not only cares for the child but he also cares for the parent.
For me.
He sees my tears and knows my fears.
We have been here before on two separate occasions.
He knows me.
He knows my anxiety.
He simply holds my hand for a brief moment and tells me "It's going to be fine".
He stands at the head of the stretcher and with his Optho resident at the foot, they begin to wheel her towards the doorway.

One more kiss for my little girl.
"I love you more"...it's what I always tell her.
And again, as the tears begin to flow, our surgeon tells me "We'll take good care of her".
And I can't bring myself to watch them wheel her down the hall:  0720.
Thank goodness my husband is with me...the strong one of the two of us.

At 0740, a call from the OR:  she is prepped and ready to go. 
All is well.
And so my ritualistic pacing begins.
I slowly walk from one end of the waiting room to the other.
I glance at the surgical board to check her status:  in the OR.
I slowly walk to the other end of the waiting room.
And the cycle repeats itself....over and over and over and over.
I am able to tune out everything around me.
Strange, I notice how cold and drafty it is on the one side of the room and how warm the other side is.
I wonder if anyone else in the waiting room picks up on my ritualistic pacing pattern?

0815 and we get the call that she is done and the doctor with speak with us.
Of course, my husband went for coffee, so I am sitting doing the nervous rock in the chair by myself.
The surgeon walks in, calm as usual.
I really need to learn how to tap into my inner calm like that.

Once in the PACU, I can hear her squeaking this pathetic cry.
Post-op psychosis...great.
For the next hour, my sweet 10 year old baby is a whining, demanding girl giving the PACU RN a hard time.
I lost track of how many times I had to apologize to her for Kate's demands.
One hour later, we are on our way home to begin our recovery.



For the next three nights, Kate sleeps with me.
I can't bear to be away from her.
I need to hear her breathe and she needs to know that I am just one arms' reach away.

On post-op day #8, we meet with our surgeon.
After a few minutes of exam, I hear him say "She looks perfect!"
I think that was the first time I have exhaled since she went into the OR.
It worked.
She is once again aligned.
And for now, all is right in our world.
Thanks, Dr. McDonnell. 

1 comment:

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