Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Night Before...Every Surgery...

It is past 1:00 in the morning.  I will have to get up in less than 4 hours to take Elise to the surgery center.  But I am not sleepy.  I am never sleepy before a surgery.  I am always insomniatic (is that a word?) because I had to sign the papers.  You know, the your child is having tubes put in, a tooth pulled or whatever and all these terrible things may result from the surgery, the anesthesia....and so on.  You have to sign matter how terrified you are from the death and damage that surgery may do, because if you don't they won't do the surgery...and your child will not be healed, fixed, or whatever...

The first time I had to sign those forms was when Elise had her open heart surgery.  And the option not to do the surgery was that her heart would fail her and she would die...we were literally watching it fail...and so, sick, I signed it.  I have signed them over and over so many times I have lost count.  Sometimes they were for life saving procedures, some have been for minor tomorrow. 

Tomorrow at 7 am, Elise will have her 6th set of ear tubes placed...6th in 5 years.  And she's had 2 ear infections ever.  Her brother, Gabriel had that many ear infections in the first 3 months of his life.  No lie.  But if she doesn't get tubes, she will deal with fluctuating pressure and ear pain, and will hear all the sounds in her life like she is underwater.  And with her current speech at a 2-3 year old level, she will only get further and further behind...BECAUSE SHE CAN'T HEAR.  That portion of the surgery will take less than 15 minutes.

She will also have a laryngoscopy to see if any of her breathing/asthma issues lie with scar tissue in her larynx and esophagus, from being intubated...during all her other surgeries.  I find that a little ironic.  That part of her surgery will take 30-45 minutes.

You may have signed those forms with the anesthesiologist or doctor or surgeon assuring you that likelihood of any of those terrible things happening will be 1 in 8,000...or some other minuscule number.  But when I hear those numbers, you have to understand that my child was born to me with disabilities with similar odds.  She was diagnosed with cancer in the face of tiny odds.  And yet, she was, because the possibility was there.  And the possibility of losing my child to minuscule odds seems a little more looming and possible to me...because they've struck before.

And so I wander my house in the wee hours of the morning burying my self in the mundane.  I scrub my dishes, I cook, I do my laundry and fold it, take a bath and wash my hair...because the more I do boring tasks them more I drown myself in the possibility of normal...and I find it soothing.

I will take my beloved baby to the surgery center and wrestle her 85 pounds of hungry anger to the pre-op room and hold her down for the nurses.  I will hold the anesthesia mask over her nose and mouth as she thrashes or pour the Versed down her throat because I cannot hand her over to the nurses and let her feel like I have abandoned her to strangers...she knows that I do things for a purpose.  She knows I love her.  And so I do what I don't want to do because I want her to know that I love her.

Please mention a prayer for a nice, boring surgery.  Please pray for a easy exit from anesthesia, she's had a rough time the last couple of times....Please pray they have a coffee machine available to I feel the need to find my broom and take care of some cobwebs I saw last week in my attic...  :)


  1. Hugs and prayers for all things uneventful today...

  2. Oh mama :( Hang in there. I am praying .

  3. Prayers going up for Elise and her mama!