Friday, August 24, 2012

Richie's Hospital Adventure

After a particularly fitful night of attempted rest in the hotel, we arrived at our post in day stay at the hospital for Richie's procedures. All were completely routine, but I was nervous the whole night.  Afraid I wouldn't wake up in time and we'd miss our appointment, nervous about everything I could think of.  We were surprised upon check in to find that the day surgery center had nice, big rooms that held our little entourage nicely.  It was a warm welcome, between the nurse and the coloring book, crayons, and little bear with a t-shirt that said "hugs make me feel better".  They even had a huge rocking chair that Richie quickly began enjoying!

Once Richie was properly settled, questions answered, doctors visited, the family came in.  Well, the family and the iPods.  

No worries, that drink was empty.  I have no idea why Maelynn decided to sit it by her brother!  

Richie was prepared with prayer, awkward attempts at explanations from his parents, his Snuffles the puppy, and of course, his tiger feet slippers and Snoopy pajama pants.  

These before times were so strange.  I wasn't sure what to tell him, except that there were parts that were making him sick too often, and the doctor would remove them.  But I sure didn't want to traumatize the poor kid.  So we did our best to help him understand, then showed up and supported him the best we could.  

I've been through surgery on a four month old baby twice in as many months.  I've been through several exams under anesthesia.  But as I walked down the hall beside the bed with my little boy so innocently watching Bob the Builder on my iPod, my heart broke all over again.  

Having a child is like having your heart walk around outside your body.  

Sending them down the hall with someone in scrubs who plans to work on his little body in ways that I don't want to think about, even if the nurse is nice and caring, levels me every time. I cried, and walked back with my iPod still playing ol' Bob, too numb to turn it off.  And this is just a routine surgery. 

We took everyone with us.  For one thing, we were staying in a hotel overnight.  For another, Maelynn and Richie are glued to one another.  It just didn't seem fair to separate them.  She even held his Snuffles while he was in surgery. 

I felt like I was sending him into something so hard, so personal, so potentially painful, without the benefit of truly understanding what he was getting into. 

In recovery, I told my mother that I felt like he was wondering why I let them do this to him.  How do we know what he understood?  But in the end, he has a choice.  Trust us, believe that we have his best interest at heart, or distrust us and be angry.  

He woke a little confused as to why his hand was wrapped in a crepe-paper-like bandage, and why he couldn't seem to wake.  But every time he opened his eyes, he saw his mother.  And every time, until it was time to wake for good, he closed his eyes and rested more.  He opened his eyes, made a statement or asked a question, accepted the answer even when he was uncomfortable, and rested.  

As long as his caregivers know what is going on, he's fine.  He rests.  He looks to his father and mother for answers when he is confused and scared, and then rests... not in the answer, but in the integrity of its source. 
Both boys today, resting in Mama's arms in their own way. 

May it be so for all of us.  

Thanks be to God.

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