As the 8th loomed closer and closer, I felt an increasing uneasiness in the pit of my stomach.
Surgery? Doesn't matter how routine it is, as a mom I just don't like it. I mean, I'm not crazy about my child going under anesthesia. And there always is the possibility that something could go drastically wrong with the eye during surgery. So myself and a waiting room does not a happy combo make. Not one bit.
However as I was getting ready to leave for Duke in the wee hours of Friday morning I realized that it wasn't just the procedure itself I dreaded.
It was my lack of being able to fully explain what was coming for the day that made me feel anxious. After all, this is my child who comes downstairs nine mornings out of ten and greets me with, "Jidan (eggs) pleasy Mama?," and I knew that I wasn't going to be able to give her anything to eat. I also knew that the events of the morning were going to be unfamiliar and I had no frame of reference to assure her that everything was going to be okay.
Thankfully in an answer to prayer, she never once asked for anything to eat, even though the schedule was running behind and she wasn't taken back until after 11. She asked for her siblings several times as we waited, but seemed pacified that they were in school and that Daniel was with Grandma. She remained happy and calm until about 30 minutes before surgery time when they brought us the gown for her to put on.
That's when the wheels fell off the bus. (And I could have kicked myself for not seeing it coming...though in retrospect I'm not sure exactly how I could have prevented it). After all, there we were, in an unfamiliar place, with part of her normal 'peeps' missing, and we were trying to take her clothes off of her. The last time she changed into different clothes and went to an unfamiliar place, her entire world changed. She may not have had the vocabulary to tell me her fears, but the look in her eye, the mournfulness in her cry, and the intensity with which she held to my neck spoke volumes. Needless to say we quit trying to get her changed at that point. My heart was breaking and all I could do was whisper over and over that I loved her so much and that she was going home with us later.
Eventually the nursing staff brought in a dose of premedication for anesthesia and that, combined with me putting on my 'clean suit,' calmed her nerves enough to put on her gown.
|very loopy smile brought to you by anesthesia premedication|
Blessedly the premedication relaxed her a good bit and she didn't struggle against the anesthesiologist at all. As soon as she was asleep, I was escorted back out to Ian and then we went to take our chairs in the waiting room.
And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Dr. F took every minute of the 100 she estimated the surgery would take. Almost to the second of 100 minutes after I walked out of the OR, she came out to find us in the waiting room to give us a run down of the procedure.
Briefly, here is what we learned. Once she was able to fully examine both of Natalie's eyes under anesthesia, she opted for the less invasive of the two surgery options. If it isn't successful in relieving the pressure then Natalie will have a second surgery to implant the tiny drain in her eye before Christmas. We also were given the discouraging news that Natalie also has glaucoma ~ though it is much milder ~ in her left eye as well. This is disheartening because secondary glaucoma as a result of a port wine stain is notoriously difficult to control. For now Natalie will have drops in both eyes, and will be closely monitored to be prepared for surgery if the drops don't do their job.
Finally it was time to meet my girl in recovery. She came out of anesthesia pretty much as you'd expect a spicy girl to wake up...and we'll leave it at that. Eventually she calmed down and we were able to leave. When we finally got home around 3:45, I had a VERY hungry girl on my hands. Thankfully Ramen are both very fast and a comfort food for her, so noodles it was.
She surprised me here. I explained to her that I'd take off her no-no's as long as she didn't try to touch her eye. She hungrily slurped down an entire package of noodles and when she was done, she held out her arms for me to put the restraints back on. I explained to her that if she continued to leave her eye alone that she wouldn't have to wear them, but she insisted, so back on they went. She may be stubborn, but, most of the time, she is obedient.
She was exhausted, as were the rest of us, so it was an early bedtime for the M7 on Friday night. The last light went out in the house around 9pm.
And we wait out to see the results of this surgery. After the first post-op appointment Saturday, it wasn't the slam dunk we were hoping for. But He is faithful and we trust that His plan for Natalie is good...