Today was the big day. Tonsilectomy day. We were up er-lee. So early. And that was after a difficult night with the Little Dude waking up at 3 am, asking for water, and of course I could not give it to him, as you can't eat or drink after midnight before a surgery. We had explained this to him, but hearing about it, was completely different than experiencing it. And especially in his middle-of-the-night groggieness, he was just completely beside himself. He wanted that water. And I could not give it to him. Forty-five minutes of irrational incoherence later he was finally asleep again. And at that point I had just a little more than an hour left to sleep before my alarm would go off. Blerg.
He was so good and co-operative about the whole experience. Not that as a parent I value compliance over everything else. It was more about the experience not being traumatic for him, that was what I hoped for the most today. Once we were up and on the road and over the worst of the shock of getting up so early, he was generally all smiles and chatter. He was happy to be at the hospital and happy to tell every one that would listen that he was have surgery today, and that afterwards he was going to get a new toy. He didn't complain about being hungry or thirsty at all (now that he was lucid) and answered all the questions and co-operated well when they took his vitals and stuff like that. He did not seem at all worried, which was what I had hoped for most. And finally, just a little after 8:00 we walked across the hall with the surgical nurse, and came to a big door with a sign above it. That sign was for us; the Mommy and the Daddy. It was here that we had to stop and go no further. And the Little Dude happily, trustingly took the nurses hand and headed with her for that door. It was I who said, "Can I give you a hug and kiss before you go?" "oh, right!" he said, as though he just remembered something he almost forgot. And then Hubs and I got our hugs and kisses.
I tell you, that is a tough parenting moment. To know what is going to happen, and at the same time to NOT know exactly how it is going to happen, is difficult, to say the least. I'm not a big cryer, but I definitely had to take a moment, get a hug from Hubs and then go find a bathroom and quietly weep for a few minutes. I mean, he's about to get anesthetized and then have a part cut out of him! I know that rationally, it is a part that he doesn't need anymore, and that he will be better for it. But still. Also, I would have felt much better if I could have stayed with him until he was under. Because I was worried that it'd be stressful and he'd be all alone. Like, do they just give him a needle. I don't think he's ever had a needle before. Will he freak out? Will they have to hold him down. Ach, the thought of it almost makes me cry again.
But the nice doctor had already come and chatted with us, and we had our beeper, and there was nothing more I could do for him now, so I dried my eyes and went to the cafteteria to eat my anxiety. Don't judge. The anxiety was wrapped in caramel and dipped in fudge and was very, very tasty. I called my mom. I read a book. And about a half an hour later the surgeon came to find us and tell us that it was all done. The large and infected tonsils had been removed, and his very swollen adenoids as well, and they'd also cleaned his perpetually wax-filled ears out. (one of them had so much wax packed in there that what they'd removed was the size of a gumball he said. A disgusting but vivid analogy. The zit-popper and scab-picker in me briefly kind of wished I could see that wax gumball. But then it passed.) The surgeon was very pleaed with the outcome and told us that our Little Dude would be in recovery for the next half hour to forty minutes before we could seen him. So we sat in the cafeteria until we couldn't wait any longer and then wandered back to the day surgery unit. We walked into the waiting area just in time to see him being wheeled through on his bed.
What a bitter-sweet sight it is to see your child after surgery. I was thrilled to see him safe and sound and out of the mysterious depths of the hospital into a big open room where I could touch and hold him and assure myself of his safety. But at the same time, its hard to see him all limp and confused and groggy, eyes unfocused, hooked up to tubes and wires, with bits of dried blood still around the edges of his mouth and nose, so there is no use in your mind trying to deny the graphic truth of what has happend to his tiny body. But it is over! And that in itself is such a relief. After saying "hi buddy!" and kissing his head I asked him how he felt. "Tired" he sighed, but rolled his eyes slowly around to see me and asked "Can I have my Toy now?" I had it in my hand, and opened the little package so he could put together his new minifig. And despite the anaesthesia barely haveing worn off, he still managed to fumble around and match the head to the body and the body to the legs and top the little guy off with a hat. He even smiled a little. He obliged the lovely nurse by taking a sip of water and then asking for the promised box of apple juice. Finally they thought it was time for him to get dressed in his own clothes again, and soon, Daddy hoisted him up in his arms and carried him out to the car and we were on our way home again, home again, jiggety, jig.
He fell asleep in the car, and had a nice long nap once we got home. We carried him to bed and offered him his first few bites of jello. He helped make it last night, and was excited about trying it, but seemed unimpressed today. After two bites he was done. "Did you like it Bub?" I asked. "yeah, but I'm full now" he said, and fell back asleep with the final bite in his mouth where it dissovled and ran out all over his pillow. He smelled pleasantly of fake lime when I went to clean him up. After he woke up he managed to eat a popsicle, and have another first: his first movie. We watche My Neighbor Totoro together on a laptop in his room. Hard to tell what he thought of it, as he was still groggy, but he watched the whole thing with a slack-jawed demeanour that was difficult to classify as to whether it was wonder or just the remainig effects of the anaesthesia. It was very useful though, because he seemed to like it enough that whenever I'd pause it, he'd look to me to start it back up again, which I would happily, as soon as he'd taken a bite of popsicle or a sip of juice. We got quite a bit of fluids into him that way. Tricky Mommy.
After the movie, he was grumpy and whiney, but Gran and Grandpapa came over with the Baby to visit and they brought him another new toy, and once they'd gone he spent a happy hour or so with me, putting it together and playing with it.
There were even a few smiles. Smiles were in short supply this afternoon, so I took what I could get.
Hubs picked up some sushi for dinner, since the nurse told us that he could eat anything he wanted, so long as he wanted it and could get it down, and his request was his favourite avacado maki. He put two on his plate, and downed one very quickly. But at the second one the pain (and frustration) of not being able to eat his favourite food kicked in and he wailed and cried his little heart out. I help him on my lap while he stuggled through a tiny bowl of sorbet, and then, spoon in hand, he fell asleep. It'd been a long day for all of us. So I carried him to bed and lay there with him for awhile before going back to eat my own dinner.
And now the night stretches before us. I don't know how it'll go. But I'll be there on the futon beside his bed (as per the anaesthesiologist's suggestion). I'm just so glad that we are done with the worst part and now just have to weather the recovery.
And I want to thank you, those who are still here at the end of a veeeeeerrrrry long post. Possibly this is just my moms and my sisters. But still, I thank you ALL for your love and support over the phone and internet and in person. You guys are the best. I felt held up by you today, and it meant so much to know that there were others thinking of us. And now of to sleep. I hope.