Wednesday, February 16, 2011

She's not leavin' til she's heavin'


My daughter had her surgery today. Yes, I know it's a relatively minor procedure (installation of tubes in her ears plus adenoidectomy) but I'm a worrier. I held it together until the nurses wheeled her down the hall into the operating room.  Her dad and I were instructed to go and wait in the lobby.  I made the mistake of turning around to look at her one last time and she just looked so . . . tiny.

She didn't go into surgery until nearly noon, so it was a bit of a rough morning.  I have to say that I'm sure this whole scene was much easier with a 5.75-year-old vs a younger child.  I was able to explain everything to her, as did the nurses and doctors, and she understood. I could tell she was still worried, though, and at times she was teary.  When the nurse informed her that she was going to take her blood pressure, A responded: "You're going to take my blood?" She was wide-eyed and frightened. I'm glad I was able to hold her and stay with her right up until the last second.

Although we were at the hospital for several hours and were introduced to at least two doctors and half a dozen nurses who seemed to be involved in the process in some way, the actual surgery only lasted about 15 minutes.  A few minutes after that, we were escorted back to the recovery area. The kid was awake, but just barely.  I held her hand (which had an IV in it) under the blankets. "Mama, can I go to sleep?" she asked.  I nodded and a few seconds later, she was out.  P and I just watched her sleep for a half-hour or so.  When she awoke, she drank her apple juice and eventually decided she was ready to go home - on the condition that her dad would carry her out.  A nurse removed the IV and handed me some post-surgical instructions.

I sat my daughter up and proceeded to dress her.  She seemed woozy but said she felt fine.  P stood her up on the bed and was just about to pick her up when . . . the apple juice exited her mouth, arced into the air and over the bed, and splashed the floor at high velocity. She also managed to hit her winter coat and her dad's shoes.  There were three nurses nearby.  They all congratulated her.  You've gotta love nurses and their cast-iron stomachs. "You'll feel a lot better now!" they said, almost in unison.

I then drove the kid home (as she held a barf bag in the back seat) and P drove back to work.  She was quiet the rest of the afternoon, which is a rare event indeed.  So far, she says she feels fine (no school for the next two days, though). We are hoping that she is almost completely recovered by Friday night, because she and her dad are attending a "Daddy-Daughter Dance."  She is absolutely over the moon about it.

Next up: expect at least one blog post containing a prolonged rant about the insurance and the medical system. The hospital called last week to pre-register my daughter for the surgery. When I answered the phone, the woman on the line asked to speak to my daughter.  I advised the caller that A is five.  "Oh, it says here she is 39," she replied.  Then I got a call from a finance lady at the hospital less than 24 hours for the surgery advising me that our portion of the surgery will be [insert obscene dollar amount here] and would I like to pay for it now by credit card? So yeah, I have full faith in the doctors and nurses but the paperwork people? Not so much.

Now, if you'll excuse me . . . I made the mistake of handing someone a walkie-talkie and it seems I am being summoned.

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