Tomorrow Lucy has her just-over-six-month checkup with her Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeon. Last May, Lucy had tubes put in her ears. The six ear infections in six months kind of indicated something was up with her ears, and the tubes helped tremendously. She's only had one infection since then, and it was right after the surgery. However, even knowing that this was an outpatient procedure, and even knowing that my husband is a surgeon and assured me this was no big deal, I sufficiently freaked out the day of her surgery.
We don't have any family in town- and I really wanted Matt to come to the hospital. As luck would have it, the procedure was scheduled for the same day as Annie's Mother's celebration at school. We didn't want her to be the only kid without a parent there, so we all went to the hospital as a family. Matt stayed with Annie in the waiting room, and I went back to the pre-op room with Lucy. There were probably 10 other kids there, with their parents, waiting to have tubes put in, or their adenoids removed. The kids were in heaven- they were playing with tricycles, LIttle Tike cars, wagons and each other. The parents all smiled at one another, and I started to pace the room nervously.
At around 8:00am, the surgical teams started coming in. Texas Children's has a policy that they like the parents to connect with the surgical teams prior to the big event. So, nurses, anesthesiologists and surgeons all mingled into the room, and it started to look like a big, happy medical cocktail party- complete with small talk, sans vodka. All of the other parents looked remarkably composed.... yours truly did not. This is about the time I started to freak.
I smiled at the nurse, made nice with the anesthesiologist, but when her surgeon walked up to me and shook my hand- I started to shake all over. He put his hand on my back, and I started that awful girlie half laugh and half cry- and sputtered to him "Dr. XYZ, You have to promise me you will take good care of her. I'm not sure if you know this, but She's a VERY special girl." I'm sure all of the parents around me were like "Oh yeah, our kids are normal, but that one over there- with the freaky mom, she needs VIP treatment."
Luckily, Lucy's surgeon is not only well versed in removing icky Elmer's- like glue from ears and inserting tubes, he can also dialogue with panicked parents. "Kristen," he assured me, "I will treat her like my own." I walked down the hallway, and passed my baby to the nurse just outside the door of the operating room. Then, I'm embarrassed to admit- I ran like a banshee back to the waiting room so I couldn't hear if she cried or not.
Matt and Annie were playing a video game- and quite oblivious to the drama playing out in my head. Around the time they were supposed to call me back in to the post-op recovery room, Matt decided he had to go to the men's room. I looked at him in disbelief, and my look must have conveyed my wish for the fastest mens room trip possible, because he was back, in like three seconds. Of course, it was 2 seconds too late, as they had paged me the minute the bathroom room door closed.
Shooting him the dirtiest look possible for even having a bladder, I ran down the hallway as fast as I could. There was my baby, swaddled in a blanket, in the arms of a nurse. They passed her to me, and gently ushered me into a rocking chair. I rocked her, and sang to her, as she shrugged off the last of her morphine induced sleep. She looked pale, she looked sleepy, but she looked ok.
Tomorrow, she gets her ears checked. Statistically, one, or two of the tubes will have probably fallen out. (We're pretty sure the right one did). Which means, Dear Reader, that I get to relive all of this loveliness once again. This time, Matt's going to have to hold it.