It's a scary thing, watching a surgical team whisk your child's gurney through those double doors, even if it's for a minor, non-emergency operation. A quick kiss on the forehead and Kendall was gone yesterday morning, leaving me with snippets of a recent conversation running through my head: a friend's son almost died following minor surgery this past year when the removal of his breathing tube caused his trachea to spasm and close. He had to be resuscitated and spent a day or two in ICU.
I chased those thoughts away (what good were they to me?) reminding myself of all of the prayers being said for her that morning, thanks to our friends and family (thank you!) Finding a seat in the waiting room, I finished praying the Rosary I started while she was being prepped...just in time to watch the Ellen Degeneres Show. Nothing like prayer and laughter to chase away your worries!
Before too long, the doctor found me to let me know the surgery was over, it had gone well and that she was in recovery...and soon they allowed me to go back to her. Right away I was scared again..."Mom, I'm having an asthma attack!" I found my albuterol inhaler, but, still groggy from the anesthesia, she had a hard time breathing in the medicine in the first puff. I gave her two more and, whew, that seemed to do the trick. No more wheezing. We'll have to remember that for the next time she has surgery.
It hurts, seeing your child hurt. And I've never seen her in this much pain. I sat there beside her on my plastic chair, ready with a cup of water...a tissue...lip balm. Just sat there waiting and wanting to help, gazing at the colorful curtain "walls" surrounding us, at her blinking vital sign numbers, and at her. Grateful.
I thought of my parents and friends who have gone through the pain of losing a child - especially one who unexpectedly lost her daughter earlier this week. I remembered another whose young granddaughter is in the hospital right now with pneumonia.
Having a child is such a gamble, isn't it? They come with no guarantees of health or happiness. You're just painting a target on your heart for pain when you have one. But it's worth it. No doubt about it.
I knew she was on the "up" side of the surgery when Independence returned. She has always been my most independent child - determined to out-do her brothers, I guess. So I've stepped from my role as Active Caregiver to Hoverer - still sticking close and watching, ready to jump forward and help, but trying my best to hang back a little.
Before heading to the hospital, I made sure I wished my sweet friend Darla a happy birthday (click here for a bit of back history on our friendship.) This is how sweet she is...she was my New Year's Eve Secret Santa...my Angel of the white towels. She had been my first guess, because it's just the kind of thoughtful thing she does all the time. One of my resolutions for 2010 is to be more like her. I hope she had a special day. Several of us are getting together with her this Sunday to celebrate a little more.
Tonight we'll be planted in front of the television downstairs with friends, cheering and coaching the Longhorns on to victory over Alabama. I won't use the word "hope" or the term "crossing my fingers"...I'm positive the Longhorns will be the BCS National Champions!
Hmmm...should I even let Kendall watch the game? She's not supposed to be yelling or exerting herself in any way, and I'm sure this game will be a "yeller".
But then...is there really a way I can stop her? I doubt it. So please continue to keep her in your prayers. And Hook'em!
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