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Monday, July 25, 2011

Zach's Surgery

Today was Zach's surgery to repair his hernia ~ which turned out to be two hernias so I am glad we had them repaired. Whew! I have to say I am glad it is over. I also have to say how very lucky we are.

As I sat in the room waiting for Zach's surgery to be over I couldn't help but look around and be reminded of all the other times our kids have a procedure for this and surgery for that. It's all been pretty minor stuff but still seemed so scary at the time.

When Zach was a baby he had to get an MRI because the doctor couldn't see the bottom of a dimple at the base of his spine. It was a simple enough procedure but it was nerve wracking time for us, as new parents. We knew the doctors were looking for Spina Bifida. That term is big and scary on it's own but downright earth shaking when it was applied to our child. The date of Zach's MRI arrived and we drove the three hours to the hospital so Zach could be "papoosed" and sedated for the MRI. It was a disconcerting feeling to see an IV line coming out of Zach's head (his hands were so chubby they couldn't find a vein anywhere). Everything turned out fine ~ no spina bifida.

I remember the first time Lucas had to get tubes in his ears because of chronic ear infections. We were living in Louisville at the time, which is home to one fantatic children's hospital. Kosair Children's hospital's reputation combined with the wealth of talented doctors servicing that hospital brought kids from all over who had a myriad of health problems. Lucas' surgery was so minor compared to what other families were going through. We were in the waiting room with another family whose child was being wheeled away in the special surgery wagon. As the child was lead away, the entire family formed a big circle and joined hands praying freverently for the safety and well being of their child. It made my nervous condition seem almost ridiculous because of how minor tube surgery is (and was). But for us, watching Lucas being lead away for the first time was scary. Lucas went on to have countless more tubes inserted into his ears over the course of many years so I felt like I became a seasoned pro in the hospital waiting room.

The time Lucas got toxic synovitis was truly a scare for me. Stan was in Minneapolis training for his new job, so I was alone. Lucas was four years old and crawled out of his bed, crying in agony in the middle night telling me his legs hurt. He couldn't walk. He couldn't straighten his legs at the hip. He stayed curled up and cried and cried and cried. We made it to the ER at Kosair. Lucas was given morphine for the pain and I was told to withhold all food. Lucas might need surgery. The day passed without any idea of what was making Lucas' legs so agonizingly painful. He stayed on morphine. I stayed at the hospital and Stan flew home from Minneapolis. It took two days of morphine, no food, CAT scans, X-Rays and blood tests to figure out the fluid in his hips was infected ~ toxic synovitis, a very scary sounding name for a relatively innocuous virus. He was put in traction for a little while, given Motrin and we were sent on our way. It was a scary time ~ luckily turning out to be just a tiny little blip on the radar of Lucas' life.

Claire has had tubes and stitches but other than that she has been the one who has given me the least amount of medical scares. She busted her chin open one summer at the pool and I nearly fainted at the sight of the blood dripping off of her face. The world started to turn all black and the only thing I could see was a slim tunnel ahead of me. I was told I turned gray but I held it together enough to get her to the ER. Stan took over from there...thankfully! I don't do well with blood or broken bones ~ Stan takes those and I save myself for the vomit and diarrhea.

As I sat in Zach's room today I saw a baby scale and realized how many other parents sat in that same room waiting for their child's surgery to be over ~ waiting for their child to be wheeled back to them so they can give them a big hug and kiss their sleepy face. Other parents sat in our room and watched as their baby is placed on the scale right before they are wheeled away to surgery. Other parents worried the same worries we have had over the years as we watched our babies, toddlers and kiddos were wheeled away from us to medically repair what nature can't.

I know how very lucky we are. Our kids have definitely had their share of medical "issues" but it's all been minor, minor stuff. My heart goes out to all of the parents who make the hospital their homes and know as much medical jargon as the doctors because they live in the medical world, day in and day out. I know a tiny, little amount of medical jargon and for that little amount I am thankful. It means my kiddos are relatively healthy.

I will breathe a little easier tonight knowing Zach is home, healthy and healing from a relatively minor hernia repair.

Oh, for the love of my children...

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