I slept like crap the night before, worrying that I would oversleep. There’s something unsettling about 5:00 a.m., the world is too quiet, poised to unleash the day’s chaos. The sun has not yet risen, and there’s too few people on the road. Your mind has time to turn in on itself and fill with worry about the perpetual “what if?”
We made better time arriving to the surgi-center. The lights weren’t even on, a few cars idled in the parking lot waiting for the buildings to open for the day. The lil Saurus didn’t fuss on the way over, but once the car stopped moving, he wanted out. I sat in the backseat with him and we read a story for a while. Once he had enough of the book, I took him out of his carseat and we paced the parking lot to kill time. It was chillier than I expected for late May, so I wrapped the lil Saurus in his blanket as we walked up and down the lot, pointing to lamp posts and birds.
Once the office opened, we were the first appointment of the day. I must commend the staff for being so expedient and kid-friendly. Even though they tried to keep the lil Saurus occupied, it was quite the challenge to keep him from getting into everything. Normally I can distract him with food or drink, but those were not options. Eventually, his time came for his procedure and the very kind nurse took my son from me. I stood a moment, blowing him kisses as he went (semi-willingly) back. Then my tears came and I tried to fight them back while the other female patients gave me knowing looks.
A nurse came up a moment later and directed me to the waiting room, where I really only had about twenty minutes to wait until the procedure would be over. The doctor came over sooner than I expected, kneeling down in the very serious way they all had to, but delivered the good news. It was over, his ears were full of “junk” he said and the tubes will help. He gave me some instructions, something about drops, and recovery, but I was too overjoyed that he was okay.
A few minutes later, another nurse came to get me to bring me to him. I could hear him screaming down the hall, a side effect of the anesthesia, which I imagine was pretty scary to come out of. I held him, not caring if he was in full meltdown, because he was breathing and going to be okay. I felt silly for worrying so much, but the recovery nurse told me that’s normal, as she noted her son was about five days apart from mine. She helped me get him dressed and before we left, she gave us both a big hug, saying “You did it, mom!”
I realize that my son will probably not remember this, but it’s something I’ll never forget. The difficulty that I had was my own fears, knowing what I know about the medical field from my line of work. I know just enough to be dangerous, the one in how many thousands risk of people who don’t make it out anesthesia that are just the luck of the draw, bad reactions and what not. That lightning strike risk doesn’t leave your mind because “nearly everyone” does well with it. I’m lucky we got through it, as easy and common as the procedure is. But it’s done and he’s back to his happy, loving self again and that’s all I can ask out of the universe.