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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What To Do During Your Child's Surgical Operation

What's a Mother to do while her son is having surgery?  For the next three hours, I am left with my thoughts, my laptop and my cell phone close at hand, waiting for the call to hear he is done and okay and that everything is going to be fine.

Early this morning, Jonathan and I left for the hospital, saying our goodbyes to Wrigley and to Bill who was heading out the door for work.  It's a beautiful, sunny day, but we put on our jacket and sweatshirt anticipating a cold waiting room.  Going to the hospital so early allows us a great parking space near the front entrance and soon we are greeted with pleasant people directing us to the first waiting room.  The two women behind the desk speak clearly and kindly. I cannot help notice how smooth and professional the Mayo Hospital runs and make note that I bet this experience is quite different in say, England or Norway or even Canada.  The word 'privatization' is not a dirty word.  Looking around us, I see mostly older couples and several extremely overweight people, as well.  I think about how some of these folks have to come here often and their faces show the strains so visibly.  We are the lucky ones in this room and I thank the man upstairs for giving me a heathly family.

JB and I are also more fortunate and are more relaxed than most here because his Dad is a surgeon at this hospital and he is right at JB's side along the way.  His great bedside manner relaxes Jonathan's nerves.  It feels like a big, happy family as nurses come and go asking the routine questions before one goes into surgery.  They are a happy bunch who seem to all love what they do for a living.

The surgeon happens to be a guy I knew 25 years ago, back when we all lived in Rochester, Minnesota.  He tells me he remembers the big balloon arch and game set up at the Fellow's Fair I had planned, so residents could see and enjoy their children for an afternoon.  Even back then, I was always involved in either fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald's House for cancer patients or creating special events for the residents and their families.  His bedside manner is honed to perfection and puts me and JB at ease. He tells me the first hour he will fix JB's deviated spectum.  Apparently, somewhere during his active life, he broke his nose and we didn't even know it.  I suspect it occurred while he was playing basketball and I try to imagine what he must have felt like that night when it broke. Also, this area is extremely inflamed and must be scraped out and cleaned up.  The doctor didn't use the words "scraped out" but this is what I imagine is happening during this first hour.  Next, they must remove all the mucus and blockage in all four sinus cavities.  The x-ray showed almost no air passage getting through any of these areas.  This is called endoscopic sinus surgery.  (Don't quote me on those terms a Mom you are listening carefully but I felt somewhat hazy at the same time).  This is the second surgery for the day for the surgeon but he seems refreshed and ready for another 3+ hour operation.  I think about how hard that must be to stand and operate for hours at a time. I am grateful that my son is in such dedicated and educated hands.

As I kissed and hugged JB goodbye and left the room to go and wait, small doubts and fears came rushing to the surface.  What if.......   ..................   ................. but you cannot think like that.  At times like this, you must have faith and trust.  You must be calm and collected. You can pray. I swallow the lump of fear in my throat, and head to my waiting place and speak to you.

I've managed to type away half of this waiting period.  I have other work to get done, but I sense anything I try to work on will not come out focused or even coherent!   

Perhaps a walk around the block will be my next move......
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Blogger EmptyNester said...

Please let us know how he's doing!

April 12, 2011 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger beth said...

4.5 hours later....JB is out of surgery and is doing fine. The deviated spectum was "gnarly" and it took awhile to fix it. Now, he's off to sleep it off and recover tonight at his Dad's house!

April 12, 2011 at 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

So good to hear! Glad he is on the road to recovery.

April 13, 2011 at 8:09 AM  

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