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Brought to you by the letters “E” and “R”

November 20, 2009

It’s 10:35 pm (or it was when I wrote this on the back of a manila folder in the surgery center waiting room) and I am enjoying yet another evenings’ entertainment sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.

Scooby’s anti-gravity experiment failed, and, as such, here I am. His arm looked just like Harry Potter’s did when Professor Lockhart took the bones out – it curved the wrong direction (so did my stomach, I might add.) Our evening can basically be summed up as: screaming, frantic drive home, screaming, frantic drive to hospital, short wait, screaming, x-rays, lots more screaming, three GIGANTIC needles and an utterly petrified 6 year old, LOTS of screaming, more x-rays, and a trip upstairs to Surgery.

After that it got much better. The horrific needle episode had, at least, relieved his immediate discomfort and he was chatting up the nurses and showing off Yellow Blankie.

Side note: while always a blankie kind of a guy, Scoob never leaves the house with his loveys. They are merely for bedtime or snuggling, and the occasional sick day. En route to the hospital, the plaintive, tear-stained request from the backseat that we bring Yellow Blankie with us was immediately, and swiftly, granted. There’s not a whole heck of a lot a parent can do in a situation like this to relieve their child’s pain. This one thing we could do, and do it we did.

Yellow Blankie stayed with him al night, was even permitted to go into the OR, and he was wrapped in YB when he came out.

We had the full range of medical staff – the doctor who looks at your kid but won’t talk to you, the nurse who kept forgetting his fear of needles and left three enormous syringeson a tray by his bed for him to stare at in anticipatory horror, the doctor who finally will look you in the eye and tell you what’s going to happen next, the funny nurse who cracks jokes about her own kids and finally gets you to smile, and then, the nurse-named-Greta that you will never forget, who was so kind you actually started to cry because finally, someone is acting like they GET how SCARY this all is, not just for your child, but for you, too.

(as I write, a young guy has now entered the deserted waiting room and has begun to tidy up. How novel! I’m sitting here leisurely while a GUY is vacuuming the floor and straightening the end tables. Although, I will say, at this point my stress level is rather elevated and I am tempted to go around behind him and alphabetize the magazines, or, at the very least, put them in attractive color-complimentary stacks.)

Around 11pm an angel named Sharon, through another angel named Steve, sent me a sweatshirt, a bottle of vitamin water, a granola bar and a brain-candy novel. I’ve never before felt so thankful for such simple things!

Sitting with him in post-op I’m listening to his little heart beating on the monitor and I am reminded of the last time I sat in a hospital and listened to his little heart beating on the monitor. It was 6 1/2 years ago, I was in pre-term labor and then, just as now, I felt re-assured and mollified by the steady rhythmic beeps. Little harbingers of hope saying all will be well – he may be comatose at the moment, with his mouth open and his eyes half-shut – but his insides are working quite properly thank you, so please just be patient, he’ll be coming round soon.

How do people live life without a village?! I think of how many touched us just in the last 24 hours – there’s the ones who cared for him while I made frantic phone calls to Gabe, the one who put the pen in my hand and told me what to write so that another one could take Scrappy home. The ones who cared for and loved on my baby while I cared for and loved on my older baby. The one who met that one later and put Scrappy to bed. The aforesaid who brought reinforcements to the hospital. The ones who called and texted and listened as I described the horror of watching a four inch needle be inserted into a very tiny arm. The ones who are picking up my slack at the office while I’m not there. And the ones who brought us an AMAZING dinner tonight. It was so good I cried.

I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad that, the next time this happens, I’ll know a bit more what to expect. I’m also resigning myself to the fact that my family holiday photo plans will now include a rainbow-striped cast. It’s not exactly what I had in mind for our color palette, but, what the heck. It’s going to be a great story to tell one day.

P.S. we never thought we would hit our annual health insurance maximum out-of-pocket, but heck, we’re here! Any more ER visits? Bring ’em on. It’s now free.

P.P.S. additional snaps to surgery team who did NOT cut off his shirt – being embroidered, and part of his school uniform, they kindly left it untouched. I think he wore it for two days before I finally worked up the courage to wriggle him outwithout pain.

P.P.P.S. two years later, as I was awaiting my hip surgery in pre-op, wearing nothing but a lot of anxiety and a hospital gown, in to my little curtained cubicle walks Greta-the-Great. I cried again. She was just as warm and kind and lovely the second time around, too.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2009 11:32 am

    >Sorry for the rough night! Glad child and mom came through it okay–hope you guys get a restful night's sleep and good pain control over the next few days!Philip W

  2. November 20, 2009 7:52 pm

    >Oh boy! Give Scoobs my best. Glad you all survived the emotional rollercoaster!

  3. November 22, 2009 1:17 am

    >Thanks for sharing the story. Love to you guys and I'm glad it's all over for now. You and Scooby have just completed an important rite of passage for a little boy and mom of a little boy! I'm praying your ER visits are done for a while.


  1. Memoirs of a Boy-Mom: Dear Yellow Blankie | Adelle Gabrielson
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