One Week and Counting

In exactly one week the baby has his surgery. By this time next week, we should be out of surgery, and he should be out of the anesthesia and we should be home recovering.

Or, you know, not.

I appreciate that the doctor is excellent and I do not doubt his word when he says that its far more dangerous for us to drive to his office than it is to have the surgery but it does not FEEL more dangerous to drive to his office than it does to put a 6 month old under general anesthesia and give him an epidural and then slice him open.

The surgery is non-complicated and minor. It’s mostly skin repositioning, no actual internal work needed, and they tell me that the surgery itself will take about 45 minutes. On Friday afternoon they’ll call us with the time of his surgery, we’ll stop feeding him six hours or something before that, which he will HATE, of course, and then we’ll take him into the hospital. My in-laws are planning to come in for the surgery, although they’re both sick this week, so I suppose we will have to see how they’re doing over the weekend before we plan for it.

The most likely result is that there will be no ill effects. The surgery will go well and he’ll go under and come out with no issues and be better in two days, four at the outside.

The next most likely result is probably an anesthesia issue. He could have trouble breathing and they’d need to intubate him, which would probably cause zero long term issues but could result in some brain damage depending on how long he goes without air, right?

He could also have an issue with an epidural, right? Nerve damage, something that paralyzes him. It’s unlikely but it would be terrible for him if it happened like that. Kicking is his main hobby. He wakes me up at night, kicking his crib in his sleep. He has toys that he can kick and he loves them and kicks constantly. When you hold him he kicks like he wants to swim through the air. I cannot imagine what it would be like for him not to be able to kick. And of course, later, not be able to walk.

And of course, there’s always the chance that he’ll die on the table. It could happen to anyone at any time. There are risks.

If we don’t do the surgery, it will need to be done later. The risks will not decrease, but the recovery time and the trauma he’ll experience will increase. This is why we’re doing it now. This is why we’re trying to find the money to pay for it–I don’t know how we will, I really don’t, I can only imagine that we’ll have to not pay things like electricity for a month and hope there’s an end of the year bonus or that we can get a tax return to fix it before it all goes to hell.

And I’m trying to do as much as I can before the surgery, without compromising the time I spend with him. Today, he only slept 45 minutes all day and for all but 30 minutes I was either holding him or actively playing with him. It was a good last Monday for us to have together, if this ends up being the last Monday we have. He only fussed once for a couple of minutes because he woke up when I was in the middle of eating and I took an extra two minutes to finish eating before I rescued him.

But this week we also have to get the pictures of him that we’re going to frame for his grandparents’ Christmas presents. And I have to bake cookies for the teacher appreciation lunch at the elementary school, and meet with the principal about an issue with the teacher.

It’s all bad news. I’m eerily calm thus far. I’m not sleeping at all, even with unisom or nyquil, I can’t sleep. But I’m done with the crying. I’m done with the hysteria, and I’m done with the panic. I’m just calmly planning for the possibility that I have 6 days left with this baby.

Of course, I expect the day of the surgery to be different. I expect to lose the calm.I have buspar for anxiety, but I very much wish I had something stronger to use that day. On the other hand, the buspar is incredibly mild–it doesn’t make you drowsy or anything–and no matter what happens I’ll need my wits about me.



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