Thursday, November 13, 2008

Anxiety Update

I'm trying so hard to remain calm about M's upcoming surgery.

Right now my heart is RACING. I feel light headed. There is something about being the mommy that makes me want to control every single aspect of this surgery. And I'm not in control at all!

Tonight at 6:40, my phone rang. Oh, I mean, MY CELL PHONE rang. As we were on our way to the local pizza parlor (you know, the one with all you can eat and a bazillion out-of-control-kids) to support my school, the phone call that I expected before 5:00 came in. Didn't occur to me that these nurses worked all hours of the day and night calling and returning phone calls to explain to and calm down parents of upcoming surgery patients.

"Mrs. Benson, this is the nurse from ----Children's Hospital. I'm calling about M's surgery. You are mom, right?"

(Insert heart in throat) "Yes, this is Natalie. I'm M's mother."

"M's surgery is scheduled for 2:00 in the afternoon on the 19th. You'll need to be at the hospital at 11:15."

WHAT???? (Out of control Mommy here)

"Ma'am, do you mean 11:15 in the morning? As in, I've got to bring a little kid who HASN'T EATEN since midnight the evening before?"

"Yes, ma'am. It's not going to be an easy day for you all. Do you have another adult you can bring with you to help you?"

And then we proceeded to talk for about 20 minutes about the surgery, the post op care, spending the night in the city the evening before vs. the evening after, how do we try to get to spend the night at the hospital, tips for entertaining her at the hospital.

She was one of the nicest nurses I've ever talked to. She must be a mom, because she anticipated my questions before I could ask them. She gave me some great ideas--get her a new toy to play with while she's waiting. Bring her snugglies so she can have them when she goes into the OR and they will be there when she wakes up. She gave us a pretty good idea of how long we'll be there post op.

Now, friends, help us decide. I'm torn about what to do post op. The hospital is right at an hour and a half away from our house. Should we make arrangements to spend the night near the hospital AFTER the surgery or should we just tough it out and come home? We might leave the hospital as early as 6:30, but it could be considerably later (as in several hours). What do you think? Part of me thinks we should just come on home. Part of me hates to put her through the car ride home after such a long day.

Be still my racing heart.

Trust with all your heart, mind, and soul. Know that He is in control.


Rachel said...

Oh, I know it is so scary to have your child go through surgery. I'm not sure what I would do about spending the night. It might be easier to get a hotel right by the hospital since you don't know for sure what time you will get discharged. But, it might be more comforting for M if you came home. Well, I'm not much help, am I? I'll be praying for your heart and for a smooth surgery day for you all!

Christina said...

I would be a bundle of nerves, too. But a week from now, it'll all be over!!! You guys will be in my thoughts and prayers. I think I would come home...being in her familiar home will be comforting for M, and chances are she'll still be sleepy enough to sleep on the drive home.

Tami said...

Hmmm...spending the night before in a hotel might be a good idea..not that I really have any idea. I can't imagine it EVER being fun having a hungry toddler. Maybe in the morning you could order a movie in the hotel to *help* take her mind off of the fact that she's hungry. I'm not sure if it would work, but it may be worth a shot. Then you won't be far from the hospital and it might take some of the stress off of hurrying to get ready and leave and get there on time, etc. I think I agree with the others about coming home afterwards. I would think it would be more comforting. But you could always wait and decide after she gets out of surgery and you'll have a better idea of how she's feeling and what she's up for. I'll be praying for you both!

Kyla said...

Go read my post from will remind you how you'll feel all this is said and done, okay? And then breathe.

K's surgery was at 12, she had to stop solids/milk at midnight, but she could have clears all the way to 8:30am. Make sure to ask about that. The general rule is 3-4 hours before with clears, because that's how long it takes to clear the system. A little apple juice for an unhappy toddler might be the difference in survival. LOL.

If I were you I don't think I'd make the drive with a post-op kiddo...she might be nauseated or agitated from the anesthesia and that would be a hot mess on the drive home. A quiet night in a hotel might really help.

MelanieB said...

As usual, I don't know all the details but did want to at least give you the patient's view. Having had to stay in a hospital for 8 days following my hip replacement, I can say that there is no place like home. I cried all the way home in the car. I would make the drive. If she is sick to her stomach, you will have the ability to better deal with her clothes, what she might be able to tolerate eating/drinking, and her movies and her couch/bed will make her more comfortable. I'm sure you wouldn't mind sleeping in your own house, too. To me, it's always easier to deal with kiddie needs at home. Just have your support crew ready to go to the pharmacy to get pain meds or other prescriptions when you get home. She's probably going to want her mommy with her. Good luck! Larger cheap Gladware containers make great throw up catchers and have saved my carpet and car several times (wish I'd thought of it sooner). Wash well in dishwasher and not a treasure if can't be salvaged. A beach towel or blanket on the back seat also helps. I'm sure the hospital will suggest it, but if they don't, ask if she can take something for pain before you leave, so that you have that extra time to get home and get her medicine.
Remind yourself that kids don't sweat the small stuff, adults do, and she is so much stronger and more resilient than anyone can imagine. I made it through multiple childhood orthopedic surgeries, and I'm okay. M will be, too. You are way more scared than she is (and I would be, too....part of being the parent, right?). You are in my thoughts and prayers.