Today my youngest son, Sam had to go in for hydrocele surgery. Hydroceles are caused during prenatal development when the processus vaginalis ( I don't know. I can't pronounce it either.) membrane fails to close completely. It causes fluid to drain from the abdominal cavity into the scrotal sac then the scrotum swells. If it's not surgically repaired, it can cause a hernia.
Sam couldn't eat or drink anything after 5:00am and his surgery wasn't until 11:15am. Which was probably a good thing, since he got car sick and threw up twice on the way to Denver. And I thought I was the one with the nervous stomach.
After the four hour hike out of the parking garage and into the hospital, we finally found the admissions desk and signed in. The doctor was actually running early, which was very possibly a world record, and we waited less than ten minutes before we were taken back into the pre-op area. Dressed in his little gown and socks, Sam looked so small on the bed they had him on. But he was smiling and laughing, oblivious, which I think, was a good thing.
The surgery was surprisingly quick and only took about 45 minutes. The doctor came out, said everything went well and that someone would be out to get us when Sam woke up. No one ever came...each time the door opened, both my husband and I would look up hoping it was someone looking for us. Their few minutes turned into an hour before a guy in a football jersey and a sleeve of tattoos came out to get us.
"I've never seen a kid not want to wake up like him," he said, leading us back. "I thought that maybe he'd be more responsive to familiar voices."
Sam just outright did not want to open his eyes. The man with the dragon tattoo finally unhooked all Sam's monitors, IV, etc. and my husband held Sam, trying to wake him up a bit. We stuck a straw in some apple juice and held it to Sam's lips and all of a sudden he was drinking. With his eyes shut. The grape Popsicle, however, got those eyes open. They sent us home with a prescription for Tylenol/Codeine.
Sam slept on the way home and I sat there, so thankful that it was such an easy, successful surgery. It was a simple problem that was treated in a single day. It made me do some reevaluating of my life. No matter how bad it is, of course, it can always be worse and while that's the absolute last thing you want to hear when you're dealing with your personal issues, it is also so true. I thought about all the parents' that take their kids in for surgery, kids whose lives depend on it, kids who spend more time in the hospital than at home. Kids that will never live to see their teens. Parents' that have to accept that and deal with it the best way they can. I was crying over the simple process of administrating anesthesia. My heart goes out to all the families that know that without the hospital, the doctors and the medicine, that their child would be dead. My heart aches for the families that know every nook and cranny of that children's hospital, having walked the halls over and over while their child undergoes another procedure.
The several hours spent there today, made me look at my kids and realize that, yes, I take them for granted and that is the most harmful thing I could do. "In a minute", "I'll play in a second" or "Later". I'm guilty of saying those often, but I don't have a guarantee that there will be a minute or a second or a later. So tonight, we pulled out the games and sat on the floor, eating cheetos and goldfish. There were no "in a second" or "in a little while".
There was only now.