Friday, August 6, 2010

Surgery - cont...

Day 2, we were warned would be the most difficult day (besides that horrible moment earlier described of coming back into post-op consciousness). One that would involve pain management and helplessness. I suppose having 50 years of history behind these procedures gives us the luxury of having a schedule of expectations. And again here, even knowing does not provide comfort or preparedness when it comes to the particular moment. The thing is that we're not all the same. And some of us will just about do or go through anything to avoid something else. That is the case of Theo, liquid medication and pain. You'd think that after 6.5 years and numerous occasions of having to deal with any form of medication for him, let alone liquid, we'd know better than to actually go to a pharmacy, spend the time and money for the prescription, and attempt the futile act of getting it to go into his body. It's a combination of smell, taste and psychosomatic anxiety that won't let this act happen. Trying to understand it in the moment, is as useless as trying to explain it. And on this day, it was no different. There is not much worse than seeing your child suffer and not be able to do anything about it. We hear that in one story or another from every parent. Alas, I believe it to be true. When it's a suffering that can be prevented or managed it's all the more frustrating as the common sense wielding adult. Talking, swallowing, crying all hurt.  The drama surrounding the medicine amplifies the emotions and activate the involuntary muscles that trigger more hurt. Nevertheless, time has to go by and as slow as it may seem, it did come to an end. No food. Not even the much talked about and anticipated ice cream. No yogurt, popcicle, slurpee, juice, ice chips, jello or anything else we had ready. Barely even water, but there, we had to put our foot down and force the minimum small sips to avoid dehydration. No talking - instead, Theo discovered the best way to communicate is by clapping twice to call for attention (I swore I would not buy him a bell as Safta suggested) and writing the rest down with a pad and pen. That in itself is quite amazing to go through with a six year old's writing skills. That's how we got through day 2, slowly into the night. Knowing that in the morning, day 3 would bring the beginning of the other side. On a back note,  during the moments of actual sleep on day 1 and 2 (both during day and night) the quality of breathing was such that we've not heard in Theo before. His blocked airway and lack of clear breathing during sleep is the reason we had the procedure done in the first place. So even though he may not see the end  of the tunnel, we are very much there already. I slept with Theo on the sofa bed this night. Orit and her mom, both in separate rooms needed some quiet and replenishing of their nurturing strength. But on this night there was no waking up in pain and tears. Most surprising was the deep sleep I managed to get into. No more old man snoring was coming out of the little guy. Before falling asleep I had to get real close to him and listen for breathing next to his mouth. A few days ago we could hear it from down the hall. Now I'm inches away struggling to figure out if he's breathing. Amazing.  And day 3 arrived gloriously! Discomfort is a godsend compared to pain. Even a 6 year old can appreciate that. Food and drink have come back into our routine. His voice is still like a little groggy frog and so the pad and pen are still the tool of choice. It's a path that has strengthened his need to advance his reading/writing skills as it is not just a subject of school anymore. In some instances it's the only form of communication. Quite a lesson and just one of a few gained from this whole experience. Going into this thing, Theo was excited and brave. Immediately after leaving the hospital he said he said it was worth it as an experience cause he knew it would be for the better. Today I asked him again how he feels - if knowing what he knows now, was it worth it? No, he said. The memory of pain and discomfort is still all too fresh. And I can't blame him. But I suspect we shall be moving further forward into recovery tomorrow and normalcy will be around the following corner. And then the nights will once again be quiet in the Harpaz home. The breathing will be deep, clear and healthy. And all the benefits a proper sleep will give Theo the bouncing board for growing into the potential that's within him physically, mentally and emotionally. I look forward to walking along every step of the way, teaching, learning and being.

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