T.Puzzle came through his second surgery and all looks well with both his eyes. The doc checked the first eye while he was under and it appears his prescription improved a couple diopters (yay!). She also said that as he grows his prescription may improve even more. Imagine that! More good news about my child and/or children and their vision. We’ve come along way from ‘legally blind‘ and ‘your baby’s vision is worse than his brother’s’ type of information sharing with medical professionals. Hooray!
The overall surgery experience was much like I expected. He was absolutely miserable during the eye drop portion (as was I) and he woke up madder than a hornet’s nest from anesthesia. Nothing a solid nap (for Mommy, too!) and Cheerios couldn’t solve.
This week is still not so good. I think it has less to do with my daily circumstances and more to do with the dark cloud of eye surgery hanging over T.Puzzle’s head. I know the surgery is technically minor. I know that his physical pain will be minimal, his psychic pain to be great, that holding him down for 12 eye drops in one eye to be my own personal nightmare and that T.Puzzle coming out of anesthesia can be likened to an angry bear awoken too soon from hibernation. Aside from all that there is an expectation of hopefully improved vision for T.Puzzle, gratitude that there is someone in the world like Mad Dog to hold my hand through it all, and the life experience to know that whatever comes my way I will handle it.
Seriously, if I gave birth to two rambunctious dudes like Full Speed and T.Puzzle, I have to have at least a small percentage of tenacity in me, right? Even if I only have a fraction of theirs, I’m going to be just fine (and so will they).
Everyone survived little T.Puzzle’s eye exam under anesthesia. These exams are difficult days for Mommy and son. First you start with the three sets of eye drops (three drops in both eyes each round) where I have to hold him down (thankfully Mad Dog was there to hold his legs) while he thrashes, screams and cries. This does nothing to ease my nervous anxiety about the impending exam.
Then, after waiting what seems like forever and not being able to give him any food or beverage, he is wheeled back into seeming oblivion with a random nurse you just meet and you have to pretend everything is okay. You head to the waiting area and you overhear words like ‘more surgery’ and ‘tumor placement’ as doctors and nurses describe what is happening to the other waiting parents’ children. For me, my psyche is an unfortunate sponge that soaks up the distress of others and my stomach tightens into an ever increasing intense knot as we wait for word of little T.Puzzle.
Mad Dog and I have sat through more than our share of these exams with both our boys only to hear not so great news ourselves; I almost can’t stand the waiting. When the doctor comes out after what seems like ages and shares with us the inevitable news that little T.Puzzle will have to have the eye surgeries to remove his lenses, it’s almost a sad relief. At least we know what we are up against.
As the doctor shows us pictures of his eyeballs and points to how he is only able to use a tiny window of space to see out of his left eye, my emotion can’t take it anymore and the tears start to spill from my own eyes. Logically, I know he is going to be fine but on an emotional motherly level, I just want my kid to have full use of his eye(s) and 20/20 vision. When the doctor leaves, I give myself a pep talk that at least she never used the word ‘tumor’ or anything else equally catastrophic. My boy is healthy and happy and that is all any mother has a right to hope for.
I turn to Mad Dog, take a deep breath and dig deep for calm and courage. Little T.Puzzle will shortly be coming out of anesthesia and he will need me to be strong and comforting. And, I am.
Of course once we return home, I bring him into my room and we nap for most of the afternoon because being brave is one of the most exhilarating and exhausting aspects of motherhood.
What do you do with your child the night before they have to be put under anesthesia?
Anything they want.
That is why I helped little T.Puzzle reassemble his train track that we had put away the night before. I had to painstakingly put all the little signs, houses and trees just where he wanted them. And you know what? I’d do it all again if it makes him happy.