On Wednesday, Aaron went into the OR. He was having a dental cleaning and an ABR (hearing test where they measure hearing using brain waves). Both went really well. He's now lost his first tooth (what??) and his hearing has improved quite a bit. He still has hearing loss, but it's moderate loss instead of severe to profound loss.
But it was what happened afterwards that tugged at my heartstrings. Because of his trach and ventilator, Aaron comes out of anesthesia really easy. He just kinda wakes up. It's nice. But not so much for the little one next to us.
She was not impressed AT ALL with what was happening. And I don't blame her. Years ago, (like 20), one of my own had trouble (emotional, not medical) coming out of anesthesia. I was told that people, especially toddlers, tend to relive those last few moments of going under when they're coming out of it. Maybe, whatever, the long and short of it is, it's not terribly fun.
And like most toddlers, she wasn't too thrilled with the IV that was in her either. Once she was awake (and everyone knew it 'cause of the screaming) they invited Mom back. She was a young mom, and my guess is, not that medically experienced. And she was almost as unhappy as her daughter. I know what upset her the most was that her daughter was upset. And since the IV was causing the issues, she wanted that OUT! They couldn't do that. It was way too soon to not have quick access. She was mad that she wasn't called back before her daughter woke up. When they tried to help her understand that they couldn't have her back there until the breathing tube was out, that was kinda the last straw.
She didn't want her daughter to have had a tube in her throat. She didn't want the IV. She didn't want her upset, so just fix things, NOW. And I felt so sorry for both of them. They hurt so much.
But at the same time, I was a tiny bit jealous. I don't think I knew when my oldest ones had surgery those many years ago that they were going to be intubated. Yeah, they probably told me, but it went right over my head. I didn't understand the need for IV access, or what happens if you can't get quick access in an emergency.
I was young, but more, I was innocent and naive. I didn't realize (not really) that there were things medicine couldn't "fix," at least that would touch me or those near me. I didn't know what happened in a "code blue", or that I could and would be prepared to do CPR on my own kid. Or that I could call 911 and be able to keep a totally cool demeanor, because I'd done it Too. Many. Freaking. Times. I didn't realize that my living room would be turned into a mini-ICU, and that I would not only know how to run those crazy machines, but would become comfortable with them.
I miss heading into the ER for something (relatively) minor, and waiting (and waiting and waiting) while others who need help more go ahead. Instead, I've witnessed as we've been the first ones, with a room so full of people I couldn't get close enough to touch him, and they move as a well-oiled machine. Having so many people focused on your little one is both comforting and terrifying.
So yeah, while I can speak medical-ese, and I count some of the staff at Primary's as good friends, I sometimes miss that person I used to be. The one who didn't understand that life can turn on a dime. The one who had no clue how to get to the children's hospital. But maybe, hopefully, I'm more understanding, less quick to judge than I used to be.
And I hope, I hope desperately, that this young mom gets to go home, rant about how awful things were, and never has to realize how vital it was that things went in the order that they did. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.