The countdown and preparation begin for Cali's second foot surgery this Tuesday. I am not referring to preparation that includes packing comfortable clothes to stay the night in the hospital or bringing my slippers to walk in the halls. I am referring to mental preparation. It takes a lot to mentally prepare for your child to go into surgery. Hospitals, doctors, anesthesia are all very scary. When you become a parent you really don’t realize how tough it can be. Every age has its challenges. We can read parenting books to give us an idea of what we are about to face. The books cannot prepare you for the feeling when your child is in the hospital. No matter what age your child is as a parent we cringe at the thought of having to go through the emotional pain of watching our child in physical pain. Mostly because there isn’t anything we can do but stand by the bedside and hold their hand and pray for them to get better as quickly as possible. As a parent we have to be our child’s strength. We have to force a smile and wipe away our tears and tell them its ok and they will feel better soon, we promise!
Sweet Cali is so strong and she does so well with all that she has goes through. This is her third surgery. Her first was when she was barely one year old and she had a cerebellum biopsy. The doc made about a 6inch incision in the back of her head and removed a sample of her cerebellum (brain) tissue in hopes they could determine a diagnosis after testing the tissue. This little tiny baby went through brain surgery and when she woke up for the first time she opened her eyes and smiled her huge beautiful smile at us. The doctors and nurses were shocked at her shining happy spirit during such a serious surgery. Our biggest hurdle through it all was that Cali caught pneumonia in the hospital and at 11 months old had a fever of 104. We had to keep in her diaper and put ice rags on her chest to keep her temp down.
Her second surgery was this past October for her first foot reconstruction. Again she woke up from her surgery in the recovery room, opened her big blue eyes and smiled brightly at the nurse. Her smile faded quick as she realized how sick she was feeling and how much pain she was in. Between the morphine drip and Motrin nothing could keep her comfortable. Her foot and leg were in excruciating pain. Rick and I felt helpless and I cried a lot out of desperation for something to stop her pain. She was on an IV for fluids and kept wetting herself and the adult diapers the hospital gave us were not working. So in all her pain we had to move her to change the bed sheets. She would scream in pain as the nurse with my help would try and move her. The worse moment of all was when during one of the sheet changes the new night nurse accidentally spilled her blood pump that was in her leg to drain the blood for the first day from her incisions. As she is crying in pain the blood is spilling everywhere. I could have strangled that nurse!! I almost did ...
So now this Tuesday Cali will go through surgery number three. She will go through her second foot reconstruction surgery. Here we go again. I think back to all we have gone through good and bad from each surgery and mentally prepare myself for the new challenging moments we will face and also what we will do to avoid the past bad experiences. I have my mental list of do's and don’ts. The biggest challenge is the not knowing. Not knowing what crazy things can come up because they always do. All we can do is wipe away our fears and tears and hold her little hand and tell her its going to be ok and she will feel better soon. We will shower her with love and focus our strength and positive thoughts upon her. We will get through this and we will come out of it stronger and wiser.