by Lillian Csernica on July 20, 2015
Michael has surgery on Wednesday morning. Bright and early, and when I say early I mean I’ll be up at 3 a.m. prepping him for the 5 a.m. departure to the Oakland Children’s Hospital. The anesthesiologist wants him to have a breathing treatment before we bring him in, along with his regular meds. Wrestling my poor boy into his percussive therapy vest at that hour will be hard on both of us.
Then we board our van for the long drive. Caffeine will be essential. Given my sleep patterns, I will probably just skip my insomnia meds and go for the long haul. I’ve pulled overnighters before for Michael’s sake. The fight-or-flight response brought on by seeing the medics wheel Michael away on the gurney should be good for a few solid hours of jittery alertness. Yes, I’ve been through this with Michael before, and no, I’m not really worried because our surgeon is the best, but Things Happen. Only fools tell themselves nothing could possibly go wrong and really believe that.
We’ve been told recovery time for this procedure is three to five days. That’s what they tell everybody. My husband is not thrilled about this, because our lives are planned very carefully on a day to day basis. Nursing schedules, what John might be doing, what appointments my husband, my sister, or I might have. I’m really hoping we get to come home by the weekend so Michael can recuperate in his familiar surroundings with all of his comforts.
And this time, I’m going to positively ENGRAVE our name and address on Michael’s enteral feeding pump. During one of our many hospital stays, the staff at that particular hospital sent our pump equipment home with some other patient. We raised hell about that, believe me. The hospital had to send a courier after the patient and parents to recover our equipment and deliver theirs. Different model pumps make a world of difference, especially when the particular formula for the food is different. The formula for Michael’s food tends to thicken up once it’s mixed. That means the tube size on the feeding bag and the related equipment inside the pump had better be matched to the viscosity of the formula. Otherwise the pump jams, the alarm goes off, and Michael doesn’t get fed.
Can you tell I’m already on edge?