It was certainly a day I have been dreading. My little girl was having an operation, following an ongoing issue that has been affecting her daily life. A minor one but an anaesthetic and an operation nonetheless. Minor to adults maybe, 3 year olds not so much.
So Friday morning I was awake before my alarm, obviously. I secretly scoffed my own breakfast before waking her. She was obviously nil by mouth.
Mr Tammy decided he couldn’t deal with the day. The thought of his little girl being put to sleep was too much for him. As such my Brummie Bestie really was a bestie and picked us up bright and early at 6.30 to be there for 7.30. Of all days it was snowing, sheeting it down but we made it unscathed, despite a few requests for breakfast from the little one.
Fortunately the children’s ward is stacked high with toys. My girl was in heaven and amazingly was distracted enough by a toy kitchen and cooking pretend food for us to not think about her rumbly tummy. Weird right?
So here we sat for the next 90 minutes as she had her obs, anaesthetic cream on both hands and a chat with both the surgeon and anaesthesiologist. GULP. Shit was getting more real. Thank goodness for my brummie bestie who kept me laughing and distracted with general life mayhem.
I was relieved to know my little girl would be the first procedure of the day. I didn’t know how I would be able to explain why she couldn’t eat and what we were waiting for had she started to ask. She did ask a few times but she generally accepted that she wasn’t allowed food until the doctors and nurses had fixed her poorly. That and you know, the toys.
Being summoned to ‘go upstairs’ was daunting, bordering on horrifying if I am honest. I knew what was to come and my poor little girl was oblivious, which was absolutely a good thing. Her age worked in her favour here.
There we were, the moment I had been dreading. My girl, two anaesthesiologists, a HCA and myself in a windowless, sterile, medicinal room, specifically for the purposes of knocking them out. I was told she would fight the cannula and the anaesthetic so they had the gas ready. Gulp.
The staff were fantastic, so gentle and calm. The HCA sat with me and talked to Z to distract her. With her hand behind my back the two anaesthesiologists went about inserting her cannula. Her hand was numb but she knew something was going on. She was amazing. She didn’t cry, scream or shout. She sat there quietly but clearly scared. She didn’t answer any questions but she didn’t protest.
She then looked up at me with one solitary tear rolling down her face and said ‘Mummy I want to go home’. My heart broke. If I didn’t have to keep it together for her I might have exploded. I cuddled her a little tighter and told her we would go home later on and see Nanny, Daddy and her brother.
Cannula in, the whole room couldn’t believe how easy it was. Just the anaesthetic to go now.
We told her we needed to give some milk to the teddy bears on her plaster over the cannula and she offered up her hand after some hesitation.
‘She’s going to really floppy in a second so make sure you have her tight’
She dropped heavily into my arms and I placed her on the bed, under anaesthetic.
‘Give her a kiss mum and you can leave the room’
With that the tears came. I kissed her, whispered in her ear and left the room with my eyes filling. It was finally done. I was relieved. After all the angst building up this moment it was done and my darling first born was led on a bed at the hands of the others. I pulled myself together so my bestie didn’t have to worry about giving me a hug (you’re welcome) and was told to be back on the ward in 30 minutes.
There I was 30 minutes later. No news. 40 minutes, no news. 50 minutes no news. Each minute that passed felt like an hour. I was getting twitchy. Why wasn’t she back? Had she had a reaction to the anaesthetic? What was wrong? 60 minutes, no news. My friend was amazing, she kept me talking and busy but she could sense my growing panic. I’d watch everyone who walked through the door, expectantly.
‘Z is ready’
Oh THANK GOD. I knew it was ok. She was ‘ready’ and I was taken back up to the theatre to meet her. She was carried out by a nurse, confused and sore. She was upset and the look on her face when she saw me almost floored me. She was relieved but full of sad in her eyes. What had just happened to her? Why wasn’t I there when she first opened her eyes (You’re not allowed to be).
We spent the next hour cuddling on her hospital bed. She wanted to go home. She was a bit upset and said bits hurt but as the time wore on and the anaesthetic wore off she picked up.
There I was ready for a day in the comfiest hospital bed on a boiling ward cuddling my little girl, maybe we’d have a nap – it would just be us laying there together. It would be quite nice. Then I heard ‘mummy can we go play now?’ … Don’t sit for too long now will you.
But I knew all was going to be OK and it was.
She ate, she played, she was sore but she was OK.
I on the hand was starving. It was 4pm and I hadn’t eaten since 6, the ward was roasting and I was debating whether I was about to fall asleep or pass out.
Since, she’s done really well. It’s Sunday night and she no longer needs Calpol or Nurofen to take the pain away, she played in the snow today as though nothing has happened.
She puts us adults to shame. Us who would have spent the weekend in bed recovering and feeling sorry for ourselves. She was a real superstar. However, she still has 1 of the 3 heart monitor stickers on her chest as when you try to take them off she goes absolutely bat shit crazy and freaks out. So that might be there a while….
Often when I put my babies to bed I am exhausted and grateful of bedtime, that night after operation day, I sat with them both as they fell asleep and felt so incredibly grateful. I was so grateful to have these two beautiful babies, so grateful that operation day is now the worst of the medical attention they both require, grateful they are happy, healthy and at home with their family.
I love the bloody bones of those little people.