I've known it was coming for over a month. In fact, I pushed for it to be performed as soon as possible, but I still broke down and cried as I slid between the sheets last night.
Surgery is scary no matter how old you are, or how many times you've endured it. Thank God we live in a country that has skilled surgeons available with the latest technology. But...
When you not-yet-two-year-old is the one going under, a little scary shifts to terror in the mommy heart.
Booger had his ear tubes put in this morning. He's had six very serious double ear infections since last March, three of them between Halloween and Christmas 2007. The infections are becoming more resistant to antibiotics, making them harder to treat, along with increasing the risk of hearing loss.
Morning came too early. I didn't sleep very well. I got myself ready, downed a flavorless bowl of Special K and filled the car with diaper bag, Elmo and Thomas the Tank Engine. Moments before I left is when I peeled a sleepy-eyed little boy off his mattress.
"Blanky!" He cried arching his back, stretching his arms toward the smelly fleeced leopard print taggy blanket.
"It's time to go bye-bye so the doctor can fix your ears." I said while buckling Kyle, Elmo and Blanky into the car seat.
"We'll see lots of them. Trains too."
There's no quick way to get from South West Denver to Central Denver. Kyle chattered, pointed out trains, tow-trucks, buses and airplanes as we scurried up Santa Fe toward 6th Avenue. I had to get there early enough to buy a latte. I'm no fun to be around until I get my coffee buzz. The guy behind the cart at the Franklin Center (Kaiser Permanente) looked at me and asked, "Quad shot?"
John joined us while Kyle sat in pre-op, shuffling through the stack of Thomas and Elmo stickers given to him by the nurse. "Does he like wagons?" the nurse asked.
Moments later, John and I took turns running up and down the hall of pre-op making weird motor noises, zig-zagging wild patterns and even trying to steer the Booger backwards. He shrieked with glee. Patients in those attractive, butt-baring gowns waved from their cubicles and honked.
When the surgeon came in with the OR nurses, she told Kyle he could take his blanket and train into the OR. She even allowed him to ride in the wagon instead of a gurney. His giggles bounced off the sterile walls as he was rolled away. John and I locked eyes. I took a deep breath, loaded the diaper bag and Elmo into the empty stroller and we meandered our way back to the waiting room.
Surgery was over in 20 minutes. A nurse led us to the recovery area, and there was no question about Kyle's location. We heard him long before we saw him. He was in a doped-out funk. I sat in the recliner chair and held him, kissing the swirly cow-lick on his fuzzy little head. His cries softened a bit as John made faces at him, but shot up to full volume whenever a green-scrub wearing person entered his field of view.
Then all of a sudden he wanted "waters" or juice. I came prepared. His Nalgene bottle was filled with apple juice. He downed that stuff faster than a frat-boy at a kegger. Swallowing hard, he looked at me; "Cookie?"
Booger was back to his boogey little self. Ate two cups full of cookies and was on his way home, pointing to buses, trains, policey cars and fire-trucks.
Kyle's ears were jammed full of "gook". That's what the surgeon called it. She marveled at how he was able to hear at all with so much gook. Now that it's gone, she says he'll experience a whole new world of sounds.
In six weeks, Kyle will have another hearing test. I pray he passes that one.