Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just Breathe

My sister, Olivia is arriving home in Kansas this evening from college, and the kids and I were supposed to be there with everyone to greet her. Instead, we're still home in Oregon, and to prepare for V's upcoming surgery, I took her this morning for an MRI. We left the house at 6:00, arrived at the hospital, navigated the maze of hallways (getting lost a couple of times) and checked in at Pediatric Sedation at 7:00.

The first thing they did was put numbing cream on her hands and one foot so that when they found the best vein for the IV, she wouldn't feel it,
She obligingly fell asleep while we waited, which was good, because I know she was really hungry - I wasn't allowed to feed her after 4am.

They showed us back and put a tiny little hospital gown on her, then they put in her IV. That part really wasn't fun. She didn't feel the needle stick, but I and two nurses had to hold her still, and that upset her a. lot. When the call came down from MRI that they were ready for her, the sedation nurse put the medicine in her IV, and she went to sleep.

I'm not sure how to talk about that part, or to convey how it felt to watch them wheel her tiny, still form away from me.

The test took about an hour and a half, but I wasn't allowed to go with her, so I just waited. It was a long hour and a half.

Once the test was done, I was allowed to sit with her as she slowly woke up. She was groggy, confused and upset, but she eventually opened those sweet eyes all the way and I got to nurse her. We left for home when the nurses were confident that she was going to be alright. she slept in the car and took a good nap this afternoon. She's still a little groggy, but she seems okay.
I know I don't have much right to complain about this. As I am often reminded, "it could be so much worse". I'm grateful for medical science and what it can do, and I'm glad that V's hemangioma will be a non-issue soon. I will also never, ever forget whispering how much I love her in her ear as the anesthesia took her, helplessly watching strangers wheel my baby away with no clue what to do with myself, the relief as the tension drained out of both of us when she could finally snuggle into my arms and nurse in our rocking chair at home when it was over.

I'm so glad it's over.

Thank you to my pastor, Jennifer who called first thing this morning and then throughout the day to check on us. Thank you to James, my mom and Laura for texting and distracting me while I was waiting. Thank you to the Pediatric Sedation unit at OHSU for being so kind and so gentle. Thank you to my friends who emailed or tagged me on Facebook with love, concern and prayers today. And THANK YOU to my neighbor, Becky for taking the J-bird for me. This was the first big hurdle. One more big one, and we'll be done with this for good. And what a relief that will be.

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