Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Totally tubular

Much better today. Yesterday I had the unsettling experience of watching my daughter being drugged into unconsciousness. But she was out for only about 15 minutes while they put a tube in one ear due to persistent fluid. Things have sure improved since I was a child patient... The anesthesiologist asks the kid what flavor of air she'd like (Sarah naturally selected strawberry, which the clear gas mask consequently smelled overwhelmingly of). One parent also gets to play a doctor on TV by donning scrubs and accompanying the child to the OR, where you hold her hand until she’s out, which was nice, because it would have ripped my heart to shreds if I had had to wave goodbye as a set of double doors closed behind her when they wheeled her on a gurney as she reached backward and cried out for me. It was hard enough pretending to talk about Disneyworld while she was breathing in the gas, then taking deeper breaths and then her eyes rolling back in her head. The doc of course assured me this was all quite normal, though I might have piped up something like “Are you sure? I’m feeling some trepidation” if her head had started spinning slowly around in a 360. Anyway, everything went fine. We arrived at the hospital at 7 a.m. to be fed into the highly efficient Child Ear Tube Insertion Assembly Line and we were actually out of there by about 10:00. Sarah, though fully awake, emitted a high-pitched keening sounds all the way home, as she was understandably disturbed by the whole experience and NOT impressed by the four lousy stickers they gave her, then slept next to me for three hours and woke up as her old self. God forbid one of the kids has to have a REAL operation, like with stitches and post-op pain and IVs. I don’t know how parents handle it. Most definitely they should have an open bar in parent waiting rooms for cases like that.

But wait! The medical-crisis fun wasn’t over! Becky complained and cried about ear pain during bedtime books, which at first we thought was a put-on to grab some of the attention from Sarah, but she was really crying, with lots of ear-rubbing and “Owwie! Ouchie!” So we called the doctor, who told us to give her Motrin and bring her in this morning, assuming it’s an ear infection (no fever). We usually lie down with the kids for a few minutes after the lights go out, but last night Becky sobbed, “I want you to lay with me for a long time,” which of course I wanted to do anyway. So the Motrin kicked in and she fell asleep in about 15 minutes. And woke up again an hour later, so I lay with her again until she fell asleep. I girded myself for a long night of up-and-down, but miraculously she slept all night and had NO PAIN this morning – go figure. So… I’m terribly unhappy when my kids are sick but I really don’t mind them crawling into bed with us, or us into theirs, actually I like it a lot, and I will be very sad when they no longer want to snuggle, touching my face, thumb-sucking, singing, playing their own quiet made-up games…

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