Wednesday, May 22, 2013


We made it through strabismus surgery, and my girl has, once again, amazed me with her bravery, perseverance, and grace.

So, so brave. 

We were up bright and early Monday morning, dressed appropriately, and off to the hospital.   

We signed in, and we waited.  Sammie B hadn't been allowed to eat, and she kept telling us she was hungry, but we waited.  We passed the time together, just the three of us (a friend came to our house early and took Mia to daycare for us).  We waited for two hours -- my stomach in knots, pacing a little (and trying not to let my own anxiety show) while Mr. B, (seemingly) calm as a cucumber, entertained our bee, and got oh-so-many giggles.  The deep-belly, pee-your-pants giggles.  Just what my nervous heart needed to hear.  Over and over.  

When it was time for them to take her back, she held Dora in one hand, Diego in the other, we kissed her head and we all said our "I love you's" and they wheeled her away (she'd had some medicine at that point to make her a tad loopy so she didn't get upset when we said good-bye).  I fell apart, B held it together.

Our girl was so, so brave. 

The doctor had told me surgery would take about an hour.  It took two.  In the last half hour, I damn near fell apart.  I paced, watched the screen that showed each surgical case (by number) and their status, and asked three (yes, three) different surgical nurses that happened to walk by to go get updates for me.  One was kind enough to do so.  She said they must be finishing up soon because they'd just asked for a spot in the recovery room for Sam.  My heart stood still.  I just wanted to see my girl.  My heart raced.  I told B, "I don't think there's any worse place to be sitting than in a hospital, waiting to hear that your child is okay.  I hate this."  I did -- I hated it.  

I kept pacing and I caught a glimpse of them wheeling our sleeping girl through the hall to recovery and wanted to just run to her, but I waited, with my heart racing.  The anesthesiologist came in and said she did well, though he couldn't speak to the technical aspect of the surgery, just the sedation.  My heart raced faster; I asked him to please go find our surgeon before I fell apart.  Then, our doctor came in, smiling and said, "she's waking up now, and I want to get you back there -- all is good."

Our girl woke up a mess.  An absolute mess.  Thrashing and screaming and crying that her eyes hurt her.  She was inconsolable.  We held her.  We talked to her.  The doctor said she had woken up from the anesthesia too soon, so confusion and the effects of sedation were making it all worse.  They gave her some morphine in hopes she'd sleep a bit longer and wake up in better shape.  I paced (and cried silently), hating that she was in such pain, and trying to say something to calm or help her.  B held it together, and held her.  We both tried to comfort her as the morphine kicked in and her screams went to soft whimpering of "I'm so so so sad that my eyes are hurting me."  My heart crumbled with her whimpers, and I thought I was going to fall over.  

But then, she fell back asleep and slept soundly for another 45 minutes and indeed . . . woke up in better spirits.  Still a little groggy and confused, but not screaming or complaining of pain.  We came home and laid around in bed, in the dark.  She dozed in and out and listened to a few movies with B while I ran out to pick Mia up and kept Mia (somewhat) entertained.  I'd asked Sammie B if there was anything I could get her at the store to make her happy and she told me "one of those pillows that lights up like I saw on TV."  So, I went hunting, and found one.  Twenty dollars well spent.  That pillow has brought our Sammie B tons of joy.  She's sleeping in our bed right now post-surgery and woke me up three times last night to tell me she loves it. She also asked us all day to please go buy one for Mia (though sweet, I'm not sure this is completely out of generosity, I'm pretty sure it is because she wants Mia to have her own so Mia isn't interested in taking hers!).  

This morning, B took Mia to daycare and let me and Sammie sleep in . . . which we did -- until nearly 10 am!!!  When she woke up, I asked her how she was feeling and she said, ""happy!" and my heart felt such relief.  

And she really has been mostly herself all day. 

B came home from taking Mia to daycare with some little balloons that have kept us all giggling all day (though Elmo unfortunately later floated away to bigger adventures, after Mia took the weights off his feet when no one was looking, much to every one's disappointment).  

It might be awhile before we really know how effective the surgery was -- her brain has to get used to the new position of her eyes and figure out the muscles all over again.  The surgeon did say that once he was inside looking around, he could tell that the muscles he had operated on before had slipped out of place quite a bit.  That's good news, in a way (though we would of course rather that not have happened!) . . . because the "slipping" from prior operations is not uncommon for strabismus surgeries, so now we know that's what happened and not just that something got worse on its own, without any explanation.  

I have (figuratively) exhaled a breath so big I had no idea I was even holding it in or how I was holding it in.  

This surgery - that I've been dreading for months - is behind us.  Behind her.  

She was so, so brave.  She amazes me, every single day.

Tomorrow we take her to her post-op appointment with the surgeon, and we'll also be taking our sweet Mia into the pediatrician -- she got sent home from daycare sick today (life always throws us curve balls and with impeccable timing!), and needed some TLC herself tonight.  I stayed up to get some work done tonight, and am just hoping both of my girls are better tomorrow. 

Thank you for all of your warm wishes, prayers and positive thoughts.

This surgery is behind us.

I remain inspired by her.   

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