The Other Side (Part 2)

We got to the hospital at 8:00 am (EST) this morning and Ava’d been fasting since 4:30 am (yes – mom got up at 4:30 EST to give her a bottle).

I was exhausted before we even started the day, and Ava was none too impressed with her surgically imposed hunger-strike either.

We got her robed up in the admitting area, and then, as usual, there seems to be a lot of hurry up and wait.

By 10:30 she was ready to go in and Dr. Phillips came and got us from the waiting area. Brian went in with her to anesthesia (again) and came out looking very pale (again). I didn’t ask how it went because quite frankly – I didn’t want to know. I was having enough difficulty swallowing my latte.

And so the wait begins. We give them our cell phones and they tell us they’ll call us if they hear anything. They also mentioned it could be as long as 7 hours.

They were right.

For the next seven hours I walked five hallways, visited four washrooms, and made friends with 13 people who’s names I couldn’t possibly recall.

But my phone didn’t ring.

I can assure you, that was the longest seven hours I’ve ever spent in my whole, entire life.

By 5 pm I left the second waiting area and headed out the atrium hallway. As I was staring down into the lobby I said a little prayer and laid my head in my hands. As I stood back up I saw a smiling face in front of me.

Dr. Phillips.

He said, she’s good Melissa. She did just fine. She needed a transfusion, but she came through okay and we’re going to put her in ICU tonight just to be on the safe side.

Again – I can’t really explain how it feels when you hear those words from a doctor about a loved one, but the whole world seems to sit still for a second while a slow exhale escapes in some far away place.

I also can’t really get into much more detail tonight because to be honest, I’m emotionally beyond depleted. Instead – I’ll just post some pictures.

She was having a lot of pain tonight, but I asked them to give her some more morphine and try some formula before we left.

She drank it like a trooper and, when we left, she was snuggling monk and whimpering quietly. I know the worst is yet to come for swelling, but the scariest part is behind us.

As a parent, knowing you can’t help with a child’s pain is a terrible feeling. But as a parent, knowing that same short-term pain will benefit long-term self-esteem seems to make it just a little bit easier.

Thanks for reading. The relief is still washing over me. We’re ON THE OTHER SIDE.

PS. The tubes are under her skin to minimize fluid build up (there is one across the top of her forehead and one in the back). They will be pulled out in the next few days.


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