Thursday, November 29, 2007

Okay, Deep Breath......

First of all, the good news, Andy will be going back to work on Monday. Turns out they needed him after all. BIG sigh of to play the catch up game on bills.

Bad news?

Well on Wednesday when Rhett goes in for surgery......

I am going solo.

I know this is not a major surgery, just a bronchoscopy, and removal of some scar tissue that built up in his throat when he was inutabated with a tube that was too big.

But this is scary for me. Andy has been my rock for the last 11 years of my life. He has always been there for me through everything. I know I am sounding like a baby, but imagine with me for a minute.

Imagine that you take your child in to a hospital for a very simple procedure. Imagine that they put your child into the ICU overnight to watch them. You have this amazing sense of security that this is the safest place for your little one to be. You have seen this place work miracles on your child not a year before, and you feel like there is no better place to be if you have to be in a hospital.

Then imagine with me that you leave your child for a few minutes to go walk around and stretch your legs. Your husband comes to find you because you are being transferred out of the ICU, the next step on the road home. You both are on cloud nine because this is nothing like the previous hospital stay, where you spent a month there with this same child recovering from heart surgery. You are joking around with each other, and playing together like giddy teenagers.

Imagine that you hear your name being paged over the intercom to return to the PICU. This does not alarm you, you figure it's just time to be transferred to the floor. You continue playing together all the way down the stairs and to the phone that lets you into the PICU doors.

Imagine that you pick up the phone, tell them who you are, and the doors open. But instead of just walking in and around the corner to your little ones bed, you are met at the doors by a social worker.......who has tears in her eyes. The same social worker who had been playing with your child not two hours before.

Imagine that she shakes her head and says, "I am so sorry, I don't know how to say this, but as soon as you left your child coded."

Just imagine the whole world spinning around you as you try not to collapse on the floor. The only reason you are still standing is because your husband who has supported you through everything is holding you.

Then imagine walking over and seeing over 30 doctors, nurses, and resiratory therapists working on your child. They are doing chest compressions, and where you had left a perky little baby not 15 minutes ago, was now lying on a backboard being franticaly worked on. His toys and his favorite teddy bear are discarded all over the floor as if they have no meaning. It takes a minute to realize that they are there and not in his crib because your child is in critical condtion.

Imagine that it all of the sudden hits you that you may never see his smile again, or play patty cake with his perfect chubby little hands, or see his blue sparkling eyes looking up at you with that amazing innocence that only a child can have.

Imagine the whirlwind of doctors coming over to talk to you and explain what is going on. They tell you that he is stable, then they tell you that things did not have to be this way. They tell you that it was a mistake, your child recieved to much medication, this caused your child to quit breathing, and his heart to stop. There is only one thing you can think of to ask....."Is he going to be okay?"

Imagine that they tell you as far as they know he should recover, but there is the chance of brain damage. The next 24 hours are critical as to how he will recover.

Imagine that you walk over to your child's bed and he is lying there, his eyes are all red and puffy, he is swollen, and he has a machine breathing for him. All you can do is look at him , and through the tears tell him you are so sorry that this happened to him.

Imagine things not going the way the doctors planned while your child recovers. It takes much longer than planned. When your child wakes up he is different in very small ways. He doesn't play the same games anymore, he doesn't stand and take steps anymore. His eyes now shake back and forth more, and his head begins to shake as well.

But you are so thankful that he is there, and you have him. In many ways he still is the same child. After weeks of recovering you pack up your things and go home. You hope that you never have to go there again, but know that this is not a reality.

Imagine that you go through the motions of the days, but the pain is always inside, you remember the events as if they just happened yesterday. Everytime you go to this hosptial for an appointment your stomach flip flops as you turn the corner and wind your way up the road.

Imagine everytime someone is paged over the intercom or a code is called you want to grab your child and run from everything and everyone before something bad happens.

Then imagine that you realize you have to take your child up there again, hand him over to the anesthesiologists and doctors and pray with all of your heart that nothing happens. That he will be okay. You try not to think of them putting him to sleep and putting that breathing tube into his little throat again, because it reminds you of that day too much, and it is just too painful.

Imagine that you have to go through this alone, without your rock there standing by you telling you it's going to be okay.

I will do it because I have to, I have to do it for Rhett.

But it won't be easy.


Emily said...

Oh Pam, I feel so aweful that THAT happened to Rhett. I can definately understand your fears. I am sorry that you will be alone when Rhett goes in for surgery. We will be there to that day (although I am not exactly sure what time or where). If you need support or someone to worry along with you (which we will be doing anyway) I would be glad to provide a warm body.

~Melissa~ said...

I'm sorry that you to go on your own, I'm sure that has to be so hard. I'll be thinking positive thoughts for you and little Rhett.

Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

Hugs. I have been there. It is not easy going alone. Do you have a long drive too? Try to begin imagining that everything will go well and you will be strong and make the best of the situation. Sometimes doing that sort of brain imagery helps me cope. Prayers!

Michelle said...

Rhett's story just breaks my heart. I wish I could help, or say the right thing.

RK said...

First I just want to say that it's so great that you can rely on your husband that way. That is a blessing in itself. I know it's not fun to do these procedures, even if they are small, by yourself, although I don't have the history of bad situations like you do with little Rhett. We'll pray this becomes a new positive experience to help make future ones easier.

carolyn q said...

I have lived that same nightmare in the ER at Primary's.
I know it's hard to go alone and be your own rock. You can do this because it's what Rhett needs. I wish I could get away from work to just sit with you.

Michelle said...

I'll be with you in spirit, as always. Don't forget - you're the rock!!

Love from us!

Mayte said...

Oh Pam, you have to block all those horrible experiences in order for you to function. Believe me, I know it is hard since a nurse also overdosed Joaquin in some medications which prompted the hospital to intubate him also. But it is so different right now, especially because you are going without Andy, so you have to be 100%. I have been reading your blog for awhile now, and I KNOW you are strong and you will be able to do it for your child. God belss you and your family, we will be praying for Rhett AND for you.

Anonymous said...

good luck on the surgery......
you and rhett are in my prayers.

Damama T said...

Dear sweet Pam,
I have never been so moved as I was reading this. The love and devotion you show is beyond anything my words can describe. Through all the trials with my own children, I have always thanked God that they were alive and mostly healthy. Until now, I had no idea just how glad I should be.
Thank you for sharing your pain and fear, trials and triumphs, sorrows and joys with us. The lives you touch will be innumerable. The healing you nurture in yourself, your son and your family will also help others begin to heal and to step out in courage when the need arises. Bless you and your family. You are all in my prayers.

Kari said...

Oh Pam I am so sorry you have to go through all this alone. I am writing this through my tears. I feel for you Wish you were close and I could come with you. It is tomorrow I believe and I will be praying for Rhett!!

Niksmom said...

Pam, I am sorry to be so late in stopping by. I know full well what you have described and ther is no hell on earth like it. But, and I am not a religious person, I believe this is part of God's plan to show you how incredibly strong you are. How much Andy (yes, Andy) leans on you, too. He knows you will provide enough love, faith, and strength for Rhett and he knows you will do whatever it takes to bring him home safe and sound.

You will be supported by the faith and prayers and belief of all of your family and friends.

xoxo, Niksmom and Nik (and Niksdad, too, who is MY rock)