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Under the Knife

Kathryn Thompson

Wanda’s getting tubes put in her ears this week.  The sweet little Squishable Jub is just winding up her 7th ear infection at age 11 months and we need a little relief.  All of us.  But I’m a bit scared.  The surgery doesn’t scare me so much.  What freaks me out is the anesthesia. 

I’ve talked to other mothers whose children have undergone surgery, some much more drastic than this little outpatient job, and they’ve described how eerie it is to watch your baby be sedated and just go limp on the table.

The image gives me the willies and I’m not looking forward to it.

What I am looking forward to is going for more than two months without another infection popping up.

I am so sad and tired of hearing her cry and watching her smack the side of her head to get the ouchies out.  I’m sick of putting garlic drops in her ears while she screams like I’m assaulting her and I’m honestly unsure if they’re really even helping at all.  They are garlic and they must be keeping vampires away because we’ve had no sightings since her birth but the ear infections keep coming.

I hate the way the antibiotics affect her, the diarrhea that’s a “normal” reaction to them and how overall miserable she feels while she’s taking them.  This last round was especially bad.  5 days into her 10 day treatment, I asked the doctor if I could just stop.  She’d almost completely given up eating and nursing and would have crazy flaming acid poo every time she did eat.  I’d have given up eating too if I were her.

We’re doing probiotics now that she’s off the medicine and she’s regulating.

We’ve tried chiropractic, massage and natural remedies.  At this point we need serious intervention.  I had tubes when I was young.  I’m not opposed to them.  I’m just scared.  I want 100% assurance that she’ll be okay.  Yet I know that’s unrealistic.

I mean she crawls around my house trolling for choking hazards several hours a day and frequently finds them.  She thinks it’s hilarious to stand up in the bathtub and then throw her body backwards into the water against the tile.  She will one day learn to walk and cross the street and attend Junior High.  There’s no way that I’ll always be able to protect her from everything.

And tomorrow I’m going to watch them put a mask on her that will make her body go limp.  They promise me that it’s all very routine and she’ll wake up soon and be back to scouring the countryside for lego pieces and old crusty cheerios.  I choose to believe them because otherwise I’d be freaking out right now and I’d never want to do that, freak out about a minor surgery.

But seriously, people die under anesthetic during routine surgeries sometimes so I’m freaking out just a little.  Prayers anyone?  Stories about how your kid had surgery and it was routine and the best experience ever?  I’d love to hear about it.

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