I admit I have a terrible time overcoming fear. Nothing scares me more than having something happen to my children. No matter how old they get, when something happens to one of them, the chill of fear raises from the bottom of my spine and travels rapidly everywhere in my body. The hair on my skin stands straight up like static electricity. I cannot stop the heat that causes my blood pressure to elevate.
Today my youngest had surgery. I thought about taking something to help me sleep last night. I was scared. I took nothing for fear we might miss the appointment. So, I shook with apprehension until I rocked myself to a restless sleep.
At the crack of dawn, my daughter, my husband and I went to the hospital. Not a word was said in the car. Weird for us. The hospital we usually go to was closed. Instead of going three minutes to that hospital, now we had to drive thirty minutes in traffic so a strange place. Because I am anal about being late, we were ten minutes early.
The next hour we were introduced to everyone in the hospital, at least it felt that way. Everyone told us what they were going to do today. I could not remember anything anyone said. Although, I appeared cool, calm and collected, I felt neurotic, shaky and scared. Had a deep fear inside. We have no life insurance. My husband does, but the rest of us do not. I carried the life insurance for me and the kids. When I lost my job, I could not longer pay the premiums. My husband cannot put anything else on his platter! Embarrassing! I felt ashamed.
Finally, the doctor came in. We have known this doctor for decades. Wonderful man! He made my husband and me feel better. He was using a scope to do the procedure. No huge scars. He stayed and talked a while, then left. Next, the anesthesiologist. The question: to use a pain block or not; or not was the answer. My daughter was so happy no one tried to talk her into using a block. Unfortunately, once your child turns eighteen, everyone treats parents like they are invisible-even if they are still in high school.
Then, time to go to surgery. I got up and kissed my baby fearful of the future. She kissed me and hugged me and waved. Her dad hugged her. I felt like she was going off to war. I was trusting strangers with one of God’s gifts to me. I suddenly had a flashback to when our son, at six. He held his lion and the nurse’s hand waving goodbye to us as he went to surgery. I thought, “I can do this-again.” My husband heard me. He patted my hand. Then we went to breakfast.
Once at the Waffle House, everyone was so nice. They made us feel better. We ate. We chatted. We shared our lives with strangers. They offered me a job. I will take them up on. Too soon, back to the hospital.
Once back in the room, I returned to the nervous person I was when I left to go to breakfast. I paced the floor a while, then began knitting. Soon, the doctor came in. The surgery was over. It said the damage was the worse he had seen on a girl. Nonetheless, everything was fixed. He took the time to explain the pictures he took. I was woozy now coming down off of my marathon of fear. I felt like I did after running on the treadmill way to long-weak in the knees.
My husband and I have a king size bed. When our children were little, they always slept in our bed. Things have not changed-even though they are grown. I looked to my left. My baby is finally sleeping bundled up with ice and on pain meds. She is so beautiful! I close my eyes and say another prayer of thanks to God. Her sister, brother and everyone who loves her has called. I am so blessed.
There is nothing that prepares any parent to cope with fear. The only cure is that child sleeping peacefully next to you. For a split second, I saw the baby I carried home from the hospital. She just grew up too fast. I heard her lightly snoring. I smiled. It had been a long day. I set my clock to wake her up at two in the morning for her pain pills. I rolled over. I hope my husband was warm enough on the couch.