1. Fly to Chicago
|Brrr...it's 0 degrees but feels like -11|
3. On the day of the surgery, walk into the hospital and give them your name. Then tell them you know exactly where you are going and that you could basically find it with your eyes shut - get sad clicking sound from the volunteer as they give you the 'aww, I am so sorry' look.
4. Once you are settled in the room and faking the biggest smile ever for your kid, open all the 'guilt' gifts you just bought them at Target while spending hours in each toy aisle trying to keep their mind off the fact they haven't eaten since 6 a.m.
5. Catch up with the nurses you have seen a handful of times for the past 4 years.
6. Give your kid the 'happy' medicine that reduces their anxiety and causes hiccups and slurring of words (actually quite entertaining).
7. Here comes our friend Ernest, we call him Ernie). Ernie is slow & steady, has a Hotwheels collection that would rival Zac's, and is the one constant. Ernie always wheels us to the pre-op room.
8. Now in our second holding pattern. We wait. This is the biggest anxiety build up. You feel it coming on - the waterworks - but you refuse to let the fountains spring forth. I have some lovely banter with Nancy who I just found out is from Midland, MI, she keeps Zac in his cozy warm blankets - which is ironic because the kid hates anything warm.
9. Then they come to take my precious boy - I am assured that I shouldn't cry because he is 'in the best hands'. This I already know otherwise I would not have taken a 3.5 hour flight into subzero weather to have Dr. Bauer attend to my child.
10. Cry. Cry all the way to the waiting room. Sometimes cry turns into ugly cry. Sometimes cry is short & sweet and just causes a minor headache. Either way...there's always crying.
Now that's a Top 10 worthy of Ryan Seacrest.
I look forward to the day that I don't cry. Someday it may actually happen but I doubt it. I am not crying out of fear. I am crying because I dread when he wakes up in recovery, wanting me to hold him but knowing the discomfort it will cause to move him. I cry because I know this is not the last time (not even close) that we will go through this. I cry because I know that I have 12 weeks of living on pins & needles. Twelve weeks that have become like a game of beat the clock. Keep him healthy.
Get those bubbles nice & full before illness strikes or a complication arises and get him to the finish line - not early but right on time. It's a tricky obstacle course.
But of all the things I cry about, not one of them is for regret. Do I wish we didn't have to go through this? Duh... But I am so happy we started this early. So proud of myself that I had the guts to decide for my child instead of telling myself he could just decide for himself later. So amazed at all we have accomplished and that even in these times that I dread, we manage to see several silver linings. The biggest one to me during this process has been the Facebook Group for Giant Nevus Removal and the amazing strong parents in the group - if you are reading this and you are contemplating removal or are in the process - know that you are not alone. There is support out there. Look us up and let us support YOU.
Let's go Round 7...our tears are dry and we are ready!!