We all have our days.
Last night, as I lay in bed, all of the “what ifs” surrounding J’s tonsillectomy hit me like a ton of bricks. There were questions from the autism perspective, questions from the little kid perspective, and questions from the “I have an anxiety disorder and trust issues and this is freaking me the heck out” perspective.
Then this morning I had a bad blood draw at the very hospital he will be cared for at* and all hell broke loose in my brain.
It is hard to trust strangers with the care of my child. I have been forced to learn how to, thanks to Early Intervention and all his various therapies and I am grateful that I have been this early. I cannot imagine facing kindergarten in a few years without this background. They have shown me that many professionals are just that, professionals, and that some of them can in fact care about my son almost as much if not exactly as much as I do.
How do I trust people who are going to put him under anesthesia though? Who are going to do something that will cause him pain? How do I soothe the pain of a child who cannot articulate anything of that nature to me in an effective manner? How do I convince him after surgery that it is “safe” to drink his milk, that it’ll be okay to try it even though it hurts? How do I make him not panic about his IVs, and how do I help him wake up without being terrified to find himself in such a strange circumstance?
How do I let my son go into the operating room without me. I cannot hold his hand in there, my only comfort through so much of what we’ve gone through, and selfishly it’s killing me inside. I have a strong sense of faith and know he has at least 3 beautiful guardian angels to look over him through this but I am scared. I am scared witless.
And I only have a scant couple of weeks to cope with this fear.
I have to figure out how to be strong enough not to break down entirely on him that day, fighting my PTSD enhanced instincts to protect him and frankly run as fast as fast can be from that hospital that day. I have to figure out how to cope with the fact that his doctor, while a great man and great doctor, scares the wits out of me through no fault of his own. His height, build and manner of being sets me on edge immediately and that helps no one.
I have to make a plan to keep Miss Kitty close to me and to be right there the second he gets out so I can be right there holding his little hand as he awakens. He needs to be able to see me and Miss Kitty and everything he loves so I pray he doesn’t panic.
Anyone know how to make surgical scrubs for a fat stuffed cat?
*The bad blood draw wasn’t the tech or hospital’s fault. It was a convergence of bad luck between fasting too long, being dehydrated and having my anxiety set off by my request to be stuck in the arm rather than in the hand being thrown out the window due to bad veins. Was what it was. This hospital has given myself and my son exemplary care.
You will both be okay. It won’t be easy, but it will be harder for you than for him. Last summer, Mary had general anesthesia for some testing. When she was done, knowing she had autism, they brought her this fabulous sensory light to calm her (I have some pictures of the light here: http://wp.me/s1V6cL-envy). You’d be surprised how accommodating some hospitals can be when given the opportunity. Hang in there. Hugs.