Monday, June 30, 2014

Bent Wings -- A Scoliosis Journey: The Countdown

So we're midway through the summer break.

Kids across the land are staying up late, sleeping until noon (or later) and (some are) packing in as much fun in a day as they can. Movies, parties, sleepovers, trips to the mall...

Well, not my kid. She's packing as much TV watching, music listening and macaroni eating as she can between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 a.m., staying up until dawn and sleeping until late in the afternoon.

And the big Fourth of July weekend is coming up. Families across the land are planning bar-b-ques and luaus. Some packing up for trips to the beach, to the mountains, to the Caribbean or to Disney.

But not us. We'll be headed to Ochsner Foundation Hospital.

We are three days out from Lora's long-awaited surgery to repair her Scoliosis -- 48 degree curve. We will arrive on the second floor (Same Day Surgery) at 5 a.m. on Thursday, where a team of surgeons will fuse my daughter's spine from the third Thoracic vertebra to about the fourth Lumbar vertebra. T3-L4. I won't get more graphic than that. I could. Believe me, I could. But I won't. Not out loud.

In my brain, however, it's all happening now. Over and over again. I have imagined every moment, every scenario (yes, even the unimaginable ones). I can't stop thinking about what will happen, what could happen, what might happen, what should happen, what I think will happen.

Believe it or not, I was worse before last week. Before last week, I had entrusted (mentally) my daughter's well-being to The Surgeon, the cocky arrogant one who wasn't very forthcoming with information and made us (well, me) feel stupid for asking the stupid questions. We didn't doubt his abilities, however, because, well, neither did he.

Then we learned that on Lora's team will be Dr. Waldron, the young baby-faced orthopedist who first treated Lora, who braced her and kept tabs on her. We always did like him and he always treated Lora like a person in the room, not a piece of furniture. Dr. Waldron's nurse actually called us to tell us this and invited us to meet with him to ask any questions (!).

So we met with him on Tuesday. And I got more information out of him in five minutes than I got in three visits with the other guy. We talked drugs and anesthesia and cuts and scars and sutures and pre-op and post-op. I was able to ask him all the questions I wanted, without feeling like I was a fool -- or a pill. And it went a long, long way to soothing this frazzled mother's nerves. I actually slept through the night!

OK. Once.

Yeah. Now I'm back to waking up in the middle of the night, worrying -- NOT about what could go wrong. That's not it. I'm worried more about what I already know will happen -- the horrible pain she will be in, about which she has no idea. The immobility. The drugs. The effects the drugs will have on her. The indignities about to be heaped upon an extremely modest 13-year-old girl.

We've done our best to keep ourselves occupied. We went to the beach, we had a few pool parties and bar-b-ques, she's had a few sleepovers, Coach and I went on our annual trip to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches. I have made myself get up at 7 a.m. to walk and sweat in the Louisiana humidity then spent whole days floating in my pool.

Lora, meanwhile, has slept. And eaten. And had her BFF over. And had a three-day sleepover with my BFF and her BFFs while her parents went to Natchitoches. And watched The Office. And forced me to binge-watch Teen Wolf. And convinced me to let her cut off all her hair. And tried false eyelashes. And is trying to convince us that she needs a new iPhone before she goes to the hospital. And found out that her OMG FAVORITE BAND The Arctic Monkeys are coming to Voodoo Fest. And got me to promise to take her. And discovered that her grandmother still has an old turntable and records in her house!!! And learned that getting blood drawn doesn't hurt all that much. .

It's been a pretty good summer... Even if we only have three days left...


1 comment:

  1. Reading about your anxieties and worries reflect the feelings of so many parents. I am happy that the second doctor was more compassionate. I wish you all a safe and balanced recovery.

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