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Pre-Admission

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Surgery again for my girl.
She is braver than I.
When they ask about anxiety before surgery
I forget.
I forget they are asking her.
Not me.
Because the answer is yes.
Yes, I do get anxious.

For the Nurses

My daughter and I have been keeping company with some pretty wonderful nurses in our general hospital this week. It amazes me, what they do. They poke, prod, cajole, encourage, insist and assist. My gal has come through a pretty painful operation and is recovering slowly, and the nurses have been great. I would love to say the same about her surgeon…. I can’t.

It’s fascinating to observe the God Complex in action, up close. It truly shocks me that even today some doctors prefer patients (and presumably patient’s mothers) who do not ask questions. I was treated to a fabulous display of petulant rage yesterday when I asked the doctor a question…he took it to be (I guess) an insult or assault on his skill. It was the first time I have seen a surgeon yell in a hospital room. Lovely, and so good for patient morale, don’t you think?

Which brings me squarely back to the nurses. I imagine it can be incredibly challenging and sometimes draining to deal with sickness and death, with interfering and emotional families. I think it must be enormously difficult to have to be the liaison between difficult doctors and their patients. Our surgeon has a reputation for his atrocious bedside manner….pity the nurse who must step in afterward to clean up that mess.

So to all the nurses working 12 hour shifts on hospital wards with patients who don’t always cooperate, families who don’t always understand and doctors who don’t always give a damn, thank you. You help in ways you’ll never know.

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Watching her sleep.

My daughter, at 15 years old, has had 17 surgeries. That’s as of this morning….it surely won’t be the final tally. She is a beautiful and talented actress, a killer soccer player and an awesome volleyball player. She also has the shittiest luck medically. I won’t catalog her issues, but just know that she is ALWAYS the one in a million….the worst case scenario.

So I am watching her sleep off the anaesthetic now, face cold and pale. I realize we could be facing the impossible possibility of spending Christmas in hospital for the second year in a row. I wonder why karma has it in for my beautiful beautiful girl. I wonder if and where I will find the courage to tell her the truth about her medical future. I wonder, again and again if, somewhere along the way there was something I missed, something I could have done differently, something that would change where she is now.

When she wakes up I will have to find a path toward the truth, but for now I will watch her sleep and kiss her forehead as many times as I feel like it.