Monday, June 13, 2011

I heart laparoscopy

I’ve just added another item to the list of reasons I am infinitely grateful to be living in the year 2011 – not just because we have the internet and air conditioning and elevators and automatic bill pay, but because we have . . .


To tell you the truth, I’m not even sure I know what laparoscopy is. Its some newfangled incredible type of surgery where they insert a teeny, tiny camera into a teeny tiny incision so they can remove your organs and the like without slicing you up like its medieval times. I think that’s pretty much how a doc would explain it, approximately. That’s my understanding of how they removed Primo’s appendix. Oh yeah, one more thing – they pulled the offending organ out through his belly button.

Let’s just pause here to consider how freaking cool that is.

Through his BELLY BUTTON.

I didn’t realize how cool this would be until Primo came out of the operation and I saw that instead of huge, terrifying-looking would dressings on his abdomen, he had three Sesame Street bandaids. I specify that they were Sesame Street ones not only because it is a good detail but to indicate their size, because if you’ve used those kid-brand bandaids, you’ll know they are ¾ the size of regular bandaids, like fridges in European countries.

On a normal day, Seconda is more heavily bandaged than that.

I honestly couldn’t believe it. Yeah, he was high as a kite on anesthesia and yeah, he couldn’t talk because he was hoarse from the breathing tube but at least I didn’t have to wince, and my stomach turn, at the sight of piles of bloody gauze. Thank you laparoscopy, for sparing me that.

Primo was exhausted and woozy and aching but he was relieved the other pain had stopped

”It’s pretty incredible when the patient feels less pain after surgery.” said the pediatric surgeon resident.

The nurses in the recovery area, bless them, gave him a popsicle and wheeled over a flat screen TV which was playing his favorite Harry Potter movie.

And that’s when we turned down the flame on our anxiety to simmer. With that appendix safely out, and nothing stronger than Tylenol necessary for pain relief, it felt like a ten ton weight had been removed from my chest.

That night I slept with Primo, and though cramming my body into a five inch slice of bed with my ass smashed up against the bedrail was not terribly comfortable, the relief of having him within arm’s reach made up for it. It was also convenient.

That night, in my dream, I heard this said, tiny, faraway voice call “Moooooomy! Where aaaaare you?” and the voice kept calling, so pathetically, and I thought, “Won’t someone reunite that poor, sad baby with his mother?” until finally I realized the voice was emanating from my poor, sad baby, lying next to me in the dark

“Honey! I’m here! I’m right next to you!” I exclaimed.

Between the loopy nightmares and the sudden, middle of the night trips to the bathroom, which involved me being ripped from my sleep and having to figure out, in the dark, how to unplug the IV machine and wheel the huge IV pole, with my invalid, woozy son in tow, across the shared room, to the bathroom – well, it was a long night.

Then at 6am, we were awoken by the fire alarm going on. And I do mean going OFF, the lights flashing in the hallways and the blaring siren at full volume, No one else seemed to notice, besides Primo and I, because when I ran to the nurses desk and asked what was going on, they just said, “Oh, it’s the fire alarm. But I don’t think its for us,”

“Of course,” I thought. “What was I thinking when I got alarmed by the alarm?”

So I was delighted on a number of levels when the surgeons told us we could take Primo home after lunch. So was Primo, though shortly before lunch, he discovered there was a room in the pediatric ward called “The Library” which housed a collection of about 4 million kids DVD and approximately a billion video game cartridges. Super Mario Brothers! Harry Potter! Star Wars! It was all just there for the taking. Once that was unearthed, I think he changed his mind about heading home so quickly. But, thankfully, he ate his steamed rice, pita bread and chocolate ice cream like a champ, and we were given the greenlight to go home.

And there was our filthy, tiny home sweet home with our suitcase still packed, passports still on the kitchen table. I don't think I've ever been quite to happy to see it.