Mer's surgery

On Thursday Meredith will undergo surgery. This is something we've been anticipating for about 6 months but were told she'd for sure need the surgery almost 2 months back.

We scheduled her surgery some time ago and, not wanting to make too big a deal about it, we didn't talk about it with her for a long time. But we discussed it among ourselves - Ted and I - and I talked with my family and friends on the phone. Gwenna picked it up right away and insisted she be able to tell Meredith about her surgery.

We were in the backyard, eating popsicles and playing ball. Gwenna brought up Meredith's surgery again. Mer was running around wildly, as normal, as pictured below. Gwenna was furious that her sister wouldn't sit still long enough to have the news broken to her.

Gwenna eventually pinned her down long enough to tell Mer she was going to have surgery. And Meredith looked at Gwenna like she was an idiot and ran off again.

How do you explain to a 2-year-old (granted, she's 2.5 months from turning 3) that she's going to be put under, a doctor will cut her open, insert a new part (a stent between her kidney and bladder) and then sew her back up but before she gets to go home she has to stay a couple nights in the hospital where her activity level is undetermined and she'll likely have a liquid-soft food diet for the first 24 hours? Oh, and then just when she sort of starts to forget it all, we get to go back so they can take the stent out.

I went at it something like this: "Your bad kidney is going to get a new part. The doctor is going to help you sleep and then he's going to go inside your body and put in your new part. Then when you wake up you'll have a scar like Madeline and get to sleep and play at the hospital for a couple days with Mom. Sometimes it will hurt but everyone will take very good care of you."

She enjoys going around telling people she's getting "my new hart" - because half of Mer's first letters are replaced with an H, her new "part" is a new "hart". Momentarily shocking, until I clarify.

We're glad Meredith's surgery date is nearly upon us and glad, overall, that she'll have this procedure done to prevent her from losing kidney function and to remedy the problem that has been in the back of our minds since before she was born.

The part I struggle with is my sweet, energetic, wonderful daughter being in any amount of pain. When we went to her pre-op appointment they had to draw blood. I have tried very hard to avoid my kids needing to have their blood drawn. I even declined the lead testing they urged us to do in Safford (a high lead area) knowing full well that Mer was a dirt eater. I don't like unnecessary medical anything. So when she had her blood drawn she looked at me like I was betraying her. How could I possibly let them do that to her?

But she was good. She was mostly still and recovered super fast, happy to get tape on her arm after it was over.

It just seems wrong for little kids to have to go through anything painful like this. We have enough in life that hurts - bumps and bruises and the hard lessons.

I'm not really worried though. You just can't seem to keep this kid down. She's got the moxie of 5 kids and the spirit of probably just as many. I'm not saying she's anything more special than any other kid, except that she's mine and I can say that if I want to. And she really is something special.

Soon to be new hart and all.


Amy said...

Those pictures make me laugh and smile! What a ham! :)

When S broke her leg, it was pretty sad. I'm REALLY glad the break was a hairline fracture and no leg setting was involved. I don't know what I would have done if that had to happen. The thought of it freaked me out. You really don't want to see your little one hurt!

May her "hart" surgery go well!

The Browns said...

Good luck with your "hart" surgery Mer!!! And good luck Mom and Dad! How sad and heart breaking to see your baby go through something like this. =[ Everything will go great. We love you!!! Sad we didn't get to see you when you were here. Maybe next time. ;)

Heather said...

How great is it that we live in a time and a place (and have the means!) where she CAN have surgery to repair this problem and hopefully not have any further problems as a result of it. Good luck with everything as it approaches! I know it will be hard, but I hope you guys have the support and help you need to make it a little easier.

P.S. I love her hat!