Friday, August 16, 2013

Back in the (Hospital) Saddle Again


Shortly after he was born, doctors let us know that Master Blackwell was going to need to stay in the hospital for a while.

Guess who's smile is genuine.
After three nerve-shredding weeks, which included surgery and a tenuous recovery, we finally went home. But during that time, Mrs. Blackwell and I got quite familiar with hospital life.

We are at this point veterans of uncomfortable sleeps and with not seeing the outside world for days at a time. Why bother when the only thing that matters is inside anyways?

It’s not a fun existence but it’s one that, once you’ve done it, you can slip back into with ease — or so I thought.

Earlier this month, we took the boy for outpatient surgery on his foot. The surgery itself was to ensure a healthy foot as he grows up and while our surgeon had performed it countless times, you can’t help but feel nervous.

They were putting the boy under anesthetic for about an hour and using a scalpel on his foot. Under the best of circumstances this is unnerving.

But, having been through this before, Mrs. Blackwell and I approached this with the calm, cool, emotional collection you’d see in an F1 driver.

Which is to say, as surgery approached I thought I was going to be sick but still managed to paste an awkward smile on my face. Mrs. Blackwell, conversely, threw pretense out the window and cried while smiling.

My mom was on hand for the festivities and she joined the boy in being fun and cool. Though, I’m sure she too was a bit nervous even if she didn’t convey a shred of it.

Together, our goal of course was to make the boy feel comfortable but as kids often do, it was he who helped us.

11 days post surgery and TV bump.
Just making sure the dent in his head
is protected.  
Doctor’s orders dictate that your baby doesn’t eat past midnight the night before surgery. Any parent can tell you how much fun a hungry baby is and our little guy is no different but, instead of being angry, the little guy was fun right up until he went in for surgery at 10 a.m.

He was fun on the car ride over, smiling and giggling. He was fun when we checked in, giving the receiving nurse a big grin. He was fun when we put his hospital gown on. And he was even fun when his dad playfully threw him in the air and into a television suspended from the ceiling.

OK, the little guy didn’t laugh then but he didn’t cry for long either. And, thank God for that. (You want to talk about guilt? Try being the dad who knocked his son’s noggin just minutes before he went into surgery.)

The surgery went well and the boy was in his mother’s arms right on schedule. Today he’s toddling around just like before and the stitches are well on their way to dissolving, much like our nervousness.

So, despite our earlier experiences we might not have built up a tolerance for hospital life. But we’ll get another chance when we do this again in December. This folks, is a two-part surgery!

Ugh. Here’s hoping we’re not going to have a trilogy.

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