Originally Posted: Date: Sun, 7 Nov 2010 13:57:03 -0500
Here, my surgical confession pinkies!
Last night I said I'd been dragging my feet on posting my first blog.
Today, I officially end that by sharing an experience I had when I was
9 years old. I've never shared it with anyone before *except my
mother, but she doesn't count since her reaction was null & void*.
When I was 9, I went to a new hospital located in North Carolina for
surgery. Same plastic surgeon, new hospital.
It was actually my second time at this children's hospital, but the
first time I had done just fine. I don't know what was different about
my second visit, but whatever it was, the surgery definitely didn't go
as planned, for any of us!
The morning was as usual, sitting in the waiting room, just 'waiting'
to be called back, starving like no other & jealous of everyone who
was able to eat! Lol. Then they let mom come into the pre-op room, we
met with the anesthetist team, they told me what would happen & so
forth. A while later, the anesthesiologist wheeled me back to the
operating room & started asking me about home. Did I have
brothers/sisters? How many? Where did I live?
I didn't start going to sleep with the I.V until a bit later in my
surgical career *if you will*, so the time came to put me to sleep,
with that big, bad, smelly, dreaded mask. *how I saw it back then*.
'Lay down, please.'
I did, but my mind & body apparently weren't working in accordance
with each other, because I sat right back up & grabbed him in a bear
My arms absolutely refused to let go, so the nurses stepped in.
They pulled me back on the bed & held me
down. I fought like crazy *for whatever reason, fear I guess, though I
don't know why since I'd been going through that hell for 9 years
already*, but there were hands on my arms & legs & I couldn't fight
them all off. As a kid, it felt like there were hundreds of hands on
me, holding, pressing, keeping me down & trapped. The mask was
pushed over my face & that was the end of my fight. I don't remember
anything after that. I didn't even tell anyone it had happened until
last year, I told my mother
finally. A big mistake because she just said: 'Why didn't you tell me
earlier? Stop crying. It's done & over with now.' I should have
expected that. I don't know if anyone ever told Doc A either,
but I do know he wasn't in the room. If he had been that never would
have happened. Every time after that, I remember him being there
scrubbing up & talking to me, so maybe someone did tell him. Either
way, I quit complaining after that, vocally & otherwise. I
programmed myself to chat everyone up & smile hugely like I was
going off to some great slumber party.
I suppose I new from prior experience that it wouldn't help to tell
anyone. I still had to have the surgeries. They weren't going to let
me out of it, because these were necessary surgeries, the ones that
have kept me alive. My doc didn't start doing bone grafts on me until
around that age, & if he hadn't done them, my face would have caved in
under the weight of my growing muscles, tissues etc, & I would have
died by my teens.
So I shut it out, walled it off & blocked it up.
I hope this will help others to pay close attention to their kids &
what's going on with them. I also hope if any doctors read this, it'll
help them to remember to see their patients not just as patients, but
I need to make it clear, in no way do I hold Doc A responsible. He
wasn't in the room, wasn't anywhere near me when this happened. He's a
great doc with a fantastic bedside manner! He works hard to get to
know his patients, their likes & interests, he cracks jokes with them
& has even invited us to his home for dinner. He's brought candy &
gifts to our bedsides during holiday stays & I can't say enough good
things about him! My family wouldn't have followed him from Michigan
to North Carolina if he wasn't a great doctor & a great man. We
wouldn't have battled the insurance company or driven the 14-18 hour
trips, or been the only ones who made it there in 1993 when they had a
massive snow storm, so unlikely to have hit NC! Lol. He couldn't
believe we'd made it when people who were right across the street at
the Ronald McDonald house or just a few streets over were cancelling
their appointments & rescheduling their surgeries!
I just wanted people to be aware & provide some insight so that maybe
they can find another way to handle a child next time around. After I
told my mother I didn't tell anyone else until Thursday night when I
told my Body coach. So at the moment it doesn't feel like it's helping
much. I've been feeling like throwing up or crying,
& unable to decide which will win out when I talk about it.
If it helps someone else though, I'm all for it & I can deal with my
feelings around it. I hated the complete lack of control I felt & the
helplessness of it all. Hopefully by sharing & dropping the secret
into the ether, I can get over some of my control issues & some of my
So here's to fresh starts!