I am sorry for neglecting you. I really am. But for once, I have a valid excuse. I know, I know, we’ve been down this road before. I don’t blame you for being skeptical. If roles were reversed, I’d be the same way.
My youngest daughter had to have surgery a couple of weeks ago. Ureteral reimplant. Which sounds freaking scary, so even when the doctors explained not only the necessity of performing it but the fact that it was routine, and unlikely to result in any complications, I was still pretty much terrified. Piper is one and a half, and the baby of the family, and no matter how competent the surgeons and staff, or routine the procedure, it’s a tiny little patient, who knows how she will respond to anesthetics, and there is a reason there is malpractice insurance. Stuff happens. Sometimes awful, irreversible, fuck up lives and families kind of stuff.
But we knew about Piper’s kidney condition before she was born, she’s had like 97 urinary tract infections over the last year (slight exaggeration), and her system was really nimble at figuring out ways to juke or outsmart all the antibiotics we threw at her. So, after getting second and third opinions that all confirmed this was the right course of action, there really wasn’t much left to do but put my trust in someone else’s hands and watch my daughter wheeled away on a gurney. Which, I have to say, is one of the most awful things you can witness as a parent. A four hour surgery is no joke, no matter how much the docs try to downplay it.
Still, for all the stress and anxiety it induced, the surgery itself went off without a hitch. And while there are no words to adequately describe how much it absolutely sucked to see my small, helpless daughter with an IV, epidural, catheter, stent bag, heart monitoring stuff, and probably a toaster plugged into her, we knew (or thought) it was a short term thing, and recovery would simply be a matter of time.
She was discharged as expected, and things seemed to be going OK at home until last weekend, when she suddenly developed a fever, was sluggish, refused food, and had massive diarrhea (oversharing, I know, but just trying to give context for the depth of my neglect here). My wife called the doctors, and they advised us to hold off until the fever hit a certain point, and seemed confident it wasn’t an infection of any kind, just likely in the “normal” range for recovery response.
But my wife wasn’t buying it, and I wasn’t really either. Something seemed wrong. So very NOT normal. We took her in, hoping we were just being overprotective parents, because that would mean just a few hours of unpleasantness at the hospital. As it turns out, Piper had not one, but at least two, and possibly three infections raging in that tiny body of hers, C. difficile colitis being the worst offender. We spent another four days there until the infectious disease folks got involved and (hopefully) sorted things out and came up with the right cocktail of meds to treat everything and (hopefully, again) eliminate the necessity of us having to bring her back in.
We got great care while at Loyola Children’s, and I appreciated the doctors proceeding cautiously to make sure we didn’t have a repeat performance. And it’s a really good thing Kris was the one there full-time and I was the one shuttling back and forth, because if it was me stuck in there, I would have been throwing tantrums, holy fits, and jello at nurses. OK, maybe not jello—the nurses really were marvelous on the whole—but I wouldn’t have disguised my frustration and anxiety half as well. I suck at that. Like, seriously. Big time.
Kris handled it like a champ, though, and Piper was discharged yesterday. And now that she is home, she is eating, drinking, and laughing again. Not 100%, but a lot better than she was a few days ago.
Here’s hoping that was a freakish one-off, and we don’t have to go back except for a test in a few weeks.
Needless to say, work, bills, and book stuff suddenly seemed, if not completely trivial, at least vastly unimportant. Things like this have a way of providing perspective, reminding you that there are far bigger things to stress over in life beyond a late fee for a missed credit card payment, or a flat tire, or spoiled milk in the fridge. Although the last one does blow. Especially if you discover it by drinking it and not by noticing the date.
So, I’ve been a little too preoccupied with Life happenings to regularly update anything here. But, presuming there are no further complications, I should be back to it shortly.