Surgery Day Is Nearing for My Tiny Warrior

In a few days, I will be experiencing what I expect to be one of the worst days of my life. Allison, my beautiful and feisty two-year-old, is having suboccipital decompression surgery with C1 laminectomy for her Chiari malformation. They will be removing bone from her skull and cervical vertebrae to make room for her brain, in hopes that her symptoms will be relieved. I am beyond terrified. We’ve discussed the pros and cons of her having surgery and we made what we think is the best decision for Allison moving forward. But now that the time has come I keep second-guessing our decision, even though I can see that each day she seems a little worse.

I’ve read so many personal stories of parents that have gone through this already, each one a little different. It seems like their child either recovered amazingly well and quickly, or they had weeks of pain and misery. The doctor keeps assuring us that at her age she will bounce back quickly and I am really hoping that is the case because I can’t bear the thought of her in pain. She is so little and should not have to go through this, but if in the end she is happy and doing well, it will be worth it. 

Due to COVID-19, I am the only one allowed in the hospital with her, which is also scary. My husband won’t be there to help me console her, or give me a break when it all becomes too much to handle. I am still dealing with my own health issues and I just hope I can be strong and exactly what she needs me to be while we are there. We discussed the idea of him taking my place in the hospital, but I just couldn’t imagine not seeing her and being there for her in her time of need. I’m her mother and I need to be there to take care of her. 

I am dreading surgery day. I am filled with so many emotions surrounding this day, I don’t even know how to process them all. I am terrified something will go wrong. I fear that she will be in extreme pain and I won’t be able to help her. I am already anxious thinking about sitting there for hours while they operate on her. Thankfully, I have a large support system in my family and friends, and even though my husband can’t be in there with us, he will be right there if either of us needs anything. I hope and pray that everything goes smoothly, the operation is completed without complications, and she makes a speedy recovery. Please keep her in your thoughts, my tiny but fierce warrior.