You go in imagining all of these horrible scenarios that will arise while your child is recovering from surgery. The pain, the vomit, and the hopeless feeling you will have because you can’t help them. Then they wake up and you’re pleasantly surprised how well they seem to be doing. Until 24 hours later when everything comes crashing down around you.
My daughter had her surgery and I sat there waiting, by myself, for her to be done so I could see she was OK and to know she made it through without any problems. After the longest four hours of my life, I finally get to see her and she looked good, especially compared to what I had envisioned in my head. She wakes up and she cuddles with me and drinks a bottle and even eats some food. She’s almost happy, even though she’s in a small amount of pain. We get through the rest of the day and she is doing great. I couldn’t have asked for more than what I was seeing. She is so strong and she proves it over and over again. The night was long because she wasn’t sleeping well, but I don’t think anyone really sleeps well in the hospital. We get up and start our day and the nurses and I are discussing how well she’s doing, and how it is so amazing because I was really expecting the worst.
Two hours into post-op day one and everything changes. She is a different child. She is no longer happy and pain-free. She is screaming and thrashing and I’m sure she’s going to hurt herself. Nothing would settle her and all I could do was put her in the crib and make sure she didn’t get hurt because she wouldn’t even let me hold her. I could tell she was in pain, and the more she screamed and jumped around, the worse it became. But she must’ve been in so much pain she didn’t know how to process it. My poor sweet girl was being tortured in front of my eyes by her own body and there was absolutely nothing I could do. Thankfully, she had an amazing nurse that stayed with me and tried to help. She got extra pain meds for her and made it clear to the physicians rounding that this is not normal for her and she needed help.
After an extra dose of pain meds she settled and fell asleep. I sat there staring at her feeling so foolish for thinking we were going to get through this without more than some mommy love and Tylenol. I felt so helpless because all I could do was wait for the doctors to tell me what the plan was for her. I also felt scared. Scared of what she was going to be like when she woke up. I had no idea what her pain would be like or how it would manifest itself. Watching your child suffer is so awful, especially when you can’t help them. She’s my sweet baby girl and all I wanted to do was take the pain away and make her feel better. But instead, I had to endure the nightmare and just pray that she would find relief soon.