His mood has been electric all week, he has bounced between unrestrained excitement and a childish fear of the unknown. He has gone to sleep counting the nights, he has woken up and reconfirmed the hours left before his big day out.
He is ready for his moment, his day in the limelight, his very own day on a hospital bed.
So far the speedily approach of Christmas has been overlooked because of today, because today is what Twin Boy has been waiting for.
He has played in the playroom before when visiting both of sisters on one of their repeated stays. He has sat on the edge of the automated bed, but never inside it. He has watched many a cannula be inserted into a little hand but has never had one all of his own.
My beautiful, dopey, little boy sees today as a day trip, one just for him.
His letter said minor, which really peed him off.
“It’s not minor, is it mummy?” he questioned, and I told the truth “no it is not.” For me watching any of my kids being artificially put to slumber is never minor, not for them, not for me. Sure, there are worse things, far worse, and I don’t wish them on anyone, but for today, this is hard, and scary, and I, for one, will be glad when it is over.
The only time in my life when I has an anaesthetic was when my never met child was gently taken from my womb. That was minor, according to the letter, it felt like hell. ike desperation had invaded my soul, I went to sleep sobbing just a little, and I woke with full tears. It does not surprise me that I don’t associate anaesthetic with anything good.
But today, today Twin Boy has an exploration of his ears under anaesthetic, to see why he is struggling to hear the words that we say. We already know his little bones in the ear canal are broken, we don’t know why that is. We know he may need more surgery when he is bigger, but the simple process of grommets may ease the deafness for now. We know he will never hear as well as his sister, we know that this comes in handy when been asked to tidy up.
The hospital is familiar to me, I recognise the nurses from our stays with BB, I know my son is in good hands and he is in fine spirits.
But I worry, like any parent I cannot reconcile being in hospital with any positive thought. His bravado fades as we approach the anaesthic room, his cheeky grin turns to one of apprehension and he questions,
“It is just sleeping, right”
I squeeze his hand in reply and smile in a way intended to reassure.
He sits on my knee, laughing a fake laugh with the nurse as they hunt for Wally whilst the doctor slowly eases a needle under his skin, he doesn’t feel it but raises his eyes to mine and I see he is scared and I do my very best to look brave. Then he falls, deep into sleep, a dead weight in my arms and they take him away to a place I won’t see and he won’t remember.
And we wait, for the nurse to say he is awake, to be called to his side, to know the ‘minor’ work is all done. We wait, as we have waited before with BB, and it feels the same, like forever mixed with sadness, a confused emotion born out of nerves.
And we wait, for our son to wake up, so we can breathe properly once more.