You know in stressful times, it’s easy to miss the Angels Amongst Us. Heck, in non-stressful times, it’s easy to miss them. So it’s not surprising that I’ve been missing some Angels Amongst Us opportunities lately. Some of you may or may not know that my stress is coming to a head here in a few days. The boys are scheduled for surgery this Friday. Now I know it’s not anything critical or serious. God knows that many — even most — children with Down syndrome go through various childhood surgeries to repair health problems that typically accompany this diagnosis… heart defects, intestinal problems, digestive track issues and more. I’ve been more than fortunate. More than lucky! My guys do not have any of these problems. As a matter of fact, they don’t really have any major health issues at all. Even Friday’s surgery for intracapsular tonsillectomies isn’t being performed due to illness. Because they’re not suffering from recurring ear or strep infections — the usual reason for a tonsillectomy — they’re not even having their tonsils removed. Instead they’ll be having their tonsils scraped back and cauterized in an effort to get them out of the way of their breathing. Furthermore, since their adenoids are “normal” they’re not coming out either. So, even this surgery is much simpler, less painful and comes with an easier recovery than a “typical” tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy. Again, I’ve MUCH to be thankful for. (Pic: Mikey’s AAAAHHHH… showing off his wall of tonsils and uvula)
And still there is stress. They will be put under with anaesthesia and the one time this was necessary before, they just couldn’t wake up from it. I mean it took them 3 1/2 hours when we were told it would take 20 minutes. It wasn’t an over-dose, so to speak, but rather due to the slow metabolic rate their bodies processed out the anaesthesia (DS related). This is really where my anxiety lies. That, and hoping they will be well enough to actually undergo the surgery (both are showing the preliminary signs of colds). Of course, their obstructive sleep apnea which necessitated this surgery is not a small problem… But, all in all, again, we’ve been incredibly lucky! Still, they are my babies, and it is surgery, and I am nervous about it. So, maybe this is why I haven’t been attending to the Angels Amongst Us. I’ve been inwardly focused — not on me but on my family! (Pic: Brian’s AAAAAHHHH – I’ve-got-a-lump-in-my-throat pose)
However, in the midst of my family-centered anxiety, I suddenly realized there are actually quite a few unheralded angels lurking quietly in the background of my life. My family! My sister, Patti, who’s busy with a life of her own, called to let me know that she took Friday off to be here for Olivia so my husband and I can attend to Brian and Michael without worry. She plans to be here at 5:45am when we depart for the hospital, to wake Olivia at 7 if necessary, get her dressed, fed and off to school on time and to let the dogs out as needed throughout the day until we get home. My sister, Loree, called to say she’d also be here to help and/or relieve Patti once she got her own kids off to school for the day. Then, my mother called to assure me that she will be here Friday afternoon to attend to Olivia when she arrived home and to help as needed when we bring the boys home. And, finally, my father who is always there to pick Olivia up from school, assured me that he will be there on Friday and will bring her home, deliver her safely to my waiting Mom so that I don’t have to worry about her if we’re still at the hospital and I don’t have to leave the boys if we’re already home.
So, when all is said and done… it’s my family that will be taking care of me and my children.
It’s estimated that the whole process will take 5 hours assuming the boys wake from their anaesthesia in the expected amount of time. History has prepared us that it might take longer than expected. That said, we really have no idea when we’ll all be able to come home. It’s also unknown just how they will react to the surgery. I’ve spoken to numerous adults who remember excruciating pain and difficult recoveries from their childhood tonsillectomies. I don’t know what to expect from the boys. Will they be weepy? Achy? Drugged? Sleepy? Or, perhaps they’ll be out swinging on the backyard swings within 3 hours of their surgery like another friend’s child was. Who knows? But, what I do know is that my sisters, Mom and Dad will be here to help me out in whatever way I need… and I’m so thankful for this. They are truly Angels Amongst Us and I appreciate their presence in my life now and always.