Carrying Andi while walking the hospital halls on our way to the pre-op waiting room, holy waves of anxiety washed over me. Hello hospital PTSD, we meet again. The stomach in the throat. The feeling like you've had three cups of coffee too much, veins are on fire. The smell of the hospital. The PA announcements alerting codes. The beeps of machines. Nauseous.
On the converse of all that negativity, it's the people. From the admissions front desk greeting us with a smile before the sun has even risen. The admissions clerk, sharing that her husband has a genetic disease that requires blood draws twice a month, while I sign away on various forms. To the nurses, one of whom told the other to go to her office and grab Andi one of the special new toys from her shelf -- a red dog plush that Andi named Sunny, then when we opened his collar, it showed he was already named Rover. So, now she's calling him 'Rover Sunny Miller'. The anesthesiologist (Bennett or "Dr. B") was awesome. He offered to play videos on his phone for her while she breathed into his astronaut mask to go to sleep. He offered "Paw Patrol" and all these various shows that she doesn't watch. She kept saying no to every offering. Finally, I admitted, 'she likes to watch 'The Voice' or 'America's Got Talent' -- so he offered to put on AGT and she said, 'no, The Voice!' He asked, 'who's your favorite coach on The Voice?' She instantly proclaimed, 'Kelly Clarkson!' He continued, 'yeah, Kelly's everyone's favorite coach!' We liked him instantly. We talked through her history, and he explained what he was planning to do. We then had her ENT come in and mark her skull with a pen. She marked where her glasses sit, and she marked where the posts would go. We also talked through the procedure, the recovery plan, the pain management and antibiotic ointment application schedule. Lastly, we met the two surgery nurses, one named 'Anna' (An-nah, not like mine Ah-nah!) I said every time she's called 'Anna' ("Ah-nah!") - it was due to me!
It was a great collection of people, which makes handing your kid over for inserting four metal screws in her skull -- a little easier. They are doing two on each side - the main post and then a "sleeper" screw on each side - just so if anything ever happens to dislodge one post - there's another screw in the bone to switch to.
She's been in almost two hours, so hopefully, they'll be wrapping up soon. Once she moves to recovery, her ENT will come meet us here in the waiting area to "debrief" us on how things went. Then, we can go back to be with her while wakes up. Once she's stable, we can take her home. That's when Dr. Mom goes into full effect. I imagine it will be pretty seamless to put that hat back on. Just like old times!