I won't keep you in suspense - Tani's surgery was cancelled at almost the very last moment. We arrived at the hospital bright and early on Friday morning, so early that the valet parking wasn't even open yet, much to Tani's exasperation.
First we met with a nurse who admitted us. I mentioned that Tani had a cough the night before, but she listened to her chest and didn't hear anything, so we moved on to the next phase of pre-op, the putting on of the lion themed pajamas and settling in to our own little waiting area, where we were met by Tani's new bff, Jenn, the child-life specialist, who really, thank God for her, because she wound up hanging out with Tani for the next three hours while the doctor and the anesthesiologist debated whether the surgery would happen at all that day.
Tani, of course, did not cough once while we were there, waiting. But since I had already reported it, the anesthesiologist felt she had to follow up on it. Part of me was thrilled - yay! maybe we can just go home, we don't have to do this today! Or maybe ever! But the other part of me was horrified: we spent SO much time planning, on logistics for the other kids, on packing and making sure everything was ready, how can this be happening?
But it did happen.
In the end, the anesthesiologist put the decision back in our laps. Which, honestly, I did not appreciate one bit. I'm not a doctor*, how can I make this decision?
She laid it out like this. The very kind anesthesiologist said, sure, we can go ahead with this. We do surgery on kids who may or may not have a compromised airway all the time, but why should we? If it was my child, I'd run. It's not worth it. But whatever you guys decide, we'll work with.
This might have been one of the hardest decisions we have ever made. Not because we didn't want to do the right thing for Tani. We did, desperately. But the emotional roller-coaster was almost too much, we were exhausted before the surgery even started and now we were being asked to make a medical decision. We don't even like making regular decisions. And we were starving, because we didn't eat anything in solidarity with Tani who couldn't have anything solid since midnight the night before.
So to recap, we were exhausted, overwhelmed and starving. Obviously, the perfect trifecta for making major decisions.
At the end, we opted to hold off. The anesthesiologist looked almost relieved that we did.
The doctor's residents, on the other hand, looked like they were going to cry.
As for Tani, I don't think she really gets what happened (okay, great! so we can go get breakfast?), but Josh and I are certainly grateful that we held off, because her small cough has turned into a nice big one, and recovery from any surgery, but especially back surgery, is made that much worse when you are coughing every few minutes.
And of course, almost the minute the surgery was cancelled, Tani started coughing in the hallway. And all the nurses, residents and the doctor smiled as if to say, ah, there it is, that mom isn't totally insane.
I smiled too, because no one likes to be thought of as crazy. Even me.
*I'm definitely not a doctor. But Josh is. Not a medical one. But he did graduate with his EdD last night. So so proud of you, Dr. Josh. What's a decade among friends, right? :)