Yesterday at 10:30 am, Grey, my MIL and I packed up She-Beat to head in for surgery. I've been mentally blocking how this day would unfold, so the drive in was a bit surreal. We ended up having a 3 hour wait as the cases ahead of She-Beat's were taking much longer than expected. As we waited, my anxiety grew causing me to be more snappy and jittery. I knew we needed to do this surgery to remove the cholesteatoma, but the thought of them cutting into her made me want to gather her up and run as far away as possible.
Finally we were called back to a room for surgical prep. After what seemed like forever, the surgical team was ready to take her back to the operating room. Dressed in booties, a hair net and disposable surgical gown, I carried my 2-yr old daughter back, focusing on calming her down and telling her we loved her. Not wanting to let her go or leave her as they helped her fall asleep.
The long and the short of it is that She-Beat's surgery was both successful and abnormally fast. Usually removing cholesteatomas is a 3-4 hour surgery involving MRI or CAT scan to map the growth, followed by surgery through the back of the ear to remove it. She-Beat's cholesteatoma was extremely small, so MRI was already ruled unnecessary. What surprised the surgeon was how easy it was to remove. He quickly found it, sucked it out and then spent the rest of the time making sure he truly had removed it. All done through the ear channel meaning that the surgery was very minor. The results have been a super fast recovery, with only minor pain medicine required. Watching her devour her dinner last night, my MIL commented that one wouldn't know she had even undergone surgery that day. And I am beyond thankful for how lucky we've been.
Still, the trauma from this experience left me in tears. Finding a secluded bathroom while She-Beat was in surgery, I finally allowed the fear washed over me. I cried over having to do this; over having to hold her while they administered the anesthesia because it was so evident how terrified she was. I cried as I allowed my mind to go to the worst case scenario. I cried because it was my job to protect her and I felt like I had failed her.
Two years ago, as I lay on the operating table and listened as the Beats were pulled from my body, I made a promise to them that I would do what ever was required to protect them and help them thrive. The irony of being back in an operating room two years later still has me shaken. Granted, I knew what to do differently. As She-Beat struggled from pain, I knew to advocate for pain medicine so she could function. I knew the importance of picking up her prescription. I knew the importance of her resting and taking time to heal. And once again, I made sure to work with her medical team to get her home as soon as possible.
Despite all of that and the success of yesterday, I can firmly say I never want to go through this again. That though I'm grateful for access to an amazing team of surgeons and physicians, I am also hoping this is the last surgery either of the Beats will ever have to experience.
I'll end this rambling post by thanking everyone who reached out via comments, email and text for their support during this time. Both Grey and I are eternally grateful for the support and love.
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