Today, I broke.
There were many times in Ford’s hydrocephalus journey where I thought I was breaking. I think the anticipation of his surgery and then the adrenaline during his hospital stay kept me from completely falling apart. But today, after discovering his incision leaking and swelling, I just broke. I sobbed uncontrollably while staring at my child’s surgery incision, knowing that something was wrong… again.
The next hours seemed to drag on for days. I called Ford’s neurologist & pediatrician offices in hopes to find out if his incision was infected. When I called to make an appointment with my pediatrician, the receptionist told me she was out of town and would be back tomorrow. So I scheduled an appointment for tomorrow and asked to speak to a nurse. The nurse let me know that ultimately the surgeon would have to be the one to determine if the incision was indeed infected. It took 4 hours of calling & leaving VM’s for the neurologist’s nurse to get back to me. She said that the doctor took a look at the pictures I sent and he “thinks” the incision looks ok. BUT if it continues to leak then we’d have to go to the ER right away.
I lost my breath. Did she just say ER? I can’t do it. I cannot pack one more bag to go to the ER. I cannot sit for hours on end with NO answers only to be admitted to the hospital. I cannot watch an IV team unsuccessfully try to get an IV in his vein. I cannot wait for doctor after doctor to tell us they don’t know what’s wrong. I cannot see the life drain from my son’s face again. I cannot watch him fight for his life while it seems no one cares. I cannot go back to the ER.
My husband made the decision to go to our local Kids Insta Care so we could see a doctor BEFORE going to the ER. We were seen within 10 minutes and it was immediately apparent to the doctor that Ford’s incision was indeed infected. He prescribed him an oral antibiotic and we were on our way.
Everything is ok now, right? He isn’t running a fever. He has an antibiotic. He is OK.
But I am not OK. I’m broken. I realized today that while we’ve been home for 3 days I haven’t really slept. I wake up sweating after having awful dreams or I wake up to Ford screaming in pain although he is fast asleep in his bed. Flashes of Ford ripping his body from side to side in pain haunt my thoughts. Thinking of the life literally draining from his body and just wondering how the hell I’ll get through life without him. When picking something up I realize my hands are trembling from yet another anxiety attack. My hair is actually falling out in clumps, I’m sure from stress. I am angry at myself; if I was more healthy when I got pregnant, could I have prevented this? I am devastated that my son has to endure so much pain and so many trials. I feel guilty for even feeling so broken because I know there are mothers out there that have children with more severe medical challenges.
Today, I am broken but I know I can’t stay broken. I have to tape all the broken pieces back together because I am a mother & I need to continue to advocate for my son and get him healthy. Today I am broken, but tomorrow I must be whole again.