Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The little soldier...

I wanted to write about this whole experience for different reasons. One, writing helps me feel a tiny bit lighter. Two, I wanted to remember how KB reacted to this whole thing and how he amazed me with this mental fortitude in just accepting things as is and truly going forward instead of looking back and moping about how and why he has to go through all this. The kind of resilience you always knew kids had but when seeing it first hand, it really amazes you. Three, I wanted to remember the strength of the other two moms I met there and wanted to write about it for me and all of us to be inspired by and draw strength from to face our own little problems.

Back to the "brave young man" and "little soldier", titles KB truly earned from the nurse who treated him in the ER and also in the recovery room after the surgery. When they took him to take some "pictures" of his hand, KB told me "Amma, X-ray yedukka poraa maa" and the nurse was taken aback by how cool he was about it. He was fascinated by all that was happening around him in the ER. He did not cry while she took the X-rays, he just wanted me next to him, that's all. And while we waited for the doctor he told me, "Amma, I am looking at why every one here is wearing glasses" and then we spent some time looking at who were or were not wearing glasses. The nurse told him "You were so brave, how many stickers do you want?". Very innocently, he replied "Two". She said, "Only two? No. You were so brave, I want to give you five stickers". KB was thrilled and it was touching to see how he was still such a baby.

Before the surgery, they gave him "Versed" a medication used to reduce anxiety and also reduce their short term memory so they wouldn't remember exactly what happened at that instance. The nurse said he would act drunk almost 10 min after he drank it. But KB was fully alert even half an hour after they gave him the medication. I was very nervous because it was now 3.00 p.m. and I had to wheel him into the OR and hand him over to the surgeon. Thankfully he was in the stroller and I just wheeled him there and the nurse took over without him realizing it. It was heart breaking to hand him over and see him disappear behind the double doors. The nurse reassured me "We will take good care of him. We will put a mask on as soon as we go in and he will be asleep". I just prayed that he should be OK and everything should go smoothly. The surgeon had said it would take about an hour and half for the surgery. B immediately went back home to pick up KG and come back with her to the hospital.

My brother and I were waiting in the family room when I bumped into the other mom waiting there. Her older son was the same age as KB and was playing there. Her younger son, 16m old was in the OR while she was waiting there. I asked her what the problem was with her child. Very calmly she said to me "He keeps getting tumors in his eye orbit". My heart sank even hearing those words. Her strength just shook me. Here I was completely falling apart at the thought of KB undergoing surgery for a fractured elbow and here she was like a rock facing such horrors. I asked her, "How do you manage to be so strong?". She said, "Because I faced the worst when they made the diagnosis. But now I am strong because he has no one else. I have to be strong for him. We have been here so many times and each time after surgery, he bounces right back and starts playing his older brother. We are coming back here next week. They are going to take his eye out because if not they said he won't make it". It sent shivers down my spine to hear those words even. I felt as if God sent me to her in that family room to remind me that kids are strong and that I need to be strong for KB too. I felt so badly for that mom, I just wanted to hug her tight. I couldn't find words to describe how inspired I was by her calm strength and courage as a mother.

While driving to the ER, I was telling B that truly it was these moments when we are really parenting. Rest of the times, you feed the kids, they grow up. You sort of just coast along and go with the flow. It is during the moments of extreme highs and lows that you as a parent have to be the fulcrum and hold the child in place and give them the strength to be calm. And in the moments of lows like this one, you are truly tested. You have to bear the pain of seeing your child in pain, of not being in control of their destiny. Some of you wrote about the guilt I might feel. But strangely that is one thing I did not feel much of. Because I truly could not have prevented this unless I kept him in front of my eyes 24/7 without ever doing any other work. He was just sitting in his high chair after dinner chatitng with me while I was loading the dishwasher. As I bent down to load some dishes, I heard him scream in pain. He was getting down when he just slipped and fell awkwardly. From a height of may be 2 feet. It is like an adult tripping while walking. I just had no control over it. I did have very negative thoughts like, "It is my bad karma that is affecting him" etc etc. Truly speaking, I still have those kind of ridiculous thoughts , but what can I do about it. I have to accept that I cannot control every aspect of his destiny. This was the first stark reminder for me that I do no have control over my children's life beyond a certain point. Life just happens and my role is to be there for them no matter what. That is all I can do. And meeting that other mom and hearing her calm words, I realized what a responsibility that was. To be strong when your child is in pain. I have been fighting myself each time I feel pity for KB to see him do things with only one hand. I tell myself, if he is being strong and taking it in stride, it is quite ridiculous of me to feel sorry for him. Why me, why him...yes, I do feel that way. But I tell myself, there is much worse out there. At least God has granted me the mercy of a finite time of six weeks when his hand has to be in a cast and the hope of things being back to normal. Something so many others don't have. I am afraid to even dwell on that thought. I move on quickly to the mundane of every day life so I don't focus on any of this too much.

Will continue...

10 comments:

Suma said...

i read the post before and this and i can truly understand teh helplessness you must have been feeling...it brought to mind when my then 3 yrold was hostpitalised for a minor surgery and the trauma we put ourselves thru...and just like you met that mother there, we shared a room with a mom and child with her son undergoing chemo...and the mother was so strong and cheerful..

a big big hug to the little soldier for showing his mom what strong stuff he is made of...

molarbear's posts said...

I thought you had given up posting, so I just checked my Google reader just now...I do hope KB is doing well...and indeed, a visit to the hospital often teaches us just HOW lucky we are!

Mystic Margarita said...

OMG! Noonie - hope the KB is better now? The little darling was so brave.
Your post made me cry - just the way updates from St. Judes make me cry every month. I alaways wonder how parents who go through a pain of seeing their kids seriously ill go on - it's so tough to be strong when all you want to do is break doen and cry.

~nm said...

OMG...just read this. How such things can happen when doing day to day things. The poor lil baby.

Hope the fracture heals properly and perfectly.

You be strong too like you lil soldier!

Timepass said...

KB is really a patient and brave boy..god bless him..I pray for his speedy recovery

asaaan said...

Big hugs Noon. I know the feeling of watching your child going in for surgery and you wait helplessly. (My 6 yr had eye surgery) I was alone because my dh had to stay home with the other kids.
And the other mom's story broke my heart. Truly heartbreaking.

Big hugs and I wish KB a speedy recovery.

Preethi said...

He is a little soldier for sure!! And you are right.. this is the real test isnt it.. I keep imagining how you must be feeling.. hugs!!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Oh noonie! Hugs my dear! The EO is down with a viral and I'm feeling faint!

Believe me, I know what you are going through. When the EO was a lillte over a year old, he had to be hospitalised because his body temp started dropping and he was shivering like a leaf and turning blue! I freak out whenever I still remember it. The drive to the hospital will always be one of the worst memories in my life...the MIM and I passing him to each other, shaking him and yelling into his tiny fast-turning blue ears to keep him from falling asleep...

Your little soldier's bravery is heart-meltingly moving! Hugs to him. And a big bear hug and warm cup of chai to you, my dear. Remember, they bounce back wth full vim and vigour. We're the ones who need to be propped up!

Collection Of Stars said...

Noon, I hope KB is better now.
I read both your posts and KB's reaction and maturity amaze me. God bless him and you are one lucky mommy.
You are right about the guilt part. Is is impossible for a mother to keep an eye on her child 24 * 7. Sometimes, things happen over which we have no control.
Thanks for sharing about the other mom. This sure puts a lot of things into perspective for us.
Take care and wishing KB a very speedy recovery.

noon said...

Suma - I can imagine the whole feeling - feeling bad for your own child but seeing much worse out there...
Thanks for the hug! :)

MB - How have you been? True, I hope when kids are a little older I am able to volunteer at children's hospital - really wish there was no such thing - feels like it should be against nature's law for children to be sick beyond a cold.

MM - Thanks for your call MM. Sweet of you. He is doing well. Oh yeah tell me about it - St.Jude stories, should read them every day to realize how grateful we have to be as mothers...

NM - I know - really how I felt - how can some small piddly little fall lead to surgery! But I see now that it is one of the most common fractures in children.

Timepass - thanks for your prayers...

Asaan - OMG - eye surgery and you were alone on top of it - Gosh - you are one brave woman really. That must have been so scary - esp the eye - such a delicate organ. Thank God it is a thing of the past...
Thanks for your wishes...

Preethi - nice to hear from you here after a long time. How is Cheeky doing? Yeah - am sure we will be tested throughout our lives...one thing or another!

MMia - My God - that must have been really really scary. Sends shivers even to think about how you both would have felt...things we go through as parents!
Glad that you got past that and the kids are well, knock on wood a million times!
And I loved the chai, thank you! :)

CofS - how have you been? Yeah, the other mom really inspired me with her courage...not natural but one that she willed herself into for the sake of her baby...