Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"This Is Where I Sometimes Lose the Parent"

That’s what the nurse who was putting an IV in Alyssa’s arm yesterday said as she punctured my child’s skin with a needle.

I nodded to let the nurse know I’d heard her but kept my eyes focused on Lyss’s face. The nurse had told A to look at me rather than her or the needle as the IV was being placed.

We were at the oral surgeon’s office where they were prepping Lyssie for surgery to remove seven baby teeth. I know!! It’s crazy that those suckers hadn’t come out already.

After she finished the procedure, the nurse asked me if I was okay. I looked at her blankly. Why wouldn’t I be okay? I mean, it’s not like she’d given me an IV or was pumping drugs into my veins. She explained, “Some parents have a hard time seeing their kids like this.”

I shrugged. Then I thought maybe she was getting the impression that I didn’t care about my daughter so I explained, “This isn’t about me. I’m good. I just want to make sure she’s okay.”

The nurse seemed surprised by my stoicism. I went on, “Her little sister spend eleven days in the NICU. I had to watch three nurses hold my five pound baby own while a fourth nurse attempted to replace an IV. It took them three tries. My baby screamed the entire time. One of the nurses told me I didn’t have to be there. My daughter had to be there, so I did too. This isn’t nearly that stressful but I still want to make it about Alyssa, not about me. I promise you, I’m not going to faint.”

The nurse, who happened to be quite pregnant, nodded, accepting this long-winded explanation. I’m sure she’s heard it all, poor girl.

About a half hour later, I was being led to the recovery area, where Alyssa lay on a bed, her mouth filled with gauze. The nurse was there making sure A was waking up okay. She went through the after-care instructions and changed Lyss’s gauze in front of me so I could see what it took. She told me to not watch the gauze because it was going to be bloody even if there wasn’t much bleeding.

“So really, I should be checking for pooling blood in the wound sites rather than relying on the gauze to know if the bleeding has stopped?”

She nodded. “You really do have this,” she said, satisfied that I really wasn’t going to pass out at the sight of my child’s mouth blood.

I did have it. I was sorry that Alyssa was in pain. I felt a twinge of guilt that I’d been the one to make the decision that this had to be done but I was okay with taking care of her now that it was done.

I know there are people who get queasy at the sight of blood and/or needles. I get that. But I also think that as a parent, we have to suck it up and remember that our children need us. This procedure was going to be tough enough on my girl without me being a stupid baby about blood and needles.

So yeah. She got seven baby teeth removed yesterday. She stopped needing gauze in her mouth after an hour. She was eating another hour after that.

The nurse was right when she exclaimed how mature Lyssie is. She came through this like a champ. She stayed home today because there’s still a little pain and the swelling is worse today than yesterday but she’ll probably go tomorrow. And in two weeks, her braces will be put on her teeth. We’re moving things along on the orthodontic trail. And no, even that isn’t about me.


Julie said...

Except for the "paying for it" part. That's about you. HAHA

Tommie said...

Ha! Yes, that is the point where it is all about me.