After a very sleepless night full of nightmares of how Yianni forced fed Iliana a bottle of milk (I blame everything on the anesthesiologist who called me the evening before to make sure Iliana arrives at the hospital on an empty stomach) I woke up in a pretty messed up state.
Stressed is an understatement.
I had 40 minutes to wake both children up, help them get dressed, have the breakfast argument with Yianni on what he wants to eat, convince Iliana that it’s for her own good NOT to have the bottle of milk she was desperate to inhale, get dressed myself, put both kids in the car and drive off (while having to listen to Yianni tell his sister how SHE COULD NOT DRINK ANYTHING, NOT EVEN WATER for a minimum of 15 times-when I tried to explain that I didn’t like him rubbing it in her face, he wore his innocent smile and told me that he just wanted to make sure she understood – yeah right).
We dropped Yianni off at school and arrived at the hospital. I don’t think Iliana had actually realized what she was going to go through. The first alarm bell rang when the chief nurse took her blood. You see I had shared with her the absolute necessary: ‘Honey you are not breathing right, you are neither eating nor sleeping properly and the nice doctor will operate you (I am positive she didn’t fully comprehend this word and I didn’t make an effort to really explain what it means) while you are sleeping’.
The moment she actually freaked out was when the two paramedics came with the stretcher to take her into surgery. I undressed her and wore her the cutest (and saddest) small surgical gown. I convinced the paramedics that I would carry her into surgery instead of forcing her to lay on the stretcher and we headed to the 1st floor.
A few minutes later I held her tight and watched her fade away in 3 seconds. No matter how minor a surgery is, when you see your child put to sleep under general anesthesia, shivers go through your whole body. I thought I would be prepared. After all, I have been there 3 times already with Yiannis. I am familiar with this. Or so I thought. I was wrong. It scares the hell out of me EVERY SINGLE TIME.
I was asked to sit in the waiting room. The TV was on and I watched as the hospital ads repeated themselves over what seemed to me the longest 40 minutes of my life. When I heard the announcement that the surgery was over I ran (run, Forrest, run) to the e.r. where I was greeted by the surgeon with a smile on his face. ‘Everything went fine’ he said.
Relief is one of the greatest most underestimated feelings one can experience.
As I patiently waited by her side for her to wake up I felt gratitude. Gratitude for my healthy kids, gratitude for my husband who still has a good job in a country which has amongst the highest unemployment rates in Europe at the moment, gratitude for a roof above our head, gratitude for A GOOD LIFE.
I held her in my arms as we went up to her room. The paramedic that escorted us told me to make sure I held her head as she was still pretty much dazed and confused from the anesthetic…..Last time I made sure that I held her head was 3 years ago when she was still a tiny baby. TIME FLIES.
A while later my dad walked in. From the detrimental look on his face I realised how difficult it must be for the grandparents to watch their grandchildren suffer like this. We have a saying here in Greece: το παιδί του παιδιού μου είναι 2 φορές παιδί μου (the child of my child is twice my child – again it sounds soooooo much better in Greek).
The hours passed by slowly but I didn’t mind. I had my mom to keep me company and stay with Iliana as I ran around the hospital to settle the paperwork & insurance claim.
All in all she was a good patient. What bothered her the most was the IV in her arm which she managed to pull out herself causing a minor blood bath (for a moment there I thought I was in the set of the next splatter movie). A few doctors visits and numerous hours later we finally left the hospital to head home.
I gave Iliana her medication, got her ready for bed, tucked her in and left Yiannis with my mother in law and N. My head was pounding, I felt too tired to even move, let alone drive but I had promised my niece, Angelina, that I would do my best to attend her music school’s spring concert. I pulled myself together and drove off.
The next two hours passed like a breeze. It was the perfect end to a very stressful day. It was the proper way to celebrate my birthday. I watched my sister trying to convince her daughter to swallow her chewing gum while singing on stage, my niece almost choking while trying, the girl in the 2nd row who is the next Shakira (or so she thinks) and some meanly talented kids. MUSIC ROCKS!
Until next time