They say knowledge is power. Sometimes, they’re wrong. Sometimes, knowledge just increases fear and the feelings of helplessness.
The Serb is going under the knife tomorrow. He’s having another tympanomastoidectomy, the same surgery for the same ear he had in November of 2013. This time, his surgeon doesn’t need to reconstruct the small bones of the ear canal which is good, and he doesn’t think the tumor is back, but he doesn’t actually know what he needs to do because he’s not sure why the results were less than stellar last time. This surgery is more “explore and patch” in nature.
No matter, my boy suffered last time. He did great in the hospital with the IV pain meds, but once they sent us home and we could not get him to take pain meds no matter how many tricks we tried, he hurt and was miserable and it was awful.
Last time, he was not a seasoned patient and was a more willing participant of whatever treatment they doled out. He is older and wiser and, I’m sure, will have none of it. He knows too much.
Last time, the risks of not having surgery far outweighed the risks of surgery. This time, it seems less clear, less life-threatening, more open to second-guessing. We know too well what this could cost him.
Last time, my friends list didn’t include fellow adoptive mamas who’ve lost their children with Down syndrome.
I find myself afraid. Can’t breathe, eyes welling up, constant migraine, afraid.
I want so much for him to never feel fear or experience pain, but that’s an unrealistic goal for any of us. Instead, during this hospital stay, I want to keep him from unnecessary harm, to comfort him well, to advocate for him with wisdom. I want to be a good mama.
And, if things go awry, I want to remember to breathe and know there is grace for that.