Friday, October 16, 2009

What's next?

So they say that it comes in 3's. For us this last week this meant, our SUV broke down and was in the shop for 1 1/2 weeks, Tim's cell phone died after getting wet, and our Internet went out for over a week. Needless to say, I've felt lost without my normal transportation, a way to talk to Tim when he is not in his office, or a way to check up on my e-mail, on-line accounts, or my fellow on-line friends. So, in case you thought I was rude (or just keeping to myself like I have a tendency to do sometimes), I was REALLY out of commission this time. I know that it is hard to tell sometimes when I do go for long amounts of time without a post. But this time, it truly wasn't my fault.

You'd think that without all of these things out of commission, that I would have a lot of time on my hands. I assure you that this is far from the truth. In fact, I've had a lot of prior commitments (work, carpools, meetings, trainings, Dr. appointments, preschool, soccer games, football practices) all of which complicated this situation. Luckily, as of the last 2 days, all things are back to normal and my stress level is beginning to return to normal.

That is, until this morning.

Ethan's surgery is in less than 3 weeks now and I've started having the bad dreams that always seem to come when I am stressed. Just the other day, I dreamt that we were handing a teary eyed Ethan over to the anesthesiologist when she informed me that she was just "on-call". I was fear stricken and yet couldn't tell her that she couldn't be in on his surgery. Lame. I know. But really, those type of dreams are very stressful.

Anyway, getting back into real life. Just this morning Ethan and I were playing the "What's this?" game. You know the one where you point to a body part and the child tells you what it is. Well, Ethan and I were play this game and at one point I pointed to his chest and asked, "What's this"? Ethan told me in his cute little voice. "Scar". No bid deal, right? But then, he innocently asks, "all better?". I have to tell you that I didn't know what to say. What am I supposed to say? He's only 2! Who knows how much of this he really understands? And so out of my "Mommy wants to make it all better tendency" I said "Yes. All better".

The only problem is, right after I said that, I felt SO guilty. I know that it's not "all better". It's not ever going to be. But how do I tell him that? Especially when he is going into surgery in just a couple of weeks? I don't think that if his surgery was so close that I would even be struggling with this right now. It's just that I don't want him to feel like we set him up.

I want to talk to him about going to the hospital. Let him know that he will have "owies", but that he will be OK. That we will be there with him, and that he will never be alone. I don't want him to be scared, but I also don't want him to feel like we are tricking him. I don't know where the balance is. I have a hard time being optimistic and also being realistic at the same time. Especially when I don't know how much he understands what is going on.

So anyway, to wrap up a long story. A couple of minutes after my confirmation of "all better", I rescinded my comment. I sit here with a tight throat and tears in my eyes, because I decided to tell him the truth. I told him that the "Dr.'s need to fix your heart again". And do you know what he did? To my surprise, he got MAD. He put his hand to his chest and started yelling "ALL BETTER, ALL BETTER"! And then he ran out of the room. I, however, sat and cried.

Where's the balance between being honest and preparing your child for trials they will face (in an age appropriate manner, of course) vs. hiding the truth from them to keep their innocence (but feeling like you're tricking them along the way)?

Oh, the stress of it all.

---Allison

5 comments:

Ty and Ber said...

Oh man, if that doesn't just break your heart. After reading about your talk with Ethan the things you mentioned at the beginning of your post didn't matter any more. Everything seems so small and trivial compared to the pain and anguish one feels for their kids. I hape that all goes well with the surgery in a couple weeks and that his heart will at least be a "little beter". We will keep you in our prayers.

Christina said...

That is so hard on both you and Ethan. I would suggest contacting the Child Life Team at Primary's. I remember them having some great ideas about preparing kids for surgery.

Hugs & Prayers,
Christina
Jacob's Momma

Fowers Family said...

I hurt for you. Probably because our only connection lately is these blogs. I am sorry, and can't imagine the emotions, as I haven't had to deal with them in my life. You are constantly in my prayers. Love and miss you , Jody

buddens said...

Oh my goodness, I can't imagine! I think it's good that you told him, but that cannot have been an easy moment. At least now you know he understands more than you thought, which makes it a good thing probably that you did tell him. Poor little guy. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you even before the surgery, hoping you'll have good ideas for how to prepare him.

kelly manz said...

ive been following your blog for a while but this is my first comment! i think you did the right thing trying to be honest and explain about the surgery. its so heartbreaking to see our heart babies go thru it all. im a heart mom too but shes still too young to understand words! i cant imagone that moment trying to prepare her for ANOTHER surgery. hang in there and i know the surgery will be a success and we will be thinking of you guys!
kelly manz
http://chdbabies.blogspot.com