This morning I woke up at 4:50 AM in order to get myself and Liev out the door and arrive at Primary Children’s by 5:45 AM for surgery. I was sleepy but anxious and had slept horribly anyway. Liev was quiet and fell back to sleep in the car without a peep. He had no clue what was going on, I’m sure.
After doing all of our pre-op exams, they took Liev back (without me) and he got really upset. I did all I could not to think about it. I checked in with the waiting room and took a minute to myself. Thankfully I was the first one there out of all the other parents because I wanted to cry. And I did. But then immediately put my strong face back on. I felt silly being so emotional knowing that other parents were there with kids who have heart/liver/stomach issues. Things that they live with and visit the hospital for often. Liev just has a goopy eye that has irritated him from the day he was born. Or I should say had. Surgery fixed it.
I’m sure that there are a lot of families who have experienced what I did today. Maybe several times in fact. Maybe for a much more complex surgery rather than a simple 20 minute same-day procedure. I had only one previous experience with Sasha getting tubes in his ears along with an adenoidectomy, but still, that’s considered “minor”. No big deal, right?
As I was waiting, another mother came in as I did, fighting the tears. The coordinator in the waiting room was offering her words of comfort when the mother replied, “It’s just minor.” The coordinator quickly said, “Minor, sure, but major to parents, no matter how minor.” And she is right, IT IS HARD. No matter what someone else may be going through, we shouldn’t invalidate our own situations and feelings. They are very real and should be recognized without feeling silly like I did.
Now, that’s not to say that we should be throwing ourselves pity parties all the time. That is taking it to the other extreme. I just feel like debunk ourselves a lot of some reason. We make ourselves think about how grateful we should be because “it could be worse”. Then we proceed to think about those who have it much worse and all of a sudden our circumstances become null. It’s important to be grateful, but it’s also important to realize whatever emotion you are feeling is OK. Infact, it is perfectly normal.
I hope in the future that I can remember to not only be grateful, but to also validate myself. It’s not silly to feel. Hard is hard. Heartbreak is heartbreak. Sadness is sadness. Joy is joy. We all feel these things even though our situations may be different. Whether major or minor, no kids or five kids, we all feel the same. And its OK.
I’m happy to report that after a lot of screaming from Liev, he was finally released from the hospital and recovering just fine at home. As long as I don’t move a muscle.