My 3-year-old son, Charlie, had surgery this week.
It wasn’t the worst, most dangerous surgery a kid could have, but it was still *my* kid getting cut open, y’know?
There are kids who have been diagnosed with cancer, having open heart surgery, getting organ transplants and fighting for every breath they take. My reality is not that, but it might as well have been.
To parents, a knee scrape is a broken leg. A cough is pneumonia. A child’s cry is unbearable.
Charlie had surgery to repair an inguinal hernia. It is an operation that is so routine, they slot children in the OR throughout the day and the surgeon completes them one after another.
Still, it’s surgery. You can tell me how it’s “routine” and “easy” all you want, but I can’t get the image of my son hooked up to tubes, and machines lying on a table totally limp. He might as well have been in for something drastically serious, because it looks and feels the same.
When your kid needs to be fixed, you feel like you did something wrong. The piece of you that went into them was a bad piece and you feel responsible.
Here’s what a day in the OR feels like for a parent: