In 2007 some guy that I was infatuated with didn’t want me. I was certain that would be the worst heart break I ever experienced. Today, it took me a full 5 minutes to remember his name. The reason? That wasn’t actual heartbreak.
True heartbreak – that is watching your child suffer. It is being awake at 2:30am because all she wants to do is sleep on her side or, better yet, her stomach but she can’t roll over and all you can do is rub her head and let her know that mommy is right there with her.
My Lila June, 3-years-old, had hip dysplasia surgery almost 3 weeks ago. Her hip has been dislocated since birth and it had gone unnoticed by her pediatrician despite an immense amount of well-checks. That’s a rant for a different day.
Unfortunately, a surgery of this extent requires a “spica cast” for 12 weeks during recovery, with a re-cast at 6 weeks. During this time we get to hope and pray that the surgery “works” – that the hip surgically put in place decides to stay there. Her entire left leg is casted, it comes across her waist and half way down her right leg (there is an opening for diapering – also a rant for another day) and she has a bar between her legs for extra support. Every time I look at it and imagine myself in the same situation I want to scream.
Cherry on the top, Lila is Autistic. She has limited verbal skills and she struggles to understand communication – she was also the most active little girl I have ever seen. She never stopped moving and now she’s stuck in bed. It makes me physically ill to consider all of the times I was irritated with her constant movement, and now I would kill to chase after her in a busy grocery store.
The time in the hospital was traumatic. After a 5 hour surgery she lost so much blood she needed a transfusion. As much as I appreciate the fact that people donate and we had access to blood….there was something unsettling about watching someone else’s blood drip into her little body. She screamed for daddy the entire time we were there, the drugs did a number on her, we had to watch Frozen and Frozen II about 100 times ;). We watched other families and other kids go home as we settled in for another night. The smell there, the feeling as I shuffled to the vending area to refill our waters each night, the sound of the machines every time her heart rate dropped or her morphine drip was finished, the fucking masks…nightmare. The nurses and the doctors did everything they could but they simply said “she had a major surgery, deal with it” lol?
Home has been better, but not without its challenges. She has adjusted to life in bed but unfortunately that is where she wants to stay. She doesn’t like to be upright at the “spica table” or the bean bag chair or any of the things we bought in anticipation of this surgery….so, she just lays there.
I guess what I am trying to say, “heartbreak” is relative. It is amazing how something can feel so life altering until you experience what life altering actually feels like. God forbid I will be writing a post with a new “life altering” experience any time in the future.
For those with kids with a chronic illness, who spend half of their life in the hospital, I say prayers every night. You are living the true meaning of heartbreak and I will keep praying you get a happy ending.
Thanks for listening.