Today’s the 4 year anniversary of my daughter’s last surgery!!! 4 years since I walked in the recovery room and held this sad little girl!
And this anniversary is extra sweet because a couple months ago, her doctors at the hospital told us we don’t have to come back! That was the end of the sentence! Not “you don’t have to come back until… next week/month/year”. Just “you don’t have to come back”. I can’t even tell you how wonderful it was to hear those words.
The doctors knew there was something not quite “right” with her since the night before she was born. They realized that night that she had a 2-vessel umbilical cord instead of the normal 3-vessel cord. Apparently this is indicative of urological/reproductive problems. From the beginning we knew she needed surgery. Around 5 months we scheduled it and so began longest couple months ever! I was sending my little girl into the unknown!
She was about 7 months at the time of the first surgery. When they wheeled her away we thought the doctors would almost definitely be removing a kidney and possibly removing her ovaries since they were covered in cysts. I’ll never forget when the doctor came out to get us in the waiting room and said,”Well, we removed an organ but not the one we thought.” I think my actual response was “uhh, uhhhhhh, uh, huh??” It just wasn’t registering!
Turns out she had an appendectomy! Something that hadn’t even been mentioned up until that point! They said they got in there and saw the appendix was about to burst (usually fatal in a 7 month old), so they had to quick remove it and didn’t want to remove more than one organ at once! Besides, the ovaries weren’t covered in cysts! They were covered in the kidney that nobody could find!
So we spent the first 4 years of her life going back to the hospital every 3 months for a day full of tests and nephrologist appointments. It was horrible. Ultrasounds and catheters and me having to hold her down while she twisted and screamed out for me. I would be bawling and the nurses would hold my hands down firmer so I wouldn’t let her wriggle or worse yet, just pick her up. This girl could never seem to catch a break. Every doctor’s or dentist appointment… something was always wrong. Her good kidney had reflux so she was on antibiotics for 4 years, another surgery to correct that reflux, her baby teeth didn’t have enamel so she had 3 root canals and many fillings, her intestines were mal-rotated (and, of course, she was a baby who swallowed things)… the list goes on, but meanwhile this little girl lived her life and you never would have known there was anything wrong!
And then 4 years ago today she had another surgery and when we went for the month follow-up, they said everything was corrected! We still had to go back every couple months, until that turned into “come back next year” and that turned into “we’ll see you in 2 years”!! And now we are done!
No more of this, God willing…
and lots more of this…