It was in this same waiting room, about two years ago when I realized I was not okay. After the initial shock of diagnosis there are about six months of on and off intense treatment then you get put on a maintenance program for a little over two years. My little guy was through the hardest things his body would ever experience and into maintenance much to everyone’s relief. Or so I thought. If you asked how I was I was fine. I was not. I didn’t even know it. I was waiting in the little area outside the gift shop for Bubs to come out of a procedure much like the one I just described. No big deal, right? I got my snack and sat down to wait. I took one drink of my soda and the world went quiet and started to narrow in on me. I had blacked out. It took all of a millisecond, which felt much longer, for me to come around. The reason I know it was not any amount of time is because there was a waiting area full of people and no one had noticed. I had enough of anxiety and stress and my body was pushed to the brink. I didn’t even feel all that stressed. My doctor would soon after tell me that the dark circles, bad complexion, hair loss, and unexplained twelve pounds were a sure sign that even though I thought I was okay I surely was not. It figures, ya know, he was finally out of the really scary stuff and I start falling apart. One fancy prescription (I will tell you about that Dr. visit some other time, it was funny) and two extra yoga classes a week and I start to resemble the living.
So once again, here I wait. When my pager goes off I gather up my things and rush back to my buddy. He is sleeping soundly and this time he has what looks like a hanky gag from a horror flick in his mouth. Yikes! What the? Aaahhh! The tooth! Why is it still bleeding? Can he breathe? Was it not ready to come out? The adorable little nurse looks at me and smiles. I am acting like a rookie. Again. Breathe. It was fine, he did well, the tooth was ready, they didn’t want him to choke on the little bit of blood, if he were awake and it came out he would have just swallowed it without knowing, he needs to stay lying down for 24 more minutes. Whew. I pick my book back up and settle in to wait.
I like to let him sleep as long as he wants. Coming out of anesthesia is hard and requires rest. Something like 35 or 40 minutes later he starts to stir. He notices the dollar bill folded into a ring on his finger. The nurse explains that the tooth just popped out while he was sleeping, and since he was sleeping the Tooth Fairy made a little visit, but since he didn’t even know his tooth was out she left it for him to put under his pillow that night. Double prizes, that’s what Children’s is good for, the spoiling. He is surprised and happy. He slowly munches and sips. He watches a little bit of cartoons through heavy eyelids. After half his snack and about 20 minutes he is wobbly but antsy. We ask for a wheelchair and head off. The day is thankfully over.
I maneuver him to the parking garage and get him settled in. We have the long winding journey to the outside world and as we are leaving the gate I am positive it is Sigourney Weaver’s voice I hear telling me to have a good day through the garage gate machine. Huh. Hope fully only one more of these before chemo ends in December. Thank God.
Boy, I’m on a roll today! I will tell you later how the rest of that night went.