We are taking our deal yearling down to Salt Lake City tomorrow for his hernia repair surgery. Surgery happens Tuesday at some time (they’ll give us a ballpark time the day before, because, you know, surgery folks are the cool feral cats who come and go as they please).
The surgeon who performed his first NEC surgery, his second NEC surgery, and his reconnection surgery, the great Dr. S, will be doing this surgery as well. I remember a nurse saying sometime ago: once a doctor goes into a belly, it’s their belly. That’s fine, we’ll be bringing Dr. S his belly back. He sure as hell did an amazing job in there.
We got a place in SLC, this way, we can bring Nora and my father so they can hang out on Tuesday during the surgery, while Erin and I try not to take up smoking. (You think they might have healthy cigarettes in the children’s hospital gift shop? herbal or something?)
As some of you may remember, they discovered Breen’s inguinal hernia the day before his reconnection surgery back in mid-May. For those of you unfamiliar with inguinal hernias, it’s when the wall that keeps the bowels in weakens and then lets the bowels out.
Inguinal means in his poor groin. For months now, we’ve been “reducing” his hernia, which means we have to delicately but forcefully press on his poor nether-regions until we hear and fell the bowels squish back in. He tends to squeal like a little bird when we do this. We aren’t fond of doing this. He is not particularly fond of us doing this.
By all accounts, this surgery should be a breeze, in and out in the same day. Breen’s a complicated dude, so there’s always a chance it takes him some time to recover, but we’re complicatedly hopeful.
The big question is his O2, the hope is that his O2 needs for surgery won’t be too severe (like intubation again), and that he’ll come back to his baseline quickly after surgery.
One one hand, he’s already had four surgeries (three belly, one back), so this fifth surgery darn near completes the punch card. On the other hand, all those other surgeries happened when everything was such a long shot. Now we have this beautiful bright boy sitting up and laughing all over the place, whom we’ve gotten used to. It’s daunting to imagine bringing that poor unsuspecting boy into surgery.
But we gotta get that hernia repaired. We can’t keep squishing it.
So off the Armstrongs trek back down to our (literal) haunting grounds. It does feel less like ghosts since our last trip. There’s love in that building. There’s miracles in that building. They built our son in that building.
We hope to see a few friendly faces after the procedure. We hope Nora can think of this as a fun vacation. We are grateful for Grandpa and his love and care for our family. We are fortunate to have such a skilled surgeon with the map to our son’s belly.
Send a prayer or thought or chant or pulse towards the Wasatch Front on Tuesday for (not so) wee Breen.
Love to you all,
Nora Poetry Corner:
*Buck naked after a bath, 8:30pm, past her bedtime. Nora slips her mom and starts going downstairs. Mom sternly asks Nora to come back upstairs, but she sees me in the kitchen cleaning up*
Dad: Nora, go back upstairs
Nora: (continuing to go downstairs) but Daddy… I need a…
Dad: Back upstairs Nora
Nora: (almost downstairs now) no Daddy, I just… need … a
Mom: Back upstairs Nora
Nora: (downstairs) I just want some.. uh.. just some night cheese
Dad/Mom: (laughs historically)
Dad: (to Mom) Do you think that was her plan all along, or did she improvise that?
Mom: I think she improvised it
Dad: (makes a plate with three slices of cheese) OK Nora, here’s your night cheese, now take it upstairs for an upstairs treat and go to bed
Nora: (takes her night cheese plate pleasantly and walks upstairs) Thank you Daddy