Friday, July 13, 2012

Shep gets fixed.

This was a tough Monday. Shep has been sick since December and we finally got a chance to get his shit fixed up. This is a very routine thing and really not anything to worry about but for Rachel and I it was it was hard because Shep would be put under general anesthetic for the first time. Shit I'm 41 and have never been put under. I don't even have a reference point for it. Not to mention how a 4-year old might feel about it.

He was plenty excited to get his 'nose fixed' as we called it for the last while. Clearly he had no idea what was to be involved in it. The other day he was playing the game Operation. He pulled plastic bones out of the body over and over. Let's be honest. His dexterity level at four makes him particularly shitty at the game. He closed the box and asked, "What does this say?" pointing to the games name "Operation.", I said. He promptly freaked out screaming over and over, "Don't take my bones!"

Pre-op. Excited! Excited! (Anybody get that reference?)

After calming him down and promising they wouldn't be doing to him what he'd been playing for the last twenty minutes, we moved on to something else. I was a good dad and never told him that in fact they'd drug him, shove a tube down his throat to keep him breathing and then reach into his mouth, around and up into the back of his nose, scrape off his adenoids, flush them out his nostrils and then burn the wounds to stop the blood flow. Good dad.

Still pre-op. Getting closer and what looks like more nervous.

The operation was a success as they probably all are for this procedure and took maybe fifteen minutes. It was the 'coming to' that really threw him off. I was put in a rocking chair and told to wait a moment. A second later I heard him screaming like a madman. It was pretty nuts really. They brought him over on a stretcher. His body looked so small on it. He was just coming out of the anesthetic and was completely disoriented. His eyes were slow reacting to seeing me. Not sure he even did see me. He looked around slowly but somehow furiously. I held him and tried to comfort him. He was losing his shit and I was just singing a song Rach and I always sing him when he's very upset. In a few moments he was able to focus and he clung onto me like a scared monkey in a NatGeo documentary. I felt like a real dad just then; my son needing me so completely. It's usually mom. But today it was my turn.

Post-op. Not as happy. So vulnerable.

We spent another three hours in recovery just trying to get him to drink juice and eat a popsicle. Instead, he slept. Then we went home and Rach had to pop out. She took Georgia so it was just me and Shep again. We watched some X-Men and cuddled on the couch. I really felt a lot of love for him. His dependency was really a great feeling. It hasn't been like that since he was an infant. They are getting so independent. But the love I felt was really very intense. And I think that we don't always feel that way for a reason. If we always felt that open-raw-nerve-crazy-in-love feeling all the time, I think we'd die from over exposure to such a powerful feeling.

Sleeping off the pain.

Still asleep an hour later. This picture destroys me.

Punk Rock Big Year
Paul Riss 


  1. words from the heart Paul <3 (heart)


  2. Hi Paul,
    This is the second time I can say that I totally get what you mean. About how you felt about Shep. My 4 yr old still hasn't become very independent but when he has those moments when he looks for me (instead of my wife) or shows affection unexpectedly -- it is such a highlight because I am not like this with anyone. And have never received such either. So I think I can understand just how special those days you spent with him must have felt.

    Am really glad Shep's procedure went well and he will now not have to feel sick all the time. About going under anesthetic... coincidentally, I had to visit the OT on the 30th to fix a broken metacarpal in my right hand. Stupid reason for that fracture, really. Anyway, it was my first hospital experience too and going under the lights for the minor procedure. Not a great feeling (ihate doctors and hospitals), I can only imagine what Shep was feeling then and when he came to.

    So I will now end with a left-handed thumbs up to the two of you. :) Well done man. Now to comment on your outing with your dad.