Monday, June 2, 2014

Surgery Shout Outs

My mom should get a huge shout out for coming with us to Mayo this week.  She's wrangled the two oldest plus the baby inside small places, with no schedules, and quick fix meals.  She's gotten up with the baby at night and wrestled him to sleep in the afternoons.  Without her, we would not have been able to bring any of the other kids.  Truth be told, one of the best gifts my parents have given me is that they are quick to help when help is needed, regardless of how it might interrupt their schedule or be uncomfortable for them.  I wish I could explain to you how much I have seen this modeled in my life, from the times when it has benefited me personally (like when D's grandma was dying and they took my kids for a week even though it would be my dad home with them) to the times when it has benefited someone else (like the time when a neighbor was about to be evicted from her house and asked us to help them clear it out about 3 hours before the actual event).

For some reason, this surgery has also conjured up some of my dad too.  Deciding to do this surgery was not easy.  Zeke's hands were useful and functional as they were.  Was it really a good idea to mar his foot in order to add a finger?  (Which by the way is actually a bit of a misnomer.  His toes looks so amazing.  You have to count to know one is missing.)  There were a lot of other parents in the online limb difference community who had been presented with this idea and turned it down.  It was a hard choice initially and those doubts resurfaced as the surgery got closer, as we sent him back for anesthesia, and as he emerged post surgery heavily sedated and with a breathing tube.  As we were trying to decide if we should do the surgery, we asked my mom her opinion but in her usual way, she was reluctant to offer up too much of anything.  She is almost always about staying out of her kids' choices and letting them decide without her influence.  And while my dad never meddled, it has occurred to me many times that he would have encouraged us to do the surgery. Without a doubt, my dad would have said "do it!"   Why?  Because so many of our concerns were fear based ones.  We were scared about the breathing tube and anesthesia.  We were scared the surgery might now work and his toe would be lost.  We were scared he would be angry with us as he got older because we agreed to the surgery.  We were scared of the opinions of others.  And for my dad, fear was never a good reason not to try something.  Granted, we did our due diligence and weighed the risks because there are some pretty serious ones in there.  We would have been remiss to not to do that.  But I am sure my dad would have said to try, that if you have a chance to improve Zeke's quality of life, to reduce the overuse of his existing fingers, that you have to try.

Maybe I am just getting old and sentimental (and maybe the teenage hormones have finally left the body for good) but I appreciate my parents more and more.

1 comment:

daciab said...

This was a great tribute to both of your parents. Glad the surgery went well. We are still praying that Zeke heals fully.