My kid is in pain

My kid is in pain and I hate it. 

My happy girl, usually so full of joy, is sad. My compassionate girl, so helpful and kind and generous and loving, can barely see beyond herself. My bottomless pit who can out-eat her father, is passing up bribes of “eat this banana and we’ll make daddy watch Dora the Explora.” 

She is trying so hard to be strong and she so earnestly yearns to be brave, but her weakness betrays her. It’s clear that she’s terrified. Quite frankly so am I. 

This is not something I am comfortable with. This is new to me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to respond. I would sit and cuddle her all day long if I could but I cannot. I would do the ‘tough love’ well if she didn’t catch my hiding in the cupboard hiding the secret tears when it all gets too much. 

My daughter is in pain and it’s because of me. 

I signed the forms. I led her into theatre. I held her hand while they knocked her out. This is probably why my husband wanted to do it. To save me the inevitable, “did I do the right thing?”

She needed it done. We’ve seen such massive improvements in her speech and sleep and her ability to breathe. There’s no doubt it was something we could not avoid. We absolutely did the right thing and I’m so glad it was me. 

I’m thankful I was there because I saw the theatre, I saw the surgeons,  nurses, the support staff, the cool young volunteer and the strawberry scented mask. There was even a balloon. I know how much fun it was for her. I experienced first-hand how they transfoemed something so traumatic into a mysterious adventure. 

Yet I don’t think they prepared her for the pain. All the preparation was on getting to the operation. Now what? Keep up the pain relief, they say. Yeah, at the expense of her digestive system, when it’s barely functioning as it is coz it’s so hard to get her to eat. 

To be honest she’s doing incredibly well and all five of us are coping much better than expected. But it’s not without its challenges. 

I just have to remind myself and remind my lovely daughter, that this will be over before we know it. Then we can start preparing for the Middle child’s turn. He’ll love the attention. He loves soft food. He’ll be much easier to deal with. Oh no he won’t. We’ll have to stop him jumping off things. Unless we don’t give him the meds we should so he remembers to slow down. But then he’ll be in pain. I’ll hate it then too. 

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