Last night, I had just about had it. Last time Elliott's ear tube surgery and hearing exam was scheduled, he got so worked up that they thought he had a cold and they canceled the surgery, after weeks of waiting. I spent several more weeks waiting and placing weekly calls to annoy the nurses into fitting him in. During my weekly call last week, I got lucky and they told me there had just been a cancellation. Could I take off work and bring him in on Tuesday? Yes, I could. At the pre-op on Monday, they poked and prodded Elliott and made me walk him all over the hospital. He was understandably annoyed with the TWO HOUR wait, and this old man named Uncle Floyd started complaining about him, and about my mothering skills. I was this close to giving Uncle Floyd something to complain about, but his niece was kind and deflated the situation. I am so sick of people making me feel like there is something wrong with my kids. It makes me angrier than anything makes me. Angry enough to punch an old man with a walker in his veiny, red nose. Instead, I cried a little and went to work and taught badly because my mind was elsewhere.
And then last night, Elliott got a small fever. And a little cough. And then Ryan told me this kid at day care had a 104 degree fever and his mom didn't take him home. I was crushed. The stakes are so much higher with Elliott because he is meeting with all of his specialists this month and if we didn't get his hearing squared away, the appointments would be useless. I've been under so much stress writing letters and calling people and carting the kids around to all of their specialists' appointments. I felt like I had worked so hard and it had all come down to this: failure.
So I went to bed defeated but I set my alarm for 5:15 and I prayed Elliott would wake up with out the fever. And he did! No food or drink was allowed for the little man until 9am, so he was extremely agitated. Yet, I couldn't let him cry because they might cancel the surgery again. I felt as though I had this (cute) time bomb on my hands for hours, and each time the nurse took his blood pressure or affixed a bracelet to his wrist or looked at him too long, I winced in anticipation of his screams and head banging. There was a little of that, but I had a bunch of toys and I let him do stuff I normally wouldn't just so he would keep it together. Want to play with the doctor's computer? Sure. Want to grab the blinds on the window? You got it. Play with the I.V. holder thing? Absolutely. Finally, just when I thought he couldn't take it anymore, they took him from me and carried him down the hall. He didn't cry when they did that, which shocked me, and as the door closed on him, he did a little fake sneeze, and I felt sad and nervous for the next 45 minutes.
The surgery went fine, and his hearing is perfect. Which is a relief and leads us to the next step in finding out what is wrong with him. When I went the get him, two nurses were struggling with his red and screaming body. He had been trying to rip the I.V. out of his arm and they were attempting to tape it down. They told me his screaming was a reaction to the medication, but as it kept worsening, it became clear (as I knew all along) that this had more to do with his personality. "We have a reputation," I told the nurses. They wanted to wait until he calmed down and drank some juice before they discharged us. I told them this would never happen. Eventually, they believed me and let us go. As soon as we were in the hallway, he stopped crying, and he drank his whole juice on the way home.
So I don't feel like a failure anymore, even though I'm still anxious to find out more about what is going on with Elliott. The Inland Regional Center is finally working with me rather than against me to get more services for Elliott, and I'm hoping my letter writing, phone calling campaign will subside pretty soon. My hope is that this will all be a funny story some day...