That being said, here goes....
Cameron's VSD was found when he was 15 months old and we have been watching it ever since. Surgery was always in the works, and we finally came to a point where we needed to do it. The hole in Cameron's heart was beginning to cause some issues with his aortic valve and so we needed to close it so that we wouldn't have further issues with the valve later in life. And so, here we are, 24 hours from surgery in the Pediatric Outpatient wing at the University of Iowa.
|Still sleepy...morphine will do that.|
|A little view of the surgery site.|
|Cameron's set up in the PICU.|
I have learned a lot from this experience. Mostly, that I am so damn lucky. Cameron's heart issue hasn't caused any major problems and this surgery was more of a preventative thing. Also, there are so many parents that have to spend more time in this place than I could ever imagine. Not that it's a bad place, in fact, it's wonderful. The team here is amazing and have been so great to us.
We have met families that are in far more severe situations than us. One family with a teenage boy that was in a car accident just a few days ago and is on the long, long road to recovery. A little girl next door that spends so much time here that her hospital room looks like a room she should have at home. And so many tiny, tiny babies...it hurts my heart. I have a few friends that have children that require frequent hospital visits and I have always respected them, but now, I respect them so much more.
I have been asked by people, "How do you do it?" Not specifically in regards to Cameron but also to Seth. The answer is (and my friends that I mentioned above would probably agree)...you just do. It applies to Cameron, to Seth and his hearing impairment, to a child that needs to go to the ER for stitches, or just about any situation you're put in as a parent. When there is a bump in the road, you go over it and keep on keepin' on. These things become our "norm" and we don't know any other way. For example, in our house the tvs and radios are really loud. We don't notice, but others sure do. Or when we use words describing Cameron's condition, it's a foreign language to most, but not to us.
The most important thing to come from this though is what it has done for us as a family. The other kids may not know it yet, but they appreciate their brother more now than they did before. Not just because he isn't at home, but because he has been so strong and brave. I appreciate Jimmy and I would hope he appreciates me more because we've switched roles in a sense. He is taking care of the house while I handle things here at the hospital. As a family, we are moving over this bump together and coming out strong on the other side.
I will continue to keep updates on Facebook. Thank you all so much for your well wishes, I have told Cameron about all of them (not that he'll remember it, he's pretty doped up). Time to tuck in my monkey for the night and look forward to more progress in the morning. -K