This is the post I have been dreading, the one I almost didn’t write. This is the post I relive almost daily, the one that makes me sick to my stomach, gives me nightmares and panic attacks, the one I hate the most, the one I hope, wish and pray that no-mother ever has to go through; even with its happy ending. With that said, read at your own risk.
Gage came out of his port surgery as a success, and we rushed in to be by his side; he was groggy and wanted to be held. So held him we did. We were told that his surgery went “beautifully” and “with no problems.”
When they wheeled Gage back to his room, his grandma was there waiting for us. We sat around talking about how this could have happened to us, this happens to other people, people on TV, nameless people we don’t know; people we can change the channel on when it gets too depressing to watch.
It had probably been about an hour after the surgery, when my mother in law first asked me if I noticed Gage breathing a little heavier, a little more “gaspy,” hmmm yeah, I do notice it, so I called the nurse in who promptly told us “oh, this is normal, for after surgery” ooookay. YAY! another Bestie came to visit, my mother in law left, and we kicked the Hubs out, telling him to go home and get some sleep, because everything was ok and he was still attempting go work everyday.
The Bestie and I sat around talking about, the weeks crazy events, and how Gage was going to beat this. We especially talked about how, gosh, his breathing does not sound right, “nurse, are you sure he’s ok?” this went on for like five hours me:”he looks like a water balloon, slowly expanding; is that normal?” nurse:”yes, it’s common to look swollen after surgery.” The Bestie and I couldn’t shake the feeling something was just not right.
The Bestie finally had to leave, and my twin sister and older sister came to sit with us, we sat around joking and making fun of Gage, the doctors had put netting around his torso so he wouldn’t play with his port and all this pudge was popping through the wholes; it was so cute! But he looked very uncomfortable, so my sister s left to the store to get Gage some onsies.
I was by myself when I finally demanded the on call doctor come in to check on Gage, because I swear to ‘effing God something is not right. Once the doctor came in listened to Gages’ lungs ordered a chest x-ray, and oxygen to help him breath. (I can’t breath as I write this, I’m starting to shake and sweat, my stomach is bubbly. If I close my eyes I’m back in the hospital) The doctor doesn’t like what she see, she orders the nurse to come in and get another IV going, the problem is he is so bloated they can’t find a vain. I’m holding Gage at this point trying to keep him calm as they poke and re-poke him, FUCKING VAIN!!! My sisters are back they are in the hall, freaking out wondering what the hell is going on. Gage is lips are starting to turn blue, and he’s foaming at the mouth, his pupils are starting to dilate. I just hold him tighter, telling him he is such a “strong, brave boy, and mommy and daddy love you so much, we could not have asked for a better baby and you are the only one we ever wanted.”
“Why isn’t the doctor in here?!” my twin sisters runs to look the doctor who she finds is at the computer and the nurses station, and yells at him to “get off his ass and help Gage!” the nurses ask me to go in the parents room, and wait. Just a we ge into the room, I hear it, I pray to God, I heard wrong but no we heard it right “CODE PINK” (which means a child in distress) over the loud-speaker. I start screaming, no this can’t be happening, my sisters try to reach for me to calm me down, I can’t stop screaming. I see a nurse look into the family room, and I think that’s what snaps me out of my fit. I run out of the parents room and run smack into the on-call pediatrician. The first thing I ask “what are his chances?? I NEED TO KNOW 50/50? 30/70? 60/40??!!” I don’t give her a chance to answer I fire off my questions needing to know, desperate to know. She tells me ”right now we don’t know, but they are taking him down to surgery to remove his port, and to see what went wrong.
I call Troy, and as calmly as I can I tell him “can you come down to the hospital, the doctors don’t like how Gage looks and want to remove his port; and want you here.” At 1:00 in the morning I don’t know what he could have been thinking. I don’t know how I did it without braking down, my older sister unbeknownst to me called her husband and told him to come down because “we weren’t sure if Gage was going to make it.” My twin was on the phone with one of the Besties begging her to get to my parents house and watch her kids so she wouldn’t have to leave the hospital, and oh don’t tell our dad, because, our mom had just had surgery the day before and didn’t need the stress.
The hall outside of Gages room is filled with nurses and doctors, at least twenty of them. When the wheel Gage out of his room, he has a trickle blood coming out of his mouth and a tube shoved down his throat to help him breath. We and running to keep up with them as they take him to the elevators, not even realizing the Twin wasn’t with us, until one of the nurses asks about her, so Cookie my older sister throws the pediatric unit door ope, and screams down the hall “TWIN WE ARE GOING TO THE THIRD FLOOR!!!’ not caring if we wake anybody. We get to the elevator, and the doctors ask if I want to ride down with them, and I’m to terrified to ride with them, afraid to be in the same space as Gage, I’m scared fucking shitless of what might happen in that elevator.
Once on the third floor, I start to shake and I can’t stop, I’m so cold, and so scared, the nurses come and cover me with a half dozen blankets, and it’s not helping. What if that was the last time I was going to see Gage alive, and I didn’t go in the fucking elevator with him.