Sometimes We Forget
The bottom line is, she's never been sedated--local or general.
Until yesterday. Yesterday she went under general anesthesia and had four wisdom teeth removed. She was nervous. Really nervous. I held her hand while they inserted the IV and within seconds, she was asleep. I left the room and took her prescription to the pharmacy. When I returned, they took me to the recovery room to wait for her.
When they wheeled her around the corner to meet me, her mouth was swollen and crusted with blood, her eyes were wild and a little unfocused and tears were streaming down her cheeks.
I walked beside the wheelchair and held her hand as we walked to the exit. "What's wrong? What's wrong?" she kept asking me through her tears.
"You're all finished," I said. "You did great."
At the door, I left her in the capable hands of the attendant and ran to unlock her car door. When she got there, she was sobbing. I helped her into the car and buckled her into the seat belt. When I turned around, the attendant was gone. I got in the car and helped her remove a wad of blood-soaked cotton. She started crying harder. Her body was shaking with the sobs and with the shock of coming out of anesthesia. I didn't have a blanket so I hugged her and rubbed down her arms and legs, trying to help her warm up until the heater finally blew out warm air.
I kept telling her everything was fine. She was going to be okay. This was normal. She'd be warm soon. We'd be home soon. Don't worry about anything. To everything I said, her response was a tearful, "Okay. Okay. Okay."
It wasn't until later that I discovered why she was so upset. She didn't know why they were putting her in a wheelchair. She didn't feel right and everything was disconnected and she was bleeding and her mouth was full of bloody gauze that they kept switching out.
And then they put her in a wheelchair.
The wheelchair was the last straw. She didn't know they put everyone in a wheelchair after sedation and she thought something had gone terribly wrong and she was probably going to die. Her uncontrollable weeping was because she thought she was dying.
How sad that she was left to feel that panic when a simple explanation of why she was being taken to the car in a wheelchair would have eased her worries. I'll definitely remember that the next time one of my kids has surgery.