Our little one, Maxine had to have her tonsils taken out. The doctors said they were ‘kissing’ and was a candidate for removal. Maxine snored like a chainsaw at night, and these two globules were the culprit. And so after a few consultations and many hours at the hospital clinics, we moved into Makati Medical Center
Day 1 – Got a text message from the Hospital saying that the room is ready and to check-in. Rossana was at work, so I took Maxine to the hospital right after lunch. Her apprehension was apparent, being quiet the whole time in our cab trip. After an hour of clearing with the HMO, we were brought up to the sixth floor and settled in. Fluffy pillows, small semi-private room. After the prerequisite nurses’ visit for vital stats and recording, we gorged on chips and ice cream. I wanted her to be as comfortable as she can and keep her mind off next morning’s procedure. Rossana took over the shift after dinner, and I went home to scrub off the sterile hospital atmosphere from my body and get some sleep.
Day 2 – at six, nurse comes in and gently wakes Maxine. She opens her eyes, the fear not settling in yet as she does not know what is coming next. Rossana tells her that an IV drip will have to be inserted and that she will be breathing in sleeping gas. At three years old, an idiot nurse stabbed the back of Maxine’s hand eight times unsuccessfully to get a vein. And that is pretty ugly for a three year old. So it was understandable that Maxine was scared now. At the pre-operating room, Rossana suggested I go in to help Maxine cope and appreciate that were there with her. In my scrubs, I whispered over and over in the operating room that everything will be ok. That we love her. That this is only temporary. She struggled quite a bit with the gas mask. It was painful for any parent to see their kid being subjected to all these kid-unfriendly equipment probing her. So Maxine held my hand tightly to see I was still there. Still there for her. Two minutes later she went under. I left the operating room to join Rossana and prayed that Maxine will be alright. We went back to the room and waited. Two hours later, we got a call from the operating room to come. When we got there, we found Maxine on her side, crying quietly from the pain.
We again whispered that we were there, touching her, holding her hand. Whimpering, she was escorted back to the room. And I rushed out to buy some ice cream. She had a few spoons, then promptly fell asleep. She cried in her sleep, clutching at the ice bag that was resting at her throat. She woke at sunset, not hungry, but we fed her a Slurpee anyway. A little past nine her favorite cousin Colin came. And she was more alive again. Her pain has lessened, and she went to sleep feeling a little better. Rossana went home and I took watch. It was going to be a long night.
Day 3 – After several bathroom breaks and broken sleep from the pain throughout the night, Maxine awoke with a smile on her face and said ‘Doodah, can we go home?’ She was smiling. After clearing with the hospital and the doctors, getting the prescriptions and the diet advice, we made our way home with her Aunt Gina. and we bought more ice cream. And she was feeling a little better. She developed a cough and cold at the hospital, but she was happy she was finally at home. Rossana was happy that all went well. And she hugged Maxine, and mommied her, and loved her. She had that same look when we brought Maxine home after being born. And that was the moment any mother will truly cherish, knowing that their baby is the center of the universe.
That was a long weekend.