From surgery to Posey

Friday, April 29th

No more port! Tuesday’s surgery went so smoothly, with Tristan in great spirits about having his danged port removed, and with an early OR time and, thus, no extended starvation period. In the waiting room, he played with a social worker and a miniature set of OR equipment. Without too much of a wait, we were taken back to prep. Because this was more of a surgery than the lumbar punctures, I had to don a full-on surgical costume and cap to take Tristan into the OR, and all that meant a somewhat higher level of stress for both of us, but really it was all ok. No major meltdowns.

As I sat by his bed waiting for him to wake up, I had one eye on the clock. Earlier, on the OR registration desk, I had noticed a flyer with a photo of Buster Posey, SF Giants catcher and first baseman, stating that he’d be in the fifth floor playroom for a kids’ interview from 11 to 11:30. It was meant for inpatient kids, but the kind OR social worker offered to smooth our way in if we were done with surgery and recovery in time. On one hand, whisking my hung-over-from-anesthesia three year-old straight from his recovery bed into an interview with Posey didn’t seem like a great idea. One the other hand, my ten year-old, who loves Posey (and even has a cat named after the player) would SURE appreciate some photos and the story and a signature delivered home by mom, and I’d never forgive myself for not trying.
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At 11:07 the nurse by Tristan’s bedside urged me to wake him up, saying I’d beat the traffic north on the 101 this way (but really just wanting to get us out so they could get the next kid in). Instead of resisting, as I usually do, I slipped groggy Tristan back into his clothes, put him in his stroller, and dashed, with the OR social worker in tow, to the elevators. Good to her word, she signed us into the playroom…and there we were, face to face with handsome Buster Posey along with a couple of dozen kids, some in wheelchairs, some with IV rigs attached, many with Giants hats on. We didn’t last long before Tristan began to protest, but it was long enough to see how charming Posey is, and how sweet he is with kids. One of the kids asked him, “How does it feel to get hit when you’re at bat?” “Well,” he answered, “it hurts a whole lot.” I tried to wait out the last few minutes of the interview to get a signature for Tomas afterward, but by this time Tristan’s protests turned into wails, and I felt I had already pushed it far enough. Poor kid, just out of surgery. Thankfully one of the Children’s Hospital workers running the event offered to get a signature and mail it to Tomas. I hugged her in gratitude. I wanted so badly to do this for Tomas, and what abysmal timing!

As we left the hospital, we passed all of Marvel’s most super superheroes. Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, and four or five others, on their way in. I cheered them on and they waved as they proceeded to the service elevator, harnesses and ropes swinging from their waists. They are the Children’s Hospital window washing team. It’s so sweet it makes me want to cry.

Tristan and I both wanted to drive straight home instead of spending a second night at Family House, so we did. Initially Tristan was very upset about the seatbelt touching the incision site — not painful, just worrisome to him. We solved that problem by wedging a newly acquired stuffed kiwi between the seat belt and his solar plexus to hold the belt away from his skin. Perfect! And we were on our way, home in time to have dinner with Daddy and Tomas and Phoebe. I left my phone on the kitchen table with a note to Tomas: Tomas, go to Photos and look at the most recent ones. He was thrilled, and took prints in today for Show & Tell.

I’m writing from a spot where I’ve recently spent too much time  — the playroom at Harper Motors. The car is being serviced, and Tristan is happily munching popcorn and playing on the Duplo Lego table. Before retiring to the playroom, we went for a run in a beautiful slough — a protected wildlife area — that is adjacent to Harper. Gorgeous! The most unlikely places can end up being a beautiful run.

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