Tuesday, May 20, 2008

All His Marbles

Liam's test this morning was bad. Real bad. Instead of a diminished supply of blood to one of his boys, there looked like no blood was getting there. Maybe "torsion" they said. (Which in English means something is twisted in there.) Or pressure from fluid has constricted the blood flow. Something could be dying, or dead.

So Cindy signed a consent to remove what they had to remove. And Liam was rushed into surgery. Again.

Another agonizing wait. This time thinking he could be losing a rather sensitive and critical piece of himself. The appendix isn't needed. Testicles are. I kept emailing updates and texting folks and making phone calls. Trying to pass the time somehow.

Finally, after forty minutes, the urologist arrived.

In thirty five years of practice, he said, he has never seen anything like this. Nothing was twisted. There was no sign of infection in the abdomen. And didn't see any kind of obvious hernia. But his sack was full of purulent fluid. They removed an ounce of it. (For an adult, it would have been like having 8 ounces (a Coke-can sized serving) in there!) And when they checked on his gear, everything was good. Everything was healthy. Nothing had to be removed, except excess fluid that shouldn't have been there. But the fluid couldn't be explained with complete certainty. So we were left with something of a medical mystery, but Liam was left with all his marbles.

They rolled him out of the recovery room. We were all delighted with the good news. He had balloons and presents waiting in his room. He had a ton of visitors. He kept dozing in and out. He had phone calls. It wasn't long before he was back to himself and feeling much better. He won't be walking (to let the swelling go down) but he's already recovering even quicker than last time.

And we're all ready to see an end to this adventure. And have a normal day. Without any nurses or shots or risks of complications.

To be a family again.

- - -

Maybe it was the stress. Maybe it was wishful thinking. I don't expect Liam or Cindy or anyone to ever believe me. But during the surgery, something happened to me. While we were in the Waiting Room and fearing the worst, a wicked chill swept across me. I lost my breath. A panic attack? A stroke? Amid all the voices and the noise from the TV and the echoes off the concrete walls, I could feel Liam's presence in the distance. Like hearing your child's voice in a crowded room, he was there. I shut my eyes. Clenched my hand against my temples. And it felt like I was turned completely horizontal. And my head was being dragged back toward the guts of the operating room. I was filled with a vision. Blurring down the hall, into the operating room, with Liam on the table, a breathing tube taped to his mouth, the lights illuminate him and the doctors around him. I could see one of them nodding and turning to the assistants. I could see they weren't removing anything. They were putting him back together. Something in those nods and the lack of any cutting made me relax. I took another breath, and it was over. I wasn't cold anymore. I thought then and there that he was okay.

It wasn't a panic attack. Or a stroke.

I don't know what it was.

But I didn't say anything.

Nobody would believe me if I did.
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