I’ve been pretty lucky. I raised 5 children and never had to endure surgery on any of the children. My daughter is not so lucky. Her son, Ephraim, 5 months old, had his second surgery today. He is fine. He was back to himself in no time and he is a healthy little boy who has every chance at living a perfectly normal life. But today was hard.
Yesterday, I referred to the prep day at Hadassah Hospital for children about to have surgery. I thought that it was wonderful for the older children although Ephraim much preferred to think about drinking milk and manipulating his little teething rings.
Today we saw all of the same parents and children. Two by two, children were sent up to the operating suites accompanied by family members. When Ephraim’s turn came, his mom was able to enter the operating room with him and to stay with him until the anesthesia took effect.
Then we waited. The truth is that the surgery didn’t take very long. I think he was out of our sight for about a half an hour. But it was a difficult time. My daughter went to get some coffee, anticipating a much longer wait. While she was gone, the doctor came to call her to be with her child. I went with him and when I heard Ephraim crying I got tears in my eyes, grateful that he was awake and alert and hungry. I started feeding him the milk his mother had expressed and when his mother came in a minute or two later, he snuggled into her arms and continued to feed, feeling safe and secure.
The staff was amazingly kind and friendly. The doctor explained what he had done and assured us that everything was fine and he should have no problems in the future. The clown from yesterday returned to spend time with the children in the recovery room and although Ephraim was not old enough to appreciate him, my daughter and I appreciated his clever way of dealing with us and the others. He was funny and gentle and caring.
Once we left the recovery room we went back to the children’s area where we had been yesterday and where we started out in the morning. The nurse there, the other parents and children, the national service volunteer, all made the stay pleasant. When finally the anesthesiologist came to release the children, we left with our little Ephraim, relieved.