Shriners. Shriners Salt Lake, in particular. The care coordinator Kris and Brody's surgeon Hutch to be specific.
Thanks to them, they have rearranged Hutch's one day a month "clinic" day to be a "clinic plus surgery for Brody" day. Just Brody. Based solely on my email saying that the pin needed to come out, Hutch agreed, and so Kris got an OR, an anesthesiologist, and two nurses to do the surgery. It's at 1pm mst tomorrow. Brody and I fly out from Denver at 7am.
The pin is about to poke through skin at his elbow. I would not be surprised if it did so before surgery tomorrow. It is swollen, warm, sore, bruised and ugly:
I think a normal person would be out of circulation. Not Brody. Brody played tennis, tennis, on Sunday. For the first time. We threw a ball to him, and it bounced, and then Brody hit it with a racquet. Probably around 40 times. I got chills watching him. I really need to stop underestimating that kid.
On to the title of the post. Rituals. I have rituals for a surgery, whether they are voluntary or not.
I will not sleep well tonight, worried that we will miss our plane.
I will also worry about food. No food for Brody after 5am and no juice after 10am. This is, on surgery no. 13, the thing I worry about most before a surgery. During the surgery I worry about darker things, but before, I fixate on the food issue. As in, denying food to my son.
The surgery is at 1pm, and our plane leaves Salt Lake at 5pm. Which means we have to be out of recovery at 3pm. We will probably not be on that plane.
Therefore, I am packing an overnight bag. In the overnight bag for me: change of clothes, excedrin, sleeping pills, toiletries, and a book. I have never not once read a book while with B at a hospital. I think about taking a flask but I know that is wrong so I will not.
Each trip, I buy some new distractions for Brody. Today, it is books: Horton Hears a Who, Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, and some Richard Scarry book about airports.
I will bring too many wipes and not enough diapers. I have not yet mastered how many clothes or socks - I used to bring too few and now bring too many. I will check to see the bag has a blankie and his Bobby Jack plush monkey 27 times before we leave the house.
Brody gets to eat whatever he wants tonight: Old McDonalds, pizza, cake. Apparently I do too, since I ate a caramel apple for lunch.
Jeremy and I will be complete grumps to each other tomorrow morning. I will accuse him of not appreciating me and he will judge how well I packed a diaper bag. We will be running late and lament the loss of time to grab a Starbucks. Brody will be chattering away happily talking about airplanes and what color airplane he will ride on.
Once we get to the airport, we will hug tightly and longly and I will get teary eyed watching Jeremy say goodbye to Brody. We will rush in, check in, and get to the gate. Brody will not want to go through security. We will buy juice as soon as we get past security at the little store next to Frontier's gates. Brody is pretty great at the airport, watching planes and people.
On the plane, we each have our own TV. I will turn on cartoons for Brody and he will instead play with the earbuds and only intermittently watch the cartoons. He may or may not pass out. We will land in Salt Lake and wait 40 mins for the Shriners van to pick us up. When the van arrives, the other people will look at Brody to try to figure out what is "wrong" with him that we are getting on the Shriners van. We may also meet some other families who have flown in that morning going to Shriners hospital also. We will talk to them and have a great ride to the hospital on the bus.
In light of the truly amazing feat Shriners is executing tomorrow, I felt it appropriate to get something for Hutch and mostly for Kris for making this possible. Kris should be getting flowers any minute. I bought Hutch toffee from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
I hope it doesn't melt on the plane.