It’s hard to settle into sleep tonight. It always is on nights like tonight. I’m not a stranger to these feelings.
It’s the evening before surgery. My mind is swirling with images and emotions that I subconsciously bury deep inside until I’m facing surgery head-on again. Only then do they reappear in detail, almost as if they occurred yesterday.
But tonight is different. This time, I’m not the one physically having the surgery.
Tomorrow at 11 am eastern, I will be on the opposite side of the operating table and it’s a place that I’m finding is uncomfortable to be. Especially because the person having surgery has been on the opposite side of my operating table since I was three months old.
Tomorrow, I will watch my mom put her clothes and belongings in a plastic personal belongings bag in exchange for a ill-fitting hospital gown and light blue grippy socks.
I will watch as she climbs under the paper thin sheet of the cot and lays her head against the stiff pillow.
I will watch as the nurse comes in and asks if she’s cold and if she’d like warm blankets put over her. I’m guessing she’ll say yes. She doesn’t like being cold.
I will watch as they slide an IV needle into her vein and start the slow drip of antibiotics and pain medications that will flow into her blood stream.
I will watch as the surgeon and anesthesiologist come in the room and explain the operation. Then I know my dad will ask if we can all pray together, because that’s what he’s always done and we’re a family that believes in the power of prayer.
Then I’ll reach over and squeeze her hand. A hand that has held mine so many times.
I will watch as she gives me a smile and I’ll give her one back and whisper, “I love you very much and I’m proud of you”.
I will probably feel a warm tear roll down my cheek as they wheel her into the operating room and I know for certain that I will be wishing that I could take her place.
But then I don’t know what I will do because it’s a place I’ve never been in before.
But I do know that when she wakes up, I will be there to wipe the hairs off her forehead and tell her that she did a great job.
I will feed her ice chips because her throat will feel like sand paper.
I will get the nurse when the pain seems unbearable.
We will probably name her IV machine. Because that’s what we’ve always done.
I will be there to steady her when she’s forced to get up and walk for the first time.
I will catch her vomit if I need to. I know how nauseating anesthesia can make you.
Once she’s feeling a little better, I’ll bring her a peppermint patty from the gift shop, because that’s what she always brought me.
I will watch her sleep and while she does, I will read my Bible and pray. Because that’s what I’ve always seen her do.
Friends, please cover my mom in prayer tomorrow at 11 am eastern time. She is having a complicated cranial surgery performed to correct a rare condition in her inner ear. The surgery will take approximately 3-4 hours and the risks are many. She will be in ICU for 1-3 days and the hospital 4-8, depending on the severity of her condition once they are “in there”. Pray for full restoration of her hearing and a “better-than-expected” recovery. Pray for stamina for my dad. Pray for the surgeon and nurses. And I know my mom would want me to ask you to pray that whatever happens tomorrow would bring God glory.
Because that’s what she always prayed for me.
(This verse has been a rock for my mom throughout these past 6 months)