Today I had to take Rylan to the ortho, and we expected it to be a pretty easy visit. Of course it was not an easy visit, the doctor decided to change course after looking in the kids mouth.
Rylan has braces and an appliance in the roof of his mouth - the goal is to widen his mouth, push out his gum-line and semi-straighten his teeth. Getting his teeth straight this time around is not the goal, the goal is to prepare his mouth for surgery in the summer.
We expected to have the appliance taken out, which we were excited about. Well, it did come out, but only to be replaced with more brackets and rings. So, here i am once again sitting on the sidelines watching some assistance with her hands on my son and tears streaming down his face. I am holding his hand and feeling each flinch of pain as he grabs me harder.
At this moment my heart breaks a little more. I picture him as my baby in the ENT office being held down by 5 nurses so they can clean / check his ears. He would scream so much that he would break blood vessels in his face - it was awful! I would sit at the top of his head rubbing his hair and speak softly to him in an effort to calm him down, nothing would work until they were done. It all appeared to be so painful, which leads me to believe that yes he was scared, but there was also some level of pain involved and that sucks.
So here we are years later, more doctors added to our list, and the tears are still coming. Only this time he is so big, and trying to be so strong. That made me proud and sad at the same time, he is such a trooper. Once the things were glued on he was distracted by getting to change his colors - we choose orange this time. However my heavy heart does not get distracted that fast, his painful eyes and tears are embedded in my memory for every. Right along with his smile and his soft hands that relax once the pain is over. After everything was said and done, he got out of the chair, swished his mouth out and came over and sat on my lap. Smack dab in the middle of my lap and just needed a hug. I breath a sigh of relief, and hold him a little tighter for that brief moment, just to love him alittle longer.
Next Thursday we are schedule to go to Children's Hospital for outpatient surgery, he is getting is 5th set of ear tubes. I know it is an every day occurrence, lots of kids have them. blah, blah, blah. For our cleft little guys/gals it is a bit of a different story; one for me that is similar to going to the ortho. His ears become more and more difficult to explore and place tubes in due to the fact that the scarr tissue builds up. We get the scarr tissue from having surgery, we cannot go without tubes so we must have the surgery. It is a terrible cycle.
When he wakes up from the surgery he will be in pain, disorientated and desperate to make heads or tails out of the situation. And at that moment I will wish I could trade places with him and take all of his pain away. I will step into the role of 'mom' when really I want to crawl under a rock and cry. My tears will be saved for a safe place out of his site, but they are real non the less. I will once again be his cheerleader from the sidelines. Holding his hand, wiping his tears and praying for the pain to end quickly.
After a few hours and/or days this pain will be a fleeting thought for him, but it will haunt me forever.
This must be what it feels like to love someone other than yourself........this is what it feels like to be a parent.