There’s a giant pinball-type machine at the main entrance of CHOP that dings and sings every time its button is pushed. You can imagine how often it gets pushed in a hospital full of kids, siblings and grown kids, so this clingy clangy song echoes through the hospital halls about once every ten seconds. The sound of the pinball falling through the machine gives me flashbacks to other times we walked through these halls. As soon as I step foot on the terrazzo floor, I feel a wave of emotions surge through me as I recall the days of rushing up to the NICU for the overnight update. The smell of purell gives me anxiety as I religiously sanitize walking into the patient room. Today though, we celebrate.
Regan and I are back at the hospital for ear tube surgery. We just said our goodbyes five minutes ago, and the post op waiting room attendant just told us they’ve already requested a PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) bed for her. This feels like a breeze compared to this day last year, and yet the emotions are still so raw. I still had to say goodbye to my babe as I entrusted her care to the hands of an anesthesiologist and surgeon. I don’t think this goodbye feeling ever gets easier. But today, we celebrate!
We celebrate a year gone by with minimal illness. We celebrate the countless smiles and milestone celebrations we’ve gotten in the past twelve months since her tiny heart was so seamlessly repaired. We are offering our prayers for the families of Regan’s buddies who’ve gained their angel wings after long-fought battles with similar conditions.
It’s easy to forget the hard days when these days feel so good. If you’re a new reader around here, you may not know that my grandma (we call her Mah –pronounce “maw”) passed away a few years ago. I’ve written in previous posts that she is my spiritual mentor, the matriarch of my mom’s family, and serves at least part time as Regan’s guardian angel. She probably splits her time among all her children and grandchildren, which is more than a full-time job since I have thirty first cousins alone. Mah has come to me in my dreams three times since she passed away. Ironically, she doesn’t come at times when it feels like I need her the most. She comes to me at times when I need to be reminded that she’s there watching over us. She visited me last night in my dream.
The plot of these dreams is usually insignificant, but I can feel her telling me “I’m still here, darlin’, watchin over everything.” I wasn’t exceptionally nervous for this ear tube surgery; I think going through open heart surgery will do that to you. But every operation should be taken seriously, so I was a little anxious last night. Mah didn’t cross my mind last night before I fell asleep, which is why I know she came to me to remind me that she’s bending the Blessed Mother’s ear about Regan.
So today we celebrate a year since open heart surgery, a year of health, and we cheers to another day seeking our mission on earth. I hope everyone has some sort of reminder from your guardian angel that he or she is winking down at you and reminding you to celebrate the good days.
Happy Heartiversary, Regan!
((The last picture on this page is within an hour post-op. We have one happy girl!))