How it feels when baby is in surgery

So now Gabriel is in surgery to get his gastric tube plug installed. This is a 1-hour procedure involving general anaesthesia. I don’t have much useful information to report, but I can share a metaphor. Or maybe a simile because I have to use “like” a whole lot.

When we’ve arrived at Gabriel’s bedside an hour and a half early, it feels like showing up at the airport and getting through security and getting patted down by the TSA.

When they take a while longer than expected to come get our child, it feels like I’m waiting for an airplane that I don’t want to get on, and I know I’ll be too large for the seat I’m getting (and the flight is packed).

When the resource nurse shows up to escort us, but she has to wait for a while, too, it feels like the destination of the airplane is someplace I really, really don’t like, perhaps to interview for a job I don’t really want (but I’ve been unemployed for three years).

When we actually do get in to pre-op, it feels like I’m not at an airport, I’m on a bus through Transdnister, a defacto country that exists as a result of stalemated civil war. Then it feels like approaching the border, which still has barbed wire, sandbags and foxholes.

When the surgeon and anaesthesiologist explain what’s going on, it feels like a customs official in a Soviet army officer’s uniform has just gotten on the bus and taken my passport with no idea where he’s going.

When they cart our child away to surgery, it feels like I’ve been taken aside to have my bags searched by the Transdnistrian border guards, and I’m thinking about their reputation for extorting bribes.

This separation stuff is going to really stink when it’s time to send our son to summer camp.


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