When your child has to have major surgery!!!!!

  Yesterday I found out that my youngest son has to have major reconstruction surgery on his feet. I was shocked by what the x-rays showed and what the Doc said about them.

To look at his feet you wouldn’t think anything was wrong. He may only be 14 but he’s 6′ tall and built like a linebacker. He’s always been a little clumsy but so was I when I was his age. The past two years he’s complained of some foot pain. Usually in the morning, but myself and his PCP chalked it up to growing pains and marching band.

Looking at those x-rays yesterday made me wonder if he had been hiding just how much pain he’d really been in and I felt like shit. As a mother I’m supposed to know when something is really wrong with my kid. But I stuffed those feelings down deep. This isn’t about me, this is about my son and what he’s about to go through. It’s my job to help him get through it.

The surgery is going to be pretty extensive. First they are taking a wedge of bone from the top of his foot. Then they are realigning the bones and placing permanent pins in them. They are doing the same thing to his heel and he will have more pins. Next they are going to make an incision in his Achilles tendon because it is so tight that they need to relieve the pressure so that it can relax and drop, thus allowing his heel to drop. They are going to make similar incisions to the ligaments on either side of his foot. They aren’t sure if his ankle will need realignment until they open it up.

He will have a 12 week recovery. In a cast for about 10 weeks and will have to use a walker. We find out next Wednesday when we’ll do the surgery and then coordinate with the school to deal with the work he’ll have to do at home while he’s healing up.

I’d never tell him that I’m scared. He’s a twin and was born 5 weeks early. I had a very difficult pregnancy and was in and out of the hospital with various complications until their birth. He was born with a hole in his heart and a slight case of pulmonary stenosis. So even though he will have to be cleared before getting the surgery, there will still be a giant pit in my stomach while it’s happening. The Doc told me that he was born with his feet like they were. All I can think of is “How much more does this kid have to go through?” His twin sister is very healthy with no birth defects.

His other foot will have to be done as well. Something that will be decided on after he’s recovered from the first surgery.

My job is a simple one. To take care of him. To reassure him that everything is going to be all right. To comfort him. To not show I’m worried or scared. To be his mom in every way.

My children are everything to me. There is nothing I wouldn’t do – NOTHING – to protect them. In this, I can’t protect him. I have to leave it up to the doctors and who ever is in control of the fucking universe.

I’m lucky, My kids are strong and independent. They know their own mind and aren’t afraid to speak it. They are kind and compassionate. And as far from being spoiled brats as you could get. They aren’t perfect but to me I couldn’t have asked for any better kids.

As teenagers my relationship with them has changed. I’ve had to let go. Allow them to make their own mistakes and face the consequences for those mistakes. I’ve had to stop stepping in to “save” them from doing stupid things so that they can learn the life lessons they need to before they go into the world. It’s hard as a mom not to wrap your arms around them and shut the world out but as they get older I wouldn’t be doing them any favors.

Even though I hate every single second that passes that my baby boy has to go through this, I’ll never let him know. I’ll deal with the pit in my stomach to keep him from being terrified about what is going to happen to him.

I know that my baby boy is a strong, resilient and brilliant young man and he will not only get through this but his life will be better for it.

And in the end that is the only thing that matters.


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