Here we go again.
When my son was a baby, VACTERL ruled our world. It was all VACTERL all the time. There was a seemingly endless cadence of surgeries every few months. I lived on adrenaline. It was a constant onslaught and it seemed like it will never end. Then quite suddenly, it slows down. My son still saw endless specialists, but not every appointment was a pre-surgical consult. I took a deep breath and started focusing on the normal baby milestones. “Normal” life ensued.
But the surgeries never completely go away. The frequency definitely decreases. But out there, lurking in the shadows, the boogie man is always waiting to catch you off guard.
Well the boogie man got me. It has been a couple of years since my son has had to have surgery, but the clock ran out on our lucky streak. He has to have major spinal surgery sometime next month.
I think most parents would freak out if their kid had to have major surgery. I just sigh and brace myself. I cannot worry about the actual procedure itself. I has to happened. There will be side effects and I have absolutely no control over the ultimate outcome. I brace myself not for the actual event, but for the month or two that follows the actual surgery. As I have said before, for me there is always an echo boom after a major event. I push risk and worry out of my mind. I ride the waves of suffering that my son will inevitably have. But then…sometimes weeks or months later, I freak out. For me the echo boom takes the form of depression and anxiety. I am overwhelmed by sadness and the littlest road bump sends my adrenal system into overdrive. This lasts for months.
Then slowly…over time…my system resets and life resembles some sort of normalcy. The boogie man is gone, never to be seen again.
…Until I see him again.