Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Eli has been trying to escape.  Okay, not necessarily escape, but he loves to go bye-bye.  He hates being "left behind" and I don't blame him.  However, he has to realize that he can't leave the house any time he wants to and that at the ripe old age of two years and five months, he is not as street-savvy as he believes himself to be. 

Today he tried to leave five different times.  The first time was adorable.  He came to me wanting help to put on his Elmo backpack.  Once it was on he left the room.  I thought he was playing in his room.  Instead, I heard the door to the garage open.  I followed and asked him where he thought he was going.  He looks up at me and says "Doc Amy.  No boo-boos.  Hugs."  I got him back in and promised that he would see Dr. Amy soon and get a hug and no boo-boos (shots). 

The second time was while I walked the dog in the front yard.  I never go where I can't see the front door so it was easy to see it open and Eli step out.  In his socks.  I told him to go back inside and he did.  He put one foot inside before turning around and starting down the walk.  Albert & I changed our route and ushered Eli back into the house (with a few strong words and a stern look on my face).  I must have been convincing because he didn't try again while Albert took me back to our original place for him to finish his business. 

The third, fourth, and fifth times were this evening.  Bryan and Zachary had left to shop for new shoes for Zachary's upcoming t-ball season.  We knew last year's shoes wouldn't fit, but we didn't expect he would need three sizes larger.  Silly us.  Eli was left at home with me.  It had nothing to do with me, he just wanted to go bye-bye.  Never mind that he'd had two outings today (not the escape ones, legit outings in the van).  He put on Zachary's shoes and headed to the front door.  I let him because I knew it was locked and wanted to see if the two locks are any issue for him anymore.  They're not.  He was making his way to the porch with tears in his eyes and pleading "bye-bye!" as I brought him back into the house.  I got him settled with some toys but as soon as I looked away, he was at the garage door and getting out.  Again, I stopped him but he blatantly turned away from me and started back to the door.  I picked him up, took the shoes off his feet and put him in his crib.  He cried for a while but I left him in there because I knew he'd head straight to a door if I didn't.  When I went to get him he was still crying as he stood at the rail of his crib with his arms over the side.  I gave him a hug and said "I can't let you get away from me, you might get hurt."

Instantly I felt like a hypocrite.  Here I am, spending the day keeping him by my side under the pretense of "not getting hurt" when in two weeks I turn him over to people who are strangers to him and they will hurt him.  They will start IVs on him, give him medicines that make him feel weird, take his blood, put him to sleep, crack open his chest....  I could go on but that sufficiently describes some of what will happen in the first three hours he's at the hospital on the day of surgery.  Yes, the purpose is to save his life, but he doesn't understand that.  He understands boo-boos and owies.  More than any child should. 

That moment of instant hypocrisy describes how I've been feeling since we got this date scheduled.  We KNOW he needs this.  We KNOW we don't have a choice, it has to be done.  But it's so hard to watch him play and realize that, at best, we're stealing weeks of his playtime and filling them with surgery, pain, doctors, nurses, therapists, tubes, IVs, monitors, oxygen, strange surroundings, and time away from his real family life.  That's at best.  At worst?  I can't even think it.  That's not true, I think it a lot.  We have to.  We have to prepare ourselves for the worst without dwelling on it.  This surgery, in relation to the two previous heart surgeries he's had, is not the riskiest.  That was the first one.  Eli had a one in three chance of not surviving that operation.  I don't know what the actual numbers are this time, but the last time (his second surgery) the risk of death was about 1%.  I think this time may be a little higher, but not much.  However, this is our baby and any percentage is too much.  Our comfort is knowing that we're going to the right facility for us.  We have the right doctors for us.  We have amazingly supportive family and friends.  We know the number of people praying for him increases every day. 

We really know and believe all the positive things I just listed.  We just can't help but worry he will "escape" from us one final time.

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