It couldn’t have gone better today. Except for the backless gown. That was a surprise to Ryan. While I was answering a few questions, they took him behind a curtain… a couple minutes later, the curtain opens to reveal Ryan laying on a gurney, covered in blankets, wearing a blue paper cap on his head and a look of mock horror.

He motioned me over and when I got close he said, "I don’t have anything on under here."

"Uh huh," I said.

"Nothing," he said, like maybe I didn’t get it.

"Yeah," I said, "that’s how those gowns are made. Remember Jack Nicholson in Something’s Gotta Give?"

He crooked an eyebrow and said, "I didn’t sign up for this."

Ryan is a sport. Good humored, not whiny or dramatic like some people I know. Even now, with a tampona [tom-POE-nah, tampon] in each nose (like splints holding the newly-straightened septum in place), a very sore throat, a wad of gauze taped in place under his nose and über uncomfortable, even now he’s practically jolly. He even allowed me to take a photo. Not every kid would do that. Remember my eye photos? I’m thinking nurture over nature here. And never too sick for ice cream? That’s my boy.

The hospital staff was so wonderful. Everyone spoke Spanish and we managed, which is very satisfying. The doctor speaks pretty good English. Like us, he understands more than he can formulate quickly. So we spoke English, he spoke Spanish. We got along just fine. I met the anesthesiologist who was a lovely older man, very fit and attractive. Anesthesia was my big fear and he immediately inspired confidence. Didn’t speak a word of English, asked me about alergías, previous surgerías, then smiled and shook my hand.

When they finally wheeled Ryan down the hall and around the corner, him waving and smiling like he was off to the fair, I burst into tears. Hal was making the trip home and back for the CAT scan which we forgot, so I was alone there in the hallway. I found a chair and just kinda sobbed for a few minutes, like it was pent up for weeks. I think it was. OK. I’m maybe a little dramatic. At least I was not whiny.

I was thinking how odd it was to be in such a situation with no one to "talk" to… nobody spoke English, when this cute lady appeared. She took my hand and asked, "Que pasó?" [What happened?] I told her "mi hijo esta en la surgería y yo estoy muy nerviosa." She looked worried for me and started talking, patting my hand. I think she was talking about God, or maybe she had a kid who had surgery… I’m not really sure. Every once in a while she would look at me and say, "verdad?" Which means "right?" I smiled and nodded. I had no idea what she was asking really. I was too upset at that moment to understand anything. Maybe she knew, but she kept it up through a few "verdads." It did make me feel better. Then she showed me to the waiting area, gave me a hug, then checked in every few minutes, calling me "mi amor."

See how I turned Ryan’s episode into mine? I don’t know. It’s a knack.

004After the surgery, Dr. Arce told us Ryan’s adenoids were huge (now gone). As stressful as this event has been, I am so grateful we are here, on the other side of this little mountain. Everyone says Ryan’s life will change. Of course: he’ll be able to breathe for the first time. We have to work on the allergies and I am more determined than ever to conquer that through natural means. Ryan is down with that. A doctor’s allergy-control path is to have Ryan on allergy medication, possibly including shots, for the rest of his life. That is our least favorite path.

For now, all is good. Ryan is batting a thousand. In his sleep, in my bed. It all seems to be going according to plan. I’d like a peek at that plan, actually.

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