The hospital staff put us in this small be-curtained room for over an hour. This gave Mina just enough time to turn the hospital gown into 50 new looks for fall. But it wasn't quite enough time for us to start pushing buttons, taking each other blood pressure or putting rubber gloves over our heads like chicken combs. Close though.
The tubes are meant to drain the collected fluid from behind the eardrum. This procedure helps prevent infections. It will hopefully improve Mina's hearing. The only thing is that she still had to go under general anesthesia -- not for very long -- but any amount of time didn't settle well with me. Just seeing her in a hospital gown caused me to force the pep-talk a little too much. I hid being nervous, which is why we goofed around so much as we waited. If she's supposed to be brave, then I'm supposed to be the bravest.
Feh, she wasn't even worried.
They let me come into the room where they performed surgery. A huddle of nurses and doctors dressed in flat-turquoise scrubs were welcoming and reassuring. They let me rub her leg as they gassed her up, until she fell asleep to the anesthesiologist's story of the mouse who baked chocolate chip cookies. "Do I stay?" I asked, half joking. "Nope," a nurse said guiding me out. I peeped at the instrument table on the way out and saw the minuscule tubes illuminated by a spot light. They were tiny crystal tube tips, like cut-off ends of a fly's straw.
It wasn't twenty minutes before I was called back to the recovery room. Mina was on her stomach and having a coughing fit when I walked in. Her hair was wildly strewn and nurses stood around her wondering why she was coughing. I threw down my purse and pushed them aside. I got her hair out of her face and rubbed her back; whispered in her ear. The nurses dispersed. As Mina came to, she felt badly. She said she "felt weird." Her head hurt, she was nauseous, she didn't want to go home or move even. She's not one to complain usually. All I thought to do was rub her head and chest and whisper I love you's.
I snapped this picture as she was resting, her eyes opened just as the shutter closed. She told me she didn't want any more pictures taken. That face is difficult to bear. You search your arsenal to make her smile or feel better. Tiny things worked for a second. Then it was back to the pained brow and red finger glow. That's all I see in that photo, and it sinks me.
After about an hour and after suggestions from the nurses for suppositories and IV's to quell the nausea, I made Mina walk to the bathroom. Then I dressed her, and got her out of the hospital. I just felt it would be better to get her away from more medicine and everyone else around us in rooms waking up out of their own fog. One little girl down the hall from us was freaking out; sobbing and yelling, tripping under chemical influence.
Once Mina was outside, in the sunshine and fresh air, she felt tremendously better. Instantaneously. She said, "Mami, can we look at the ocean? Once I see the ocean, I'll be almost all better." And she was right. By the time we got home, she was nearly 100% back to herself.
We're hoping for closure on the ear thing with this latest procedure. Oozy, bloody trails have crept out of Mina's ears during the last few days. To a normal person that's gross, but to us, we're like let it roll. "Better out than in, I always say," I tell Mina in my best Shrek. And she nods and wipes her ears out with tissue.