In exactly one week, Emmy will have heart surgery. I’m still in denial. I keep waiting for the phone call where a doctor says, “Oh my goodness, I am so sorry for all the confusion! Emmy’s numbers were showing up backwards! Whoopsie.”
Or, when we go in for her pre-op on Monday, I’m expecting a nurse to say, “I have good news! The narrowing in Emmy’s aorta has completely disappeared. This kid is healthy as horse. Take her home, and we’ll see you…never!”
It probably won’t feel real until Emmy gets wheeled into the operating room and I’m left behind to obsessively stare at the clock.
There’s a chance that she might need a blood transfusion during or after surgery and, because we have the same blood type, I was able to give a directed donation earlier this week. Dan came with me and donated to the general population because he and Emmy aren’t a match.
The woman who worked at the blood bank was so unbelievably kind as she took down my information. I hadn’t told her who I was donating to because I didn’t want to cry, so I just acted nonchalant.
As she transferred my information onto the form for Emmy’s surgery, she saw her birthdate–July 2, 2011.
The woman looked back at me and, with tenderness in her voice said, “This is for a small child.”
I steeled my jaw, intent on not breaking down, and said, “It’s for my daughter.”
She was so kind and offered comforting words. As I was giving blood, she asked lots of questions about Emmy. It made me feel good to have support, even from someone I’d never met before.
After Dan and I gave blood, we sat down at the small snack table and made conversation. We dutifully drank our juice and ate salty pretzels.
All of a sudden, Dan’s face turned grey. His breathing got shallow, and his eyes weren’t focusing.
“Are you ok?” I asked, stunned.
“I’m…having…trouble…breathing,” he managed to get out.
I jumped up, still woozy from having just given blood, and hobbled over to the kind woman. I choked out, “My husband…”
She called out to her coworkers, and a swarm of people descended on him, putting ice packs on his neck and keeping his head down.
“This can’t be happening,” I thought, as I stood back from the crowd. My mind flashed to Emmy’s surgery. “This can’t be happening.”
The kind woman who took my blood looked over at my panicked face and said, “He’s going to be just fine.”
I didn’t believe her.
They put Dan on a stretcher with his feet in the air as I nervously looked on. It took him a solid fifteen minutes to regain his color. Finally, he climbed off the stretcher and came to sit back down with me.
“That was really scary,” I said.
“I don’t know what happened,” he replied.
Dan is a strong guy, which is why he is my rock. To see my rock go down left me feeling completely helpless.
We’ve had a stressful week trying to get our ducks in a row before surgery, and I think the weight of it all has taken its toll. As nervous as I am for surgery, I just want to get it over with so we can finally exhale.