If you Give a Kid a Valium

Och–that title is bad, isn’t it? I’ve been stuck on the If you Give a Pig a Pancake books with E lately and just couldn’t help myself.

Z is now adenoid-less. And, considering he screamed during his last CBC/well-child check up– to the point that the 2 year old brother muttered for him to “stop being a crybaby”– I anticipated more anxiety from him. Ahh…like his Momma– the little things cause breakdowns, but he rocks the big stuff. I had to be peeled off the ceiling by some of my online cohorts over my incessant body systems/symptoms checking on WebMD.* But put me in a real situation where my small child is going to have surgery and I’m totally cool. Which is, I do believe, is both insane and admirable. That’s me–defined my by own dichotomous nature.

*I’m working on self cognitive behavioral therapy for my child-related hypochondria. I’ve decided that beyond that whole Dad-dies-of-cancer-thing, that it’s also a lot ADHD related. Really, what better procrastination excuse is there than to constantly search out obscure health information about ones children. It certainly ate up a large chunk of time that I will never get back.

But I digress—–>> We’ve spent a fair bit of time over the past weeks doling out various quotable quotes and platitudes about bravery. All of them more or less pointing out that being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared. It just means doing it anyway. Z took all of those little mini-lessons and ran with them, too. I found some really obnoxious comic-book type books at the library, which I’m certain I will regret later, and we read the most of the time he was conscious. The reading also prevented our waiting-room neighbor from providing the details about her upcoming endoscopy. Yeah, she really was gearing up for details, despite the fact that Z is, you know, FOUR.

We read and read and read. When I had to stop reading his cheeks would get all red and suddenly his eyeballs were 1000 times bigger. Apparently filling out those pre-registration forms is just busy work, and no one can begrudge me the need for some recovery time after writing the co-pay check.** The power of silly words though, made all the difference in the world. And when that was starting to wear off the anesthesiologist gave him a syringe of happy meds. Hence the post title.

Z stoned on valium was just hilarious. Is that wrong– to comment about the comedic quality of your kite-flying-kid? By the amount of disembodied snickers floating from other curtained off rooms, everyone in day surgery was amused by him on valium, too. Loud observations about my boobs: about how he can see them, about how squishy they are, about how they are like bread and his hands are like the cheese for a giant booby sandwich. Meh– what can you do other than laugh?

**The estimated cost to my insurance for this procedure was $13000 dollars. Blame some mid-Nineties SI article that reported how much Jordan made per second (at the time it was 34 cents) and a friend who was an accountant in her former life– but I had to figure out the per minute cost. Despite my incorrect reporting on facebook (damn you algebra!)– I figured 25 minutes (actual procedure) + 30 minutes (recovery room) making the whole thing cost about $216 a minute. I forgot to add in the 30 minutes of pre-surgery room time, making it a super-reasonable (ha) $152 per a minute. I cannot fathom how some folks see that figure and think, “that cost seems really inflated for such a routine, quick procedure. Maybe some reform is needed?” His co-pay was more than our mortgage– and we have good insurance. But health-care isn’t a problem in the US, right?

Dear Cap’n Crusty,

From the moment that those two pushes (un-medicated, on accident) brought you into the world, and I saw those big blue eyes and that dimple, I was utterly and foolishly in love.

We’ve suspected blocked tear ducts since your 1-month appointment.  You were always a little crusty.  In the beginning we were battling so many other issues (failure to thrive, allergies, etc.) that crusty eye snot simply didn’t hit the radar. Plus, lots of infants have blocked tear ducts—they usually open up all by themselves.

Over the past several months, those blocked ducts progressed from a little goopy crust to a prolific production of green crust resulting in annoying comments from strangers.

“Poor baby, is that pink eye?”  Said while snatching children behind a force field created by hand sanitizer.

“Oh, do you need a kleenex?”*

*Let me pause for a minute here.  Thank you, random stranger, for thinking I might have missed the dried, green mucous under my son’s eyes.  I assure you that I not only noticed the problem, but I also spend a fair amount of time correcting it.  However, since the child cries every time he sees a washcloth headed in his general direction, and being that it is the TEAR ducts that are blocked, making him cry every 15 minutes is counterproductive.  Since it’s the tears that produces the crust to begin with. *

But Elliot, not being the one to do anything the easy way, the membranes of your ducts did not spontaneously clear.  This past November, at your 12-month appointment, the pediatrician referred us to an ophthalmologist.  He took one look and scheduled surgery.  For 5:30 am.  On a Saturday.  Urgh.

Anytime I need to be somewhere early I don’t sleep well.  Factor that into my 15 month old getting a small wire with a teeny-tiny balloon on the end inserted into his tear ducts while under general anesthesia, after $1100 co-pay (spending that much money before 6 am should be illegal), and I am a tired and cranky human this evening.

The whole surgery/recovery part took about 30 minutes.  Let me repeat, 30 minutes.  How much did we have to pay up front again?  For 30 minutes?  Really.  I guess ophthalmologists have something in common with plumbers and mechanics.


You looked like this when you woke up from nap yesterday.

You looked like this when you came home.

Granted, you look a lot like a crackhead coming off a binge, or a seriously hung-over college student, but the goop is gone.  I laugh thinking that the nurse told me you’d likely have no appetite for the rest of the day.  Considering you polished off an entire english muffins with cream cheese, after eating an apple and drinking 8 oz of milk I guess you are a hungry drunk.

Bloody tears are also normal.  You’ve had a few of those today.  I considered taking a picture, but it creeped me out and I decided not all memories need to be persevered.