Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Necessary Evil

This morning Rowan had to have a medical "procedure" on his penis. This was a follow-up to the hypospadias repair he had done when he was 7 months old. It was a fairly quick procedure, though they did put him to sleep for it. I suppose I should feel honored that he wanted mommy to go back to the prep area with him (leaving poor daddy in the waiting area with Kemper, who was perfectly content to watch Playhouse Disney), but man, was it hard. Not the whole thing - he was actually very brave and well behaved the whole time. The hard part was going into the operating room with him until he was asleep.

I put the mask on myself first (it was obviously disconnected from whatever the sedating air is called) to show him it was okay, but when they put it on him, he looked absolutely terrified. He was clearly trying his hardest not to lose control - his eyes teared up, and his whole face tensed up - but I could see it all in his eyes. The anesthesiologist assured me he was already asleep at this point, and that his body was simply trying to catch up. Also that he wouldn't remember any of it. I'm not sure I buy that.

He survived though, and had a rather brief stay in the recovery room. Came to bright eyed and bushy tailed; his first act was to remove the hospital gown and examine his penis. There isn't really anything visible except for a little sore spot, which I think surprised him. I suppose it would after the simplified explanation we had given. The procedure is called a meatotomy, which we had described as having a really small balloon put into his penis and blown up a little to make the hole bigger. I think he had an image of the typical balloon - you know, very large and round. It was probably quite a relief to see that his penis wasn't like that.

So I (we?) survived the hospital portion of the day, only to be faced with painful urination at home. I had to put the poor kid in the tub to pee the first two times, as he just wouldn't go on the toilet because of the stinging. Not that the bath made it hurt less, but the warm water relaxed him enough that he would go. During the second bath, he started the following exchange:
"I'm sad that they did that." "You mean to your penis?" "Yeah, they ruined it", he replied. Wow. Talk about breaking your mother's heart.

In the larger scheme of things, I'm sure it is for the best. But having your 3 1/2 year old son think his penis has been ruined is pretty hard to handle. I mean, what must he think of us for putting him through such a thing? I know, I know, I'm overreacting, and I'm sure in the morning he'll be almost completely over it, but still. It was a tough day.