It's March - Time for the month long Slice of Life challenge thanks to Two Writing Teachers.
(Continued from yesterday's post)
There is ALWAYS a risk with general anesthetic and in Saudi I feel that risk even more so. We had a friend, several years ago, who had to have heart surgery. The surgeon was excellent and the surgery was successful, but there were complications and she went into a coma. We learned many things about the laws of patient 'rights' in KSA through that experience. It wasn't pleasant and parts of it still haunt me. I will always know that the first choice to have a medical procedure is not here. This is where my faith plays a huge part in the story. I am not in control. God is. For whatever reason I was much more at peace with being admitted and going the route of surgery than with having my daughter restrained against her will.
Daddy has to sign all of the paperwork, but isn't allowed to stay. I can stay in the room with her, but have to have my abaya on when a doctor chooses to come into the room. Don't try to figure out how all of the gender fun of this land of sand. Just know it plays into everything.
Thankfully wasta plays into everything as well. It is basically the idea of the western saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Once the decision had been made to be admitted I grabbed my phone to see if there was any wifi to be had and voila! G had asked if there were people praying for her so we composed a Facebook message together. I sent it out and also copied it to some What'sApp groups of people here. Within minutes she was much more relaxed and said, "People must be praying." as she realized the change. She looked through old pictures and videos (mostly of herself) on the iPad as I communicated with folks around the world on my phone. One of our friends works with us as school. His wife is a nurse, and though she wasn't on duty, she called her friends who were on shift and let them know that our daughter would be heading their way. When we got to the prep area for the OR we were very warmly greeted, one of the nurses intentionally making a special connection with G. That connection helped greatly when it was time to be wheeled off to surgery - where Mommy couldn't go.
But I get ahead of myself. While waiting in the ER, and after we thought Daddy had signed all of the paperwork, we sent him home to get requested items like her own blanket, stuffed animal that serves as a pillow, another favorite off her bed, pajamas, flashlight, and water bottle - all the things that make a bed feel like 'hers'. And then we waited some more.
She continued to look through pictures and videos on the iPad. I shared with her comments and messages as they came in. And we waited.
Two surgeons came down to talk with us. We both enjoyed both of them - an Egyptian man and a Saudi woman. The man has a daughter nearly exactly G's age and the woman has a 2.5 year old. They were good with her, but didn't force her to interact. We talked a bit about life in the Middle East, schools in town, parenting, etc. Eventually a nurse came with a wheelchair and took us upstairs.
We were shown our room, right across from the nurse's station; bed A (with a curtain drawn around bed B). Then it was time for a blood draw. Ugh!