Getting out of the house and into the hospital has always been a task that has taken every once of patience and outwitting that I owned. Always very apprehensive, that at any minute Peter would bolt and there would be no return. Peter, in his later years, was no match for my strength, so it always came down to a verbal discourse and an enormous amount of convincing and bribing...not sure if anything of that worked; however, it somehow made it in the door. One year standing by the elevators never to go into the room. Another year, standing outside the door, refusing to enter the pre-op room.
So, the stories go. At the local children's hospital, Peter was "drugged" enough to allow me to get him to the floor and into a room. But, at the first site of a MD in a scrub, that Valium had run it's course and Peter became aware, on guard, and if anything, Peter seemed more agitated and afraid. To be honest, that day, the anesthesiologist could have handled the situation better, as it took 6 very tall doctors and me to hold Peter down, long enough to give him sedation and the whole time Peter had the edge. The doctors begged me to join them in the OR, fully clothed in street clothes I said, but to them it did not matter. Those were the moments I really, and I mean really want to sit down and cry hysterically. I remember, gulping in a sob, and reassuring those men that yes, I would come with them. Smiling, looking fully in control...a good cover...my heart was breaking and wishing to be elsewhere.
In another hospital visit, and again dicey at best. The hospital engaged all the services needed to convince Peter that this was a good thing. Actually, as "bad" as it was, it was also as good as it could be. The nurses and MD's were all on the same page, quickly and expediently they handled Peter. The security personnel became his new BFF's for the day and Peter trusted them. We are here to help you, Peter, they said, and they held his hand, of course, hoping he would not bolt, but using comfort techniques to keep him safe. The anesthesiologist, having worked with children with special needs, swiftly walked in, and Peter who was now sitting on my lap, was given a dose of Ketamine, a drug that immediately induces a sleeplike state, right through his shirt. Sound awful, but having done this so many times, it works the best. This hospital team gave Peter and me it's all, and made a extremely hard situation the best it could be.
My thought, my wish, my prayer, that God would wave His magic wand and take away the fear. I really think someday that will happen. Hopefully sooner than later, because for Peter, as painful as this is for me or the hospital staff, I know that his fear is so much more really than anything I feel.
So there will be another tale to tell, another story this year, but until than I will continue the hope and prayer that Peter will be less afraid this time.