Monday, December 16, 2013

Everything Changed (Part 2)

It was early September and I was really dreading telling the kids about my upcoming surgery. They are 5 and 7, and I really try to shelter them from the ugly and painful things in life. I know that the "Tiger Mom" or whoever she is would probably think that's detrimental to them, but I feel strongly about wanting their childhood to be pure and for them to always feel safe. They had heard a lot about Grandma Lisa's surgery so I knew it would color their reactions. Jeremy and I decided to talk it over during dinner. We kept it simple and said that mommy is having surgery because there is something wrong in her brain. I told them that I would be in the hospital for a little while but that they would stay with Grandma Rita during the school week and still see Daddy every day. They reacted differently, just as I anticipated they would. Alex immediately looked sad and was really hung up on me being in the hospital for a week. He kept saying, "I don't want you to have surgery".

Ava appeared reticent at first, and then said, "Well, I sure hope they are really good professionals, because they have to do a great job". They both struggled with it more throughout September and October and would often bring it up during snuggle time. Alex in particular was concerned that I was going to go to Heaven, and every time he asked, it was so hard for me formulate a decent answer, because his questions always made me catch my breath for a moment.

Some time in September Ava came across an image of my brain taken during my MRI/A. She asked what the picture was of, and I told her it was my brain. I showed her my brain aneurysm. She pointed to the various arteries on the image and asked what they were and what their purpose is.  I explained that they carried blood to different parts of my brain, which affected different parts of my body. She said, "Oh, I get it. They are like plugs and the different parts make you who you are". I said, "Yep, Birdie, you got it!".  She began describing the "plugs" to me, and I am so happy I wrote her descriptions down as she spoke. 

Oh, and that's my aneurysm in the red box.  He's my nemesis.  Telling the kids about my surgery took a huge pressure off of me, but I started thinking about all of the other things I needed to accomplish, like talking over the *serious things" with Jeremy.  I put that off as long as I could....

On another but completely related note, please lift my cousin Kiley up with your thoughts and prayers.  She is having the same surgery I had done today.  She is only 24 years old but is going to conquer this just like I did and my mom did before me. 


The Barnes Family Blog said...

Sending prayers and hugs to Kiley! If she's half as strong as you she will do just fine!!

Cheri Stoneking said...

You're an amazing woman Mindi!