Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Today during dinner Leander looked at me and said: "I was in the ambulance. With dad." I repeated what he just said and he whispered "Ambulance".
These are moments when you simply want to either erase recent history or break down in tears. First is not possible and second I wouldn't wanna do in front of my child. At least not like that.

5 weeks ago Leander broke his arm and had to wear a cast for 4 weeks. The cast had been off for two days when we got a call from kindergarden. He just fell off a bench and - broke his arm AGAIN ! My husband went over as fast as he could. The ambulance was already there taking care of Leander. Together they went to hospital and I met them there.

This time the fracture was a bit more complex and a normal cast wouldn't do the trick. So he had to undergo surgery. Meaning him getting a general anaesthetic and staying the night in hospital.
Whoever knows Leander's history - it's not the first time for him to be taken away from my arms by doctors in green coats. And it won't - in any way - help him get over his extreme anxiety of doctors or nurses. 

Children are amazing in a way. They simply get over things and go on with their life. It seems. Leander was a really poor and whiny little person all the time he was in hospital. He cried a lot, barely slept and asked for me constantly. Even when I was there right next to him. Until finally he was discharged. The moment we left the hospital he started talking "normal" again. It wasn't whiny and he was excited about the ramp we went down that was for wheelchairs and pushchairs etc. He was excited about the train tracks we saw from the subway and happily chewed on an apple. He was all fine. You'd think.

And he is. In a way. He is playing with his cars and trains and tracks. He is climbing the shelves in his room and on to his bunk bed. He wants to water the plants in the rain outside. He sings and talks a lot. 

And then he says things like the above. And you know his mind is rambling. And no matter how much you like it or not - you have to be there and go with it. As long as he can handle. Then he stops and you have to stop too.
And this is the hardest part. Of course my mind is rambling too. I can't get rid of the pictures of the doctors coming and taking him away from me. Him screaming and me crying. I can't stop thinking about the endless moment between this situation and him being "sound asleep" under the anaesthetic. How did they get the infusion in? How much did he still scream and fight in the OR? When I couldn't see or hear him? And how much of that brought back memories from deep down when he was 6 months old and all that happened already ? 

It does not matter how much I think about it and ask myself all those questions. I have to pull myself together and be there for him. And his awkward sentences. Whenever they come up. I can't just say "Hey, about that moment when the doctors came to pick you up. I feel horrible about it. Please let's talk." This may work with adults (and you are lucky if). But not with children. Not with Leander. 
With him I have to wait till he is ready to talk or he brings up a topic that leads to it. And until then I can ramble those thoughts over and over in my head. 

A couple of weeks ago he discovered his scars from heart surgery on his chest. We have always known that this day would come. And we thought we were prepared. But when my husband told me about Leander wondering about his scars and wanting to see the pictures of him in hospital I felt a tight rope around my chest. 

So with children we really have to take care of ourselves. We have to be ready for all sorts of questions and discussions. And if they are too much we need a vent to let go. Otherwise we might - at some point - break or freeze up. Neither of which is a healthy option. So in my case I chose typing them all up into a blogpost for you to read. 

Thank you for listening.