[If you are able, please listen to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPUlichsfQg while reading this.]
Evan's Big Journey starts today. The last 6 months got us here - but now it's game day. Easy to get carried away with all the fundraising "hoop-la", the planning for the trip, and the getting here and being separated from family and friends ~ but this is why we are here. So, at 5:45, we got in line at "Same Day Surgery" with all of the other families and their half-asleep kids, anxious, fearful and hopeful. Evan was prepped for surgery - by far the worst bit was getting him to take his medicine which he needed pre-anaesthetic. He even had some proper hospital "PJs" rather than the NHS unisex gown equivalent but I suspect they are american age 6, so a little big on Ev. We met a number of staff and, what seemed like only 10 minutes after we arrived, they whisked him off.
So, once again, Ev was whisked away - just like he was on his first day. However, this felt different - we have chosen this for him - knowing that it will truly change his life, rather than save it. Lots of pressure... The hospital staff were great - they promised to ring at set times, so we waited in our private waiting room (yet more "Fresh Prince" on TV....) and although the first hour was really worrying we did get the call to say they were all set to go. Loup distracted herself with the laptop and conveying the updates really helped. It's great here, we can even keep the laptop up and connected in Evan's room. Makes the world feel so much smaller.
And then, he was out - Dr Park came past in his usual unassuming manner to say it was all fine and we went to see Ev in the recovery room. He was a bit groggy and had an oxygen mask on but he did seem to recognise us. He even muttered something. "What was that, Evan?" . He muttered it again - nah, still nothing. Loup leant in closer "im hungry....." - well, he did miss his breakfast today. Unfortunately, he can only have ice-chips for now.
Within 20 minutes he was then moved up to CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit) rather than PICU (P = Paediatric) as they had the beds (so, at least that seems to be a universal problem....) but this was better as there was a small bed we could use in the room, rather than going down to the parents lounge.
So many people came to check on him (including a male-nurse called Brett, a Chelsea fan - so we had a chat about "soccer" - whatever that is....). Ev complained of an itchy back, but a few more meds and he was off to sleep. Which was about 3 hours ago and he was still sound asleep when I left to get a brew and write this.
It is so evocative of his first few days, with all of the wires and machines, the drips, the beeps, different people coming in and asking the same questions and going off for chats in the hallway. Most of all the feeling of helplessness. Everyone has been fantastic, and we know he is in the best hands, but he is still our tiny little boy in someone else's hands and held within all that "stuff". I can see Loup just itching to get him out and hug him.
Anyway, all in all, a good day - difficult to explain. He will continue to have lots of meds and intensive care over the next couple of days and then be transferred to Floor 12 later on. More updates on those stages later.
Thanks again for all of the good wishes, has really, really helped. G'night!
[PS - If you wanted to know the significance of the music - take a look at the lyrics.]