Broken Heart Part 3

This is the third installment in a series about my daughter's Tetralogy of Fallot that I wrote when it was going on (and before blogs). You can start with the first part here.

April 3, 1999 The Tour

When I signed up for us to take the tour at the hospital where Sierra is going to have her surgery I figured we'd be going on one of those PR tours. You know, "here's our big fancy machine", "here's our OTHER big fancy machine," etc. Milling around with other parents or visitors, spying where the snack machines were, noting which rooms had the Barney motif.

But it was nothing like that. As soon as we got there, I realized we were the only people on this "tour." Our tour guide showed us where we'd check in and let us see a few of the rooms were the kids stay. Then she said "On Tuesday, Sierra will go to the Cath lab - it's on the third floor." She pushed 3 in the elevator.

We weren't getting the PR tour. We were getting the preview to Sierra's time in the hospital. We went into the cath lab where they will do the heart catheter, met a tech and he went over the procedure. "You'll be here with her until she falls asleep..."

We saw the needles, the crash cart, the banks of monitors with someone else's wavy lines speaking some secret code across the silent screen.

We went to the operating waiting area. "You'll be here with her until they wheel her into surgery..." We went into the different waiting areas and were advised to "stake out an area for our family." We went into the neonatal intensive care unit where she will be for a few days (3? 5? they aren't sure).

It was so in our face. No hiding, no denying. Adam said he was still considering running off with her before the surgery and I can't say I blame him. We both had moments during the tour where we just broke and the tears flowed.

"I can't make this easier," our tour guide said. "I can just explain where everything is ..."

I'm not sure if she was saying this for her sake or ours.

I'll be updating this page during the surgery, it'll be the only place for news - so keep us in your thoughts on the 7th and I hope to be back with only the best possible news.