The Whole Story

18 Dec

I wrote a status for Facebook notifying friends and family of the changes with Lakyn’s surgery, but it was just the abbreviated story. I didn’t feel like writing the whole story at the time. Here’s what happened.

Monday, December 17th: I get a call from the hospital notifying us that we need to be there at 8:30 and if everything goes according to plan, she should be going back to surgery at 10. She also told us that they’ve been extremely busy and that they won’t even take her back to surgery unless there’s an open bed/room for her. So she told us to be prepared for some delays, but that having to cancel would be highly unlikely.

Tuesday, December 18th:  We leave for the hospital at 7:45am. Rilyn stays at home with my mother. I pray she takes a bottle for her (she kind of did) and falls asleep easily for her (she didn’t). Because of Lakyn’s age (under 3) we have to go to the downtown location instead of the south location (which is the much closer one for us). We check in right at 8:30. Lakyn plays for a bit with their awesome toys they have in the waiting room. The waiting room is full. They call us back around 9 and take Lakyn’s vitals, weigh her and measure her, then send us back to the waiting room. Lakyn’s excited to get to play some more! Around 9:45 they call us back again. We talk with a nurse who explains procedures and other small details. She tells us that anesthesia will come in to talk us and that the surgeon will also be in to answer questions we may have. She also uses this time to explain more fully the bed shortage situation. She says again that they won’t do the surgery until they have a bed available for her. She also tells us that they have no idea when beds will open up and that along with all of the other families scheduled ahead of us (still waiting), the doctor doing L’s surgery has a patient ahead of Lakyn that’s still waiting to go in. In a nutshell, we have some waiting to do. She said that if it gets toward the end of the day, we’ll talk about rescheduling. She also says that we have the option to cancel at any time.This is where my heart sank. We’d been there since 8:30 and Lakyn hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since the night before. I could tell she was getting pretty hungry from her small meltdowns she was starting to have. The girl has a glass of milk every morning as soon as she wakes up. She was missing her milk. The thought of her sitting there all day without being able to eat or drink had me on the edge of tears. Probably because I was already an emotional time bomb, but seriously, I had to work really hard not to lose it in front of the nurse. She left and the anesthesiologist comes in to talk to us, followed by the doctor. In talking with the doctor, we find out that he has appointments at another location and will need to leave at 12, 12:30 at the latest.

That means that the chances of getting in are now slimmer, but at least I was comforted by the fact that we wouldn’t have to sit there all day waiting to find that we’d have to cancel. That would have sucked. Hardcore.

After visiting with the doctor, we go back to the waiting room. After a while, Lakyn becomes bored and says she wants to go home multiple times. Brandon and I take turns walking around the hallways with her. At 11, Brandon and I decide that if we don’t get called back by 11:30, we’d cancel. We came to this conclusion knowing that the doctor had to leave at 12:30 and the procedure is 45-50 minutes long. Obviously, if it was after 11:30, he wouldn’t have enough time. I take a deep breath and try to relax. I had worked myself up for this day, and now I was having to talk myself down from it all in case we had to reschedule. We felt good with our decision and I kept watching the door for them to call her name. We work to distract Lakyn a few more times, take a few more trips to walk the hallways, remind her that no, she cannot take off the medical bracelet around her wrist, as uncomfortable as it may be. She really had been such a trooper the whole morning. Poor baby.

At 11:35, Brandon and I look at each other, decide to make the call official, and I head to the desk to reschedule her appointment. I tell the receptionist that due to time restraints we had to reschedule our appointment. She asked for the patients name and when I told her “Lakyn Ratzlaff”, she says,

“Oh, they called 5 minutes ago. They have a bed for her. She’s ready to go back. No one came out to tell you?”


Are you kidding me?

I just spent the last 20 minutes or so trying to get used to the idea of having to reschedule and when I FINALLY make up my mind that that is what we’re going to do, you tell me you’re ready for her?!?!?

I look at Brandon, tears filling my eyes. I just couldn’t handle any more at that point. The nurse comes out and says that they’re ready, they have a bed for her. Brandon asks about whether the doctor will have enough time. The nurse has no idea what we’re talking about. She leaves to go call him and ask.

Brandon and I look at each other and he asks what I want to do.


I feel as though the whole morning has just been up and down. Its so hard for me to make decisions as it is, and when I finally do make the decision to cancel, they tell us they’re ready? Geesh! And Lakyn’s done at this point. She’s ready to go home, she’s starving, she just wants out of that waiting room.

The nurse comes back and says that the doctor is willing to do it and it’s our call. So what do we do?

We cancel.

I think we were all done at this point. Especially me. All that back and forth was too much for this momma heart of mine, and Lakyn was frustrated and on edge. It would have made sending her off to surgery so much harder and she probably wouldn’t have gone with the nurses as easily. Also, knowing the doctor had to leave at 12:30, I wouldn’t want him rushing through a surgery, especially my baby’s surgery. (Not saying that he would have, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.)

But now I’ve sat here all afternoon going back and forth about whether we’ve made the right decision. Here’s the pros and cons list for our decision to reschedule:

We have to go through this all over again soon. We didn’t just do it today and get it over with
My mom and Brandon took days off of work
Lakyn won’t be having surgery today (obviously, the surgery will help her breathing, eating, and sleeping)

Lakyn won’t be miserable for Christmas this year
If we do it after she turns 3, we’ll be able to do the surgery at the CMH location closer to us
If we do it after she turns 3, she won’t have to stay overnight in the hospital (had we known this before scheduling in the first place we probably would have waited)
Maybe Rilyn will be taking a bottle and sleeping better by February (calms me knowing she’ll be easier to deal with for whoever stays with her)
Knowing the doctor won’t be rushing through the procedure

I spent the majority of the hour drive home crying, feeling torn between whether or not we made the right decision. A lot of the tears came from being worked up the whole morning, so everything was just coming out. (I’ve said this before, crying is my go-to emotion. I’m sad, I cry. I’m happy, I cry. I’m angry, embarrassed, stressed, tired, overwhelmed, I cry.) Brandon kept reassuring me that we made the right decision for us and that’s all that matters, but getting back to the house and hearing my mom reiterate the same things I had been feeling, assured me that even though it was a sucky situation, we did make the right call. Sometimes you just really need your momma to tell you in order to believe it, even if you’ve been telling yourself the same thing all morning long.

So, there you have it; the whole story. Are we crazy? Would you have done the same thing or would you have gone ahead with it?

2 Responses to “The Whole Story”

  1. jodi December 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Aw man! That is so tough!! I have to say, I think I would have done the same thing as you. When we went in for Jacob’s hernia surgery at Children’s Mercy, I was in such an emotional state that if we would have had to wait and face the possibility of canceling, I might have lost my cool, so props to you for keeping it together until the ride home. I’m glad you get to spend Christmas without having to worry about the recovery, and I hope when the surgery rolls around again, everything goes smoothly. Merry Christmas to you guys!

  2. Tylie December 19, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    What a long day. I am so so sorry. What an emotional rollar coaster. But I have to say a momma’s intuition is ALWAYS right! So if you felt it was best to wait then you for sure made the right choice! Always always listen to yourself! Don’t second guess yourself for even a minute. I have no doubt that you did what was best for Lakyn! Good job and hang in there sweet momma!

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