Special Needs Families: Coping With Surgery

Rochelle Followes by Rochelle Followes Additional Needs

Rochelle Followes

Rochelle Followes

I am parent to a gorgeous little blue eyed boy who has complex needs. I have a Facebook page, 'my daily miracle' where I share our life with others...

Sitting face to face with the surgeon who was about to perform surgery on my son and sign a piece paper acknowledging what can go wrong just felt so unreal.

It was the 25th November, 2016, the day that we would take Zachariah to have his Gastrostomy.

After finding myself really struggling emotionally leading up to the date, I was actually pretty calm and collected on the day.

We arrived early and got all settled with colouring books for Tim and I and tinsel for the boyo.

We had nurses, doctors and surgeons all come over one by one to do their bit, it all started to feel more real.

A little bit of me was hoping they would say he's not well enough to have it, so I could grab him and run away!

But deep down I still had the peace about it all, and knew it was the most beneficial way for Zachariah.

It wasn’t long until we had to put him in his gown and say goodbye to our sweet, sweet son.

It was here that my emotions started to lose control, I could feel myself getting hot and could feel the tears about to burst.

I gave him a huge sloppy kiss and watched him go off with his Daddy into the distance.

I broke down into tears.

But then I had one of those moments, you know the slideshow kind of moment where lots of images popped up in your mind, it was filled with memories of Zachariah smiling, laughing and having a good time.

It gave me comfort and in that moment I felt a peace over me.

Zachariah is going to be OK, whenever I worry or fret, Zachariah always shows me that he is OK by making me smile.

I prayed for protection one more time and prayed for the surgeons then made the decision to switch off from it all.

Whilst waiting for Tim to return a nurse took me to the ward where I set up camp, and got his comforter and blanket ready, then as soon as he arrived back we went on the hunt for some lunch.

Surprisingly, time didn’t drag too much and before we knew it he was in recovery waiting for us to go collect him.

My feelings were odd as I looked down on him all hot and cranky, he had lots of wires around him and he was attached to a drip.

He looked so fragile and vulnerable, I felt relieved that the surgery went well, yet guilty too that he was in so much distress over something he never actually agreed to.

It made me think about the fact that Tim and I are always going to have to make decisions for him, he won’t be able to have his say verbally.

I mean, he can let us know in his own way what he needs etc, however it will be us that make those really hard, serious decisions.

I just had to have hope and trust that we had made the right decision at this time.

I hope this account of Zachariah’s surgery day can help some of you understand your feelings from similar experiences, and help those who are due to take their child for surgery too.


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