Thursday, April 07, 2016

Operation: Fun

Originally published in the Miami News-Record on February 21, 2016.

I mentioned that our youngest, Kady, has been having some stomach issues and we have been on a months-long quest to find the culprit of the pain. After many tests and bloodwork and x-rays this past week she finally went in for an EGD (upper GI scope).

She has always been our most rambunctious child, is rarely still for any length of time, and will talk your leg off at 90 miles an hour and barely stop for air while she chatters, but she is also our most chilled-out child. (Talk about an oxymoronic enigma.) She pretty much just rolls with life and doesn’t get too stressed out about much. She wasn’t the least bit nervous prior to the test and the only real issue she had was the fasting. Girl likes her morning coffee. And wanted Taco Bell. Or a giant burger.

We checked in at St. Francis Children’s and after a hard-of-hearing senior volunteer finally figured out I was shouting “HOOVER” as our last name, we were given our surgery passes and sent upstairs. We got settled in and Mom and I took advantage of the free wi-fi by playing Words with Friends back and forth in a furious, never-ending cycle. Kady just took selfies. When we were called back to a pre-op room we met the sweetest nurse named Tammy. She told us about her grandson, how she put together his plastic ride-on Police car with only a screwdriver. And since her daughter didn’t have a hammer, “Sisters, I just used a garlic press!” She told us how she prayed over that baby before he was born, that he would be a “gentle gentleman.” She was precious. And even though she is 14, brought Kady a stuffed panda. Then the next time she came into the room was carrying about 12 urine specimen containers and told her “I need all these filled up, sweetie, so get busy!” The IV team was wonderful and encouraged Kady’s desire to become a respiratory therapist. We joked and laughed and before she was wheeled off for her scope we had become the “fun” family all the nurses wanted to come see. That’s just how we roll.

Mom and I were both hungry, but I refused to leave the waiting room and Mom refused to leave if I didn’t leave. So the Words with Friends frenzy continued. Every time the waiting room phone rang this woman would just get up and answer it. (Which was good, I suppose, since the adorable white-headed senior citizen manning the desk had gone AWOL. She was probably getting a snack. Unlike my mother.) And every time it rang it was for her. Until one time she turned around and bellowed, “Kady Hoover? Is there a Kady Hoover here?” I resisted the urge to tell her she might think about refining her receptionist skills and instead just took the phone from her hand. She sighed impatiently. I suppose she thought she might miss an important call. I secretly wondered if the guy who was trading stocks in the waiting room a few weeks before was who kept calling her.

We walked back to recovery to find Kady eating a popsicle. She was cold so I asked Tammy if she could have a heated blanket. She said, “That baby girl can have anything she wants! Does she want goldfish crackers? Animal cookies? A pony? Sprite? I will get it for her!” After recovery she nearly knocked over another nurse so she could be the one to wheel Kady out. After she made sure Kady was safely in the car, she grabbed me and hugged me tight, and said she would pray for us. And I believe she will.

By the way, the Sprite that Tammy brought Kady was apparently “real” Sprite and according to Kady, and “not the cheap stuff you buy, Mom…. No offense.” I’m going to blame that grocery-shopping critique on the anesthesia. 

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