Monday, May 21, 2007

Sis - update

Dear Dave,

I’m so sorry it has taken me so long to write back but we’ve been at the hospital almost non stop since yesterday morning. The most important thing to tell you is that Cicely came through the operation better than we could imagine, better than we ever hoped for, she is looking like her old self and we can take her home in a day or two. I’m amazed at how well she has done here at the hospital because I thought she’d be upset by being away from home and familiar surroundings. But you remember me telling you that I was worried that she was too friendly, well even though we have to work on that I’m glad of it for now. She quickly made friends of all the nurses, there is one male nurse who she has adopted as her own - and he loves it.

But the big story, besides her doing so well, is what happened with the surgeon. We had asked to meet him before the surgery and were told that it wouldn’t be possible but the nurse said the surgeon would speak with us after the operation was over. We waited and I don’t think we’ve ever worried so much about anything. Both of us just sat quietly. My husband just couldn’t talk. Not even say a word. I think he was afraid of breaking down into tears. So we just sat with each other.

When the surgeon came out I was surprised to find out that she was a woman. I don’t know why I automatically assumed it would be a man. The surgeon told us quickly that Cicely did fine in the operation and that we could relax that as long as she got through the recovery period there was no reason for further worry. Then she asked if she could take us for a coffee. We looked at each other, we both thought that the offer was strange.

The surgeon bought the coffee for all of us and then sat down. She said that she wanted to apologize to us for not meeting us before the surgery. Apparently she had gone to meet Cicely and talk with her like she does with all patients and that the meeting with our daughter had upset her. When we tried to say something she just raised her hand like she didn’t want us to talk. She said that when she heard that Cicely had Down Syndrome she couldn’t understand why she would be doing the operation, that it would be best to let nature take it’s course.

I got upset but again she just raised her hand. My husband looked at me like he wanted me to just let her finish. So I did. I was angry but I did. She said that after talking with Cicely for just a couple of minutes, she was ashamed of herself for her attitude. She wanted to apologise to us for even having thought such a thing. She actually started crying a bit. It was like she had this big realization.

When she calmed down I asked her what it was about Sis that struck her. She told me that after just a couple of seconds talking to Cicely she realized that she was just another little girl who needed help. She said that Cicely had taken her hand and held it while she spoke with her. Like she really trusted her. She started to cry again and said that Cicely shouldn’t have trusted her because she came in wondering why she had to operate on a child like her. She promised that she’d never make that mistake again.

She thanked us for listening to her and we thanked her for saving our little girls life. Then it was all over and we went up to see if we could see her yet. We went in and even though she had just had surgery we could see health returning to her minute by minute. My husband broke down and just cried. I realized, I had never really seen him cry before. It shook me a bit. But I had always wondered, down deep, if he really loved her. He had been so upset when he found out she had Down Syndrome. I know now.

The thing about all this is that I have to now live in a world that I see so differently. I’ve lost friends who said cruel things about Cicely. I talked with a doctor who’s first impulse was that Cicely should just die. I’m thrilled that she’s alive but for the first time I understand what kind of world she is going to grow up in. It’s a hard realization.

Oh, my, I was just going to write you to thank you for your prayers. I saw that you put my letter on your blog like you said you would. I’m going to be away from the computer again for a while as I’m going back to the hospital. So, if you want, you can put all of this, or part of this on your blog.

Thank everyone for me will you?


Anonymous said...

Praise God although it does raise some serious points. It continues to shock me that some people in the medical profession deny people with downs syndrome equal access to medical care but are quite happy to operate to remove a child's right to grow up.

Maybe this surgeon will be more humble now - maybe this is in fact the miracle of Cecily's suffering.

David said...

Thanks for the update. The family has been in my prayers and on my mind.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad she's doing well. But why oh why do our kids have to prove their humanity?

lina said...

What a mix of emotions. Firstly, thank God for Cicely getting through this ok. I will continue to pray for her speedy recovery. But honestly, I am astonished at the reaction you are getting. Astonished and truly sorry, sorry that you and Cicely have had to go through this, sorry that we appear to be in many ways no further ahead than we once were, and sorry for the loss of what at one time may have been friends. I promise though, to continue to fight with you, so that people, will all be treated as people.

The Mom said...

I'm sooo glad that Cicely is doing well. I never honestly thought that medical professionals see my son that way - he is so perfect in my eyes - created just the way God wants him to be.

I did have a run in with a neurosurgeon once, and I do believe he did not value my son, and I have never gone back to him and definitely do not recommend him to others.

We will keep Cicely in our prayers for a speedy and complication free recovery!

max said...

Give Cicely's family our best wishes and prayers for a quick recovery for their precious daughter.
I have a precious son too with DS, the only scary part of our time together has been the realisation how my child is seen to have so little value in some peoples eyes. To us he is priceless.
I show him off to the world, he is beautiful,strong, outgoing, loving and certainly not going to walk quietly through this world, not if mom has her way lol.