"I promise, everything is going to be okay. We're going to make your eyes better."
We took her into her first eye muscle surgery before the sun came up on January 12th. The procedure itself went okay, but the stress was hard to handle. The following days and weeks were even worse. We waited and hoped, but her eyes looked wrong. Worse than before. She complained of double vision, told us her eyes were "sick". All we could do was wait and try to push away the bad thoughts that we did this to her.
Even though this was a minor medical issue compared to all those "what ifs" in life, nothing I have ever experienced feels worse than thinking I screwed up my beautiful daughter. My husband and I were on edge, bickering. Stressing each other out. I was not sleeping. One good positive day was often followed by two days of near-paralyzing worry.
I promised her it would be okay.
Finally, eight weeks after surgery and after many follow up doctor visits, we were told that a second surgery would be needed. The plan was to put the muscles moved in surgery #1 back to where they were - and move a different muscle. And we were told it had to be done quickly - within a few weeks.
The guilt I felt was tremendous when we had to tell her she'd be going through surgery again. I was afraid to promise again. But on March 29th, we pulled her out of bed once again and made the trek to the Children's outpatient surgery center. Surgery went as planned again. Recovery was much worse than last time. She slept all day, cried when awake, and vomited at night. She woke in the morning terrified because swelling prevented her from opening her eyes. I was still afraid to make any promises.
Yesterday morning, we had her 3-week post-surgery check. The appointment took all of 10 minutes. She looks great! No more squinting, no more closing an eye, no more tucking her chin down to see straight. No more "moving eyes".
She looks great. She feels great. She is happy that we don't have to go to the doctor again for almost three months. I took a huge breath. I think maybe I've been holding it for months.
It took a while, but I kept my promise to my girl.
Her eyes are better. Everything is finally okay.
Writer's Workshop prompt this week: A promise.