A few months back I started having some stomach issues. Sometimes nausea sometimes a tightening in my chest that on a bad day traveled to my back. One night at the hospital with Kai I felt so awful I thought I had the flu. I brushed it off a while figuring it was just stress. As the months went on It seemed to be happening more frequently. With the help of google and a friend of mine (who needs doctors right!?!) I suspected it may be my gallbladder.

The first night of our trip to Canada I ended up in the ER with a pretty bad attack (apparently a gallbladder full of stones does not appreciate pizza and beer!) Ashley drove me at 3am through a snow storm to an ER in Vermont. It was a quiet little community hospital not at all what i am used to Both the doctor and male nurse had large grey Vermont beards. They did some blood work they too suspect gallstones. The doc gave me some pain meds and told me to get an ultrasound when we got back from vacation. In the meantime, stay away from fatty foods, cheese and alcohol. Great way to start a vacation!!

A few weeks ago i had the ultrasound and it was confirmed that my gallbladder was ‘full of stones’ and looked like a wrinkled ‘leather shoe’. I asked to see the ultrasound and the surgeon obliged. I joked ‘can’t I just do a cleanse?’ To which he laughed and said that this organ has been non functioning for about a decade. Then I asked if I could see the organ after my surgery. He said they send it to pathology, but he could give me some of the stones if I would like.
I just wanted to check them out, I don’t need to take them home!
Surgery was scheduled for, you guessed it, Monday feb 4th -my first day of massage school…

I have never had surgery before, no stitches or ER visits for myself, ever. In fact I hadn’t even been to the doctors for myself since Kai was born. Naturally I was not too excited about having surgery, but every time I was nervous all I could think of was how much Kai went through. How brave and strong he was. How much of this crazy medical crap he endured in such a short little life. He rarely cried and never complained. Thinking of his strength calmed my fears, hoping maybe he would visit me in my dreams while I was under anesthesia.

Surgery was early monday morning. I went into it pretty calm convincing myself if Kai could do it I could do it. I barely remember being wheeled I to the operating room before falling asleep from the medicine.
Waking up was a little more difficult.
I woke up crying for Kai. The nurse came over to check on me and told me it was ok, that a lot of people cry when coming out of anesthesia. She tried to console me but I just kept crying and asking her to bring me Kai’s blanket. I brought his blanket with me, the one he was wrapped in when he died, but my mom had it in the waiting room. The nurse was confused and asked me who Kai was. I told her he was my baby and he had been through so much and that he died of a brain tumor. She held my hand for a minute and then walked away. I think she was trying to find the blanket but I felt so alone when she left.
All of my hospital experience has been at children’s with kai. the nurses are always there to talk to me and explain things. It was strange and scary to be on the other side. The patient, scared and vulnerable.
I was so hoping to visit Kai in my dreams, but never considered that I would come to, crying for him like that. There was no hiding it, the pain and sadness of loosing Kai just came out instinctually…I didn’t have a choice.

Once they wheeled me back to my room mom and Ashley were there with all of my things, including Kai’s blanket.

We stayed a few hours in recovery, and then went home.
Ever little pain I feel I can’t help but think about all of these kids like Kai, who endure so much. I just can’t help but think how brave and strong they all are. How unfair it is what we put them through trying to make them better. And how their pain is forever imbedded in the subconscious of all their moms and dads who watch them go through it.
Being put under anesthesia, cut open and pumped full of drugs can really mess with you. I just don’t know how these kids do it week after week, year after year…



17 thoughts on “Surgery

  1. hugs and love coming at you. glad you got yourself fixed. sorry it was so sad, but probably not so shocking really. coming out of anesthesia leaves you so vulnerable..love you.

  2. I hope that you recover from the surgery very quickly. So sorry to hear how rough it was for you. I often think of the time we spent together in the dining hall at camp with Kai sleeping at the table. Sending you love, hugs and thoughts of a better tomorrow.

  3. Your story has helped make my commitment to helping sick children real. Can only imagine what it’s really like for you. I was given a tour of Why Me/ Sherry’s House yesterday and was touched by it’s beauty and commited people. You are not alone and sure hope you feel better.

  4. Ugh, gall bladder problems are such a hassle, I hope you recover quickly. And I love that you had Kai’s tubie friend too!!! Thinking of both the blanket and the friend made me cry. Much love to you early on this Thursday morning. Hoping you fare well in the snowstorm.

  5. awh kerr 😦 you have a long road ahead but you have the strength and love in yourself and around you to help you thru ❤

  6. How I wish I could wrap my arms around you and make it better. Every day I look at your beautiful baby Kai’s picture and think of him throughout the day. I am sure he was with you during your surgery just as he always is. Wishing you a speedy recovery from your surgery and good luck with school! 🙂

  7. Sometimes our bodies make us take care of ourselves whether we really want to or not. Wishing you the recovery time you need. Your insights are invaluable.

  8. 💝 🎈 Hi Kerri
    It’s good to stay in touch with you via posts. Though I often ask your Aunt Margie about you, I haven’t seen her to really talk to recently, because she’s worked for me during my husband’s heart surgery and recuperation. Therefore, I was surprised to hear about your surgery, and want to write to wish you well as the healing process begins. Once this ordeal has passed, hopefully you can start the massage school plans. You will continue to be in my prayers. God bless you.

  9. Thank you for sharing your blog with us all. I am so sorry for your loss – Kai sounds like such a beautiful child.
    Thank you for sharing your experience regarding your surgery. It actually bought tears to my eyes.
    My son was diagnosed with leukemia in January 2009 and suffered greatly (he reacted to all the treatment he was taking including burns from his chemo no dr had ever seen before).
    I was with Liyan(my son) through every step of his 2 years of suffering – the worst being the last 6 months during radiation in preparation of a bone marrow transplant (being donated by my daughter) to the 6 months he was in hospital and then passed away. He never got home after his transplant and – his dream was to get on my bed at home and hug me for ever. I couldn’t do that.
    Everytime I have a medical problem – I keep telling myself if Liyan could do it – so can I. These kids are so brave – I’m so glad I’m not the only one that feels this way.
    My son was 14 when he passed away on November 25 2010 – in a month on his birthday he would have been 17. It still really hurts but I pray you have more and more good days than bad.
    Sending you love, strength and thanks.
    Hana xxx

  10. Thinking of you and sending you good wishes during your recovery. Your son was an inspiration and I am sorry that you have had to go through so much. You are right — no-one should have to endure the kind of pain and procedures that he, and so many others, go through.
    In solidarity….

  11. Thinking of you often Kerri! Praying for you always and hoping your recovering well and your days get better ! Xoxo Hang in there!

  12. Kerri thanks for sharing your experience and your heartfelt emotions. You are the sum of all your experiences. All the memories of helping Kai always feel loved and never alone will help you encourage other children and families in the future who need your support. I’m so grateful to have met you.

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