Bud is so good at having surgery, he could do it professionally.
I had a lot of images about how the day might go. I was in "prepare for the worst/hope for the best" mode. But I never even entertained the possibility that Bud's surgery would be such a spectacular non-event.
Having stuffed himself silly at our midnight breakfast, Bud was perfectly content with grazing on Popsicles and jello until we left for the hospital. We arrived early, and I prepared to manage his mounting anxiety as we approached the same-day surgery unit, where he'd had a meltdown of epic proportions less than two weeks earlier, when we tried to visit for a "sneak peak" tour. But the anxiety never came. Bud was calm and pleasant as we sat together in the waiting room. He seemed especially huggy and affectionate, but not in a needy, clingy way, just in a "have I told you lately that I love you" way.
When we moved into the surgical unit, Bud stayed his focused, happy self, chatting with the nurses, answering questions as they were asked, and settling in with a portable DVD player and a stash of movies from the hospital's library. Shortly after he was in his room, they gave him a liquid sedative, which - though I wouldn't have thought there was any room for improvement - made him even more delightful. A steady stream of nurses, anaesthesiologists, doctors, and other staff arrived at his bedside, and Bud announced each new arrival with "I'd like you to meet my friends!"
The whole day followed the same pattern. We had a difficult, tearful ten minutes in the final pre-op moments, when a neighbor of Bud's reacted with some unpleasant noises as he woke from his anaesthesia, frightening Bud as we wheeled him to the OR. But I stayed with him until he was asleep, and in less than an hour the surgeon came to find me to tell me that it had all gone well. I was back in with Bud before he woke up.
And when he did wake up he was all smiles, and gave me a clear, loud "Hi, Mom," without even the hint of a hoarse voice. Bud announced that he was ready to leave in less than an hour, but hospitals have their rules, so we had to sit around and wait for a couple more hours before they sent us home.
Bud's been eating and drinking just fine. He's taking his (foul tasting) medicine without complaint. He had a great night's sleep. He's up and about and playing and talking and acting not at all like a child who has just had a body part removed (in fact, my sister suggested that I check him out thoroughly, in case they mistakenly removed the wrong thing).
So I'm forced to draw two conclusions in the aftermath of this waltz through major surgery:
1. It is likely that Bud will continue to surprise me all the time for the rest of my life, and
2. When you folks send out prayers, thoughts, and energy to the universe, you do not mess around.
Thanks for being with us through it all. I'm off to scoop more ice cream.