My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

So Glad We Agree

by Joyce...I had been to this building one time before. With TJ, when he needed his wisdom teeth pulled a few years ago. It was different then. Today when I walked in with Sarah, I was nervous. I already knew this was going to be no easy task. But I tried to maintain my granite exterior for her sake.

The first thing she saw walking into the buiding was the fountain. She was mesmerized by it. I was fascinated by the turtle statue, perfectly positioned so the water flowed over it and around it, while never getting the turtle wet. It reminded me of the two of us. Me and Sarah that is. I want her to experience all there is to life, yet in a way that she never gets wet. Protected in a way that she never has to suffer or feel pain. But I can't do that. Not really. These darn wisdom teeth prove it.

We entered the waiting room. It was full. With mostly teens and a parent. After all, the removal of wisdom teeth is like a rite of passage in the teenage years. I caught a glimpse of a few staring at us. They eye Sarah up and down and then look at me. After twenty one years, I'm just used to it. Except today. For some reason, I just wanted to yell out, "Stop staring." I'm sure it was because I was nervous. But what was I afraid of? Truthfully, that these teeth are so close to Sarah's airway. Sarah's very damaged airway. If I let myself, I could visualize all sorts of things going wrong. Horribly wrong. Instead, I concentrated on getting all the paper work completed.

Until I turned the sheet over and got to the medical information...
  • heart disease - check
  • asthma - check
  • thyroid issues - check
  • airway issues - check
  • ever experienced trouble coming out of anthesia - check
  • other issues we should be aware of - subglotic stenosis - check

The fear set back in. All of a sudden I felt hot. Burning hot. Then my heart started racing. "Oh c'mon Joyce, we are just talking teeth here," I said to myself. Then they called her name. She hopped up and followed the receptionist back into the treatment room. I quickly scanned the area. My urge was to run. Run fast. The other direction. The counter was cluttered. An oxygen tank was covered with thick plastic. It had not been used in sometime. The floor was not very clean. Old manuals lined a shelf. And to my chair was an IV pump...with a used line and connector still attached. I was horrified.

My nervous state turned to an adrenaline rush. But before I could develop an action plan the doctor came in. He asked Sarah some questions. He put a glove on and examined her mouth. I started to feel panic. C'mon Joyce think. What can I say? I need to get her out of here. He started to ask me a question. I did not immediately hear him. He repeated the question. "Does she take medicine well?" "No. NO. " That's it. My escape clause. "No, she refuses to take medicine orally. She needs an IV line." And then I heard sweet music to my ears, "So sorry, we will not be able to complete this procedure here in the office. She will need to be in the hospital with a full team to support her." "Oh, I could not agree more," I readily replied.

The doctor left the room. Sarah leaned over to me and said she hated the taste of the exam glove in her mouth. I wanted to tell her I hated the taste of the entire experience.

As we got on the elevator, I decided to push the button for the top floor. When we got to the bottom, Sarah decided she wanted to do it again. So we road that elevator like we were in an amusement park. Not much different than our life really. Up and down, up and down, up and down. The funny thing though, it's like the rush of a thrill ride. Your voice is hoarse. Your knees are shaking. Yet, you run back for more...


Rochelle said...

So thankful the doctor felt that she would be best suited to have them out at the hospital.
Please let us know when she gets scheduled so we can pray for her and for your peace.

heather said...

I would feel so much better in a hospital setting as well. Too many risks with our kids and their airways. Loved your analysis of the turtle and elevator. Both so fitting!

Mary said...

I don't blame you. I'd want it done in a hospital setting too.

Anonymous said...

Oh I agree too. Hugs.

Karen said...

I loved this post for so many reasons. First of all, it's nice to hear you say, Joyce, that sometimes you still feel panicked. That granite exterior makes me think at times that one will eventually get to the point where nothing fazes you anymore. (You're good at looking cool.) Second, I am SO glad you're going to a hospital. Instincts never lie. And I LOVE the analogy at the end with the elevator. How very true.

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

so happy that things worked out to go along with your mother's instinct! hope all goes well when they take sarah's wisdom teeth out at the hospital!!! let us know!!!

Looking Up said...

A mother knows best! To be honest, with her history, I can't imagine that they would consider doing it anywhere other than a hospital, anyway!

Adelaide Dupont said...

How well I remember the sheltered turtle from the park.

And the one in the fountain.

Freudians often talk about tooth dreams, especially the ones which fall out, and then the ones which don't always fall out!

Thank goodness Sarah will be getting the very best of hospital care.

Leah Mraz said...

I echo what Karen had to say, as I enjoyed this post for many reasons, one being the raw mama bear side that will inevitably come out anytime you sense danger or something just being out of place. Most of the blogs I follow regarding our children with Down syndrome are about babies. Then there's Sarah, a young adult, and you, with all your poise and strength, and your blog that trailblazes the road of possibilities for me. I guess in some ways it makes me feel okay that I do feel more overprotective of my son at times than I do my daughter. And it's not overlooking my daughter by any means, it's just a different protection of my son and perhaps that will never go away. And that's just fine, and well, a good thing as I am sure Sarah will have a much better experience in a hospital setting. :)

Mama Mason-Mann said...

Wow, that sounded so stressful!!! I'm glad they decided to wait! Keep us posted. I'll be thinking of you!

Shelly Turpin said...

Oh heart was beating just reading your post. I can't imagine your anxiety. So glad the doctor and you agreed. Nothing is easy.