Here's a toughie: How do we mentally prepare Addie for the surgery?
I mean, do we need to? Let's imagine a few scenarios:
1) We explain to her that she's going to the hospital, and that the doctor is going to give her some special medicine to help her sleep. Then he's going to "fix" her nose and her throat so that she won't get sick so much anymore. She'll be able to breathe better and smell things and taste her food.
The problem with this scenario, of course, is that she won't immediately feel better. My fear is that she'll wake up and look at me and Eric and be like "What in God's name have you people done to me? This is making me FEEL better? You people are crazy!" Then she'll barf up blood all over both of us. Honestly, if Eric ever did this to me--took me to the hosptial for a surgery and then promised it wouldn't hurt when it really hurt a lot--I'd be pissed. "Oh no, honey, it's just a hysterectomy. It won't hurt." Right. I'd kill him.
2) We explain to her that she's going to the hospital, and that the doctor is going to give her some special medicine to help her sleep. Then he's going to "fix" her nose and her throat so that she won't get sick so much anymore. She'll be able to breathe better and smell things and taste her food. But, we also tell her, it's going to hurt some before she gets better.
The problem with this scenario is that if you tell a two-year-old that something is going to hurt, she will freak out. We've told Addie that the doctor is going to take her tonsils out, and even though she has no clue what this means, she already screams, "NO! I don't want the doctor to take my tonsils out! Noooooooooo!" Plus, does it make sense to prepare her for pain? Won't that just scare her? I mean, she doesn't really have the mental schema to understand what's going to happen anyway, and chances are she'll forget all of it in the long run, so what's our responsbility here?
3) Do nothing, say nothing. Just get up on Wednesday morning, go to the hospital, and pretend we're playing a big game in which the doctor puts a mask over her face (peek-a-boo!) and, whamo, when she wakes up? She'll never know what hit her. We'll just focus on all the ice cream and jello she'll get to eat once she stops horking blood all over the place.
But this doesn't feel right either. I mean, this kid really trusts us, trusts us more than anybody ever should, probably. And we're sending her in for an (albeit short-lived) world of hurt. Don't we have some responsibility to help her understand it? To communicate what's coming?
I don't know. I remain unresolved. We have told her she's going to the hospital Wednesday, and that she'll get to eat lots of ice cream when she wakes up, and that the doctor is going to take her tonsils out, just like Mommy's are out. We've also just told her how much we love her, and love her, and love her. But beyond that, I'm not sure what to do. She handled the CAT scan far better than we ever thought she would, and she's a tough girl. But she's also just a kid, and she's going to be hurting some. So.
I'm guessing we're in for a learning experience.