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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It won't hurt, you will be asleep or other misinterpreted statements

We still think of you Pearl!
When my eldest child was five years old, our beloved rabbit Pearl became ill. So ill, she had to be put "asleep". This my friend, was where all of the trouble began.

At that same time, my son was to start undergoing a treatment, at Children's Memorial Hospital, that would require him to go under anesthesia. It was a painful process that would be ongoing for most of his childhood and adolescent years.

Wanting to prepare him for the realities of this course of action, I carefully explained all aspects of the plan and how it would affect him. Hoping to minimize his worries was the goal.

Then it started. He would say things like:
 "This is the last Wednesday night I will eat pizza with my family."
Really, I said, you won't need one.
"What is a last will and testament?"  (Which might sound like a odd question from a five year old, but trust me on this,  not out of the ordinary, whatsoever, with this child.)
"Who will play with my Legos?"

Now in my defense, I did have three other children, ages four, two and a half and one. So while I fielded these questions with responses like:
"Of, course you will eat pizza with your family again, this may hurt a bit, but don't worry, they will put you to sleep and you will be okay."
"You won't need a will, everything will be okay, you will see, they will just put you to sleep and you will not feel anything, really."
"If you don't pick up the Legos soon, they will be mine and you won't have to worry about a thing."

This tidy compared to how his looked.
These types of exchanges went on as we got closer to the appointed time for the first treatment.

Thank God my niece came over to play. The day before the surgery was scheduled, yet another one of these exchanges occurred,  she looked up at me and said, in all of her five year old wisdom: " Aunt Nomi, I think, he thinks, you are having him put to sleep, like Pearl."

I looked over at my son, his head nodding in the affirmative.  Sigh.

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