Posted in Erb's Palsy, Events, Fateha, Fateha's Journey, The Family

Under the Knives part deux

3 years ago, when Fateha had her tendon transfer on her Erb’s shoulder, we thought that it would be the last surgery she would have to go through. and me, overnight-ing in the hospital with her. lo and behold, we had to do it again this year but this time, it was to lengthen her contracted biceps.

last thursday, all jittery, i accompanied Fateha into the surgery preparatory room.


that was where she had to change into her operation garment and anesthetic lotion was plastered onto her back hand; you know, just in case she needed an IV line. we were attended by a young Malay male nurse, who was very kind and friendly towards Fateha. he asked her questions so lovingly, like an elder brother to his youngest sister. it made me more relaxed and kind of looking forward to this procedure. once the paperwork were all done, a nurse from the operating theater (OT) came to us with a wheel chair and wheeled Fateha to the OT at the Main Building.

aaahhh, old memories began to seep in as soon as we stepped into the waiting room in the OT.


this time, hubby had to come in to the waiting room too. the anesthetist had to discuss with both of us the risk that we would be facing, should we decided to continue with the surgery. you see, Fateha was having a bad cough, with a little phlegm. so we were warned that she might develop inflammation in her throat and the cough would worsen. we decided to go ahead with it.

and then, we played the waiting game. it was horrible, to sit in the waiting room for more than an hour with a super hungry child. she kept asking for bread, rice, water… she couldn’t understand why she was needed to fast before the surgery, no matter how much i tried explaining. i didn’t blame her.

then a doctor came to us, with a camera in his hands, ready to shoot Fateha’s to-be-operated arm. i tell you, whatever the doc said or asked her to do, she gave him absolutely no answer. all she did was to turn to me and asked for water and rice. i had to turn her down again. and when the doc heard Fateha whining and begging me for food, he promised her chocolate after the surgery was over.

and then she cooperated for a while. after 3 to 4 snaps, we were good to go. for the surgery!

this surgery, similar to the first one, was 2 hours long. thank goodness for the constant technology advancement, in the visitor’s lounge where we were all waiting, there was a screen with the patient’s code and which room the patient was in; operation room or recovery room. our eyes kept looking at the screen, just to check out the progress of the surgery.

after 2 hours, we saw Fateha’s code had changed to recovery room. i was anxious! told our helper to get all the bags ready and within a few minutes, my phone rang. it was the OT, calling me to come over.


right there, in the same recovery room as it had been for the first one, Fateha was still sleeping with oxygen on. i almost burst into tears but i kept my cool. so i called hubby to come in to look at her, while i wait outside. yea, only one next-of-kin allowed. in about less than 5 minutes, hubby came out and called me to come in because Fateha was waking up. the nurse was removing the gas mask from her face and turned off her probes that tracked her vital organs. when she opened her eyes and saw me, the first thing she asked was, “Ibu, i want rice…” and dozed off. my poor, hungry baby!

i was asked to observe her and see if she was doing okay before we wheeled her into the general ward; the same ward and room that we had gotten before. her surgeons came in the evening and explained what they had done to her biceps and nerves, of which was not my area of expertise and i didn’t quite understand. all those medical terminology. Prof Aymeric seemed happy with the operation and kept saying how well behaved Fateha was. awwww, who were her parents again?? :p

Prof also showed me a photo of the surgery, which of course was printed just for us.


i was eager to see this, so that i would understand exactly how it had been done. so now i could tell which ones were her nerves. it was like reading How My Body Works book, with the exposed flesh and bones. i was seeing my own flesh and blood’s flesh and blood!


good thing was, she didn’t have to have a long stay in the hospital. i only brought 1 extra top for myself and if she were to have a few days more, i would have to get someone to get me some clothes. and, the foldable bed that the hospital had for parents who were staying to accompany their kids, was uncomfortable. but hey, it was better than my previous experience, where i had to share Fateha’s bed.


oh i forgot to mention. Fateha got her promised box of chocolate from the doctor who was a part of the surgery team. he was a nice man; came to see Fateha the next morning at almost 6am, just to give her the gift and to tell us that we could go home. luckily, i was already awake, showered and freshened up. Fateha was awake too and the doctor was shocked to see both of us chatting when he came. while other parents and kids, in the room, were still so sound asleep, complete with rhythmic snores.

doc: oh you’re up so early!
me: yea, we are morning people :)) (really, i no lie)
doc: aahh that’s good. anyway, here is your chocolate. you are such a good girl.
me: *smiling*
doc: anyway, she is alright, so she can be discharged today. Prof Aymeric will see you guys again later.
me: okay, thanks doc!

it was such a good start to my early morning because everything had fallen into its place for me. hubby decided to take child care leave so that he could bring us back home. my parents took half day leave so that they would be around when we came back (we went back to my parents’ because it was very near to the hospital). everything just went well for us after that.

tomorrow, we will be going back to the hospital for a review. let’s see how the wound is recovering.


a wife, a mother, an anxious-for-no-reason person and a pure lazy bum.

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