As soon as Leoparents entered the hospital in Uppsala,
their carefully constructed optimism crumbled.
It became obvious that even the most modern and cleanest of hospitals,
with the most beautifully painted walls is still a hospital.
‘How do you like it here?’ asked Leodad, hoping for some encouragement.
‘Not at all!’ Leomum had to disappoint him.
That morning the idea to have their own child sliced open, at their own request, seemed utterly idiotic.
They found the ward. They got a room. For Leo and Leomum.
‘Hi, my name’s This-and-That, I’m the nurse on duty here, at your disposal. The Doctor will see you in a minute. In the evening I will have to take a blood sample from Leo and apply a PVC. These are anesthetic adhesive bondages, please put them on one hour before the puncture. After meeting the doctor you can go for a walk, see the cathedral, castle, old town. Or maybe you’d like to have lunch? Would you like coffee, tea?’
The doctor came. Welcomed us. Did an interview.
‘Would you like to hear about the electrode again?’
‘Do you have any other questions?’
They did. Lots. The doctor answered all of them.
‘Anything else? If something pops up, I’m at your disposal’.
Then the surgeon came.
‘Hi, my name’s This-and-That, I will be operating Leo tomorrow. The surgery consists in this-and-that, it usually lasts so-and-so-many hours. I have performed such surgeries that-and-that-many times. The surgery is to improve the life standard of your child. If it was dangerous we wouldn’t be doing it. Do you have any questions?’
Then it was anesthetist’s turn.
‘Hi, my name’s This-and-That, tomorrow I will be responsible for anesthetics for Leo; for this purpose I will use this-and-that, in this-and-that dose. It will happen in this-and-that manner. Do you want Leo to take any pacifiers before the surgery?’
Leoparent didn’t know if it would be necessary
‘In such case I will prepare a dose and we will make the decision tomorrow depending on the situation. Any questions?’
Leoparents felt a relative peace of mind.
All three of them went for a walk.
Then a long night came.
And then “tomorrow” arrived.
Leoparents prepared Leo to the surgery themselves.
They sat him on the bed and together with a nurse took him to the block.
Then Leomum took him into her arms and carried him to the willow-green room, put him on the bed.
Someone put stickers in her hand. With fish.
Leo fell asleep looking at a crazy-critter fish with yellow scales and purple mohawk.
‘Hi, my name’s This-and-That, I am here to show you the way out of the room. Please breathe deeply. Everything is going as planned. Go for a walk, when we finish the surgery and start the waking procedure, we will call you’.
This actually did not work as planned.
Although Leoparents did go for a walk, they did not manage to wait for the call.
They went back to wait at the room.
Finally, the door opened and out came Leo.
Leoparents went with him to the ICU,
where they met the whole personnel and where they could take care of their son,
give him water, co-decide on whether he would feel better dressed or only covered, how many pain-killers he should get,
whether light should be on or dimmed.
They could read to him, they could play him a fairy-tale,
they could do somersaults and stand on their hands
- anything to make Leo feel comfortable.
Both doctors came.
To tell them about the course of the surgery.
At 9 p.m. Leo was back in his room.
‘Hi, our names are This-and-That, we will take care of you this night. Would you like to eat supper, you probably haven’t eaten?
We will supply Leo with this-and-that medicine and connect him to this-and-that equipment. We are also at your disposal should you need anything.
Would you like me to apply a pain-killer? We will visit you at night’.
They came and went many times, but they didn’t turn the lights on.
In order not to wake Leo, they used little torches…