Lis is fine. As her neurosurgeon said, "She's clear to do anything but pole vaulting and boxing." We have to go back in one more year to do the usual check up and get her eyes tested. Apparently, that's one of the easiest ways to make sure her skull is growing normally; if there is too much pressure in the eyes, then there's a problem and more surgery is needed.
I'm not going to think about that for at least another 11 months.
It was like I expected, and not. I felt the panic rising as we parked in the garage and drove past the parking spot we used when we came in the morning of her surgery. I saw the red wagons and ushered her past then; we walked down the hall way full of animals and kid friendly colored glass protrusions form the walls. Just when I thought the lump in my throat was going to take over, Vor took a deep breath and pulled out all outside. We walked outside to the clinic area, avoiding our old haunt. I think he must have felt the same.
I wasn't at all feeling the panic while we were sitting in the waiting area, or when we went back to get our check up done. I thought that would be the worst--sitting there with all those other children, some with the same scars, others who clearly had not had their skulls "fixed" yet--I thought that would be the hardest. It wasn't.
After we were done, we wandered down to the gift shop, also known as the safety shop, so that we could see if they had any life jackets. They sell all kinds of safety gear at cost. We were in luck; we picked one out so that we can go boating this summer.
I walked out the door of the safety shop, only to by gobsmacked by the sight of the phlebotomy lab; the place that Vor and I joking referred to as the House Of Vampires. The place where we got Lis tested for her blood type and the place that handled Vor's blood for transfusions. I turned away, and kept my jaw set.
On days where Lis goes in for a check up, she sees two doctors: her original neurosurgeon, and a follow up pediatric plastic surgeon. The usually come in one after the other, about five minutes apart. Today they overlapped and we had a doctor party in our room. Before surgery, Dr. A (the neurosurgeon) was no nonsense and all business. As soon as that surgery was over, she was friendly and enamored with Lis. I suppose that's her way of dealing. She's always glad to see us; for some reason, we must have been memorable.
Actually, I know exactly why we were memorable, but I hate to think about it. Lis's surgery was nine hours, about three longer than they anticipated, because of some incredible complications. I think we made it into a cranio/facial paper write up she did.
But here we are, almost two years post op. Things look good; we didn't freak out in the hospital; Lis can climb and play soccer to her heart's content.
All is well.