One of Daughter’s friends had surgery on Friday. T was born missing some necessary components to his feet, and had been walking on his ankles. He had braces, but they didn’t work and he ended up with bad infections. So, they went in to do some reconstruction work. He is in his early 20’s, and lives in supported living. One of his house parents took him to the hospital for the surgery. His supervisor from the workshop was at the hospital because her mother was having surgery, so she visited him.
As of Friday evening he hadn’t had any visits from family members (both of his parents are living and in the area). He called Daughter a couple of times during the day, so since we were going to Town, I dropped her at the hospital while I went to run some errands. She was concerned, because she equates hospitals with visiting her aging grandparents, and she gets scared. I told her this was different, and T would come out better and stronger. He wasn’t there because he was sick and dying, but for surgery that would improve his life. I told her I would call her when I came to pick her up, but if she was uncomfortable, she could tell T I was waiting for her and she had to go down and meet me. With an escape plan, she went into visit him.
When I came back after running my errands, she was still in his room. She told me he had been very emotional, and she gave him 3 hugs while she was there, the 2nd one when he became emotional. Saturday he was moved to a nursing home for rehab. While we were at the softball tournament, he called Daughter’s cell phone 4-6 times. I promised I would take her to visit him when I go visit one of the saints in that nursing home. T is scheduled to be there 2 months for rehab.
I know he was scared going into this surgery. He had sought me out at various events to tell me about it and ask me to pray for him. I’ve had him on the prayer list at church the last 2 Sundays, and the church sent him a card telling him we were praying for him. Daughter said she prayed with him and gave him a hug at the workshop on Thursday.
He’s just a couple of years older than Daughter, and he’s alone. I can’t imagine allowing a son or daughter of mine to face this kind of surgery alone. I can’t imagine how he must feel. Other friends from the workshop said they’d try to visit. I asked Daughter if she thought they were dependable. I had to explain what dependable meant, and she quickly acknowledged that they weren’t, and probably wouldn’t visit. He is facing an extended period in that nursing home, away from his friends, and isolated by age from the other patients. My heart aches for him.
Daughter wanted to go visit today, but I was reluctant to make the 30 mile round trip with the Big Event today. Tomorrow we’ll go to the county fair, and we’ll stop by the nursing home for a visit. I know that with the food we need to prepare for the meal connected at the church it’s not reasonable to try to squeeze in a visit to T. Yet I feel guilty. I wonder if his parents experience any guilt....