Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kung Fu Mama

I had a hard time coming up with a way to describe my mastectomy to my (then) kindergartner and pre-schooler without scaring the crap out of them. Kids, Mommy has this crazy-assed genetic mutation and is getting both breasts removed! And some other parts too! So, I concocted a story that would help them understand my limits (resting, no lifting, soreness, etc.) without really going into too much detail about the actual procedure.

Here's what I said:
"Mommy is going into the hospital overnight so the doctors can fix her chest muscles. She got a boo boo, but she's going to be fine. Mommy will need you to be her helpers and lift things that she can't lift. She will have to rest for a while but soon she will be back to normal."

OK, pretty reasonable. Next obvious question from the kids:
"How did you get your boo boo?"

"Well, I was lifting the uh, deck umbrella, and uh, putting it up high in the garage and I pulled some muscles." Not as well thought out by me. But the explanation seemed to work. The kids were great, didn't seem too anxious, and since I was home from the hospital 24 hours later, the story seemed pretty valid. (I do have some thoughts, to be shared at a later point, on the rather insane concept of returning home 24 hours after a mastectomy.)

But maybe it just wasn't exciting enough. My kindergartner was getting a ride home from school with a friend of mine. She called me a few days later and asked me what we told the kids about my surgery. I explained the story and she laughed.

"Your son told my son on the way home from school that his mom had to get surgery because she was stabbed in the chest with a giant beach umbrella."


No comments:

Post a Comment