Remember when I boldly declared – one month ago – that I had picked a Word of the Year? No? Well, that word was CHOOSE. Back then I wrote: “I’m incredibly indecisive, which I’ve mentioned many times before, so I’ll take CHOOSE as a challenge to be better at making decisions. I also need to be better at choosing when it comes to my priorities. ’Nuff said.”
Well, it didn’t take long for choosing to become a challenge.
I’m the one-woman epitome of “analysis paralysis”. I’ve been praised at times for my ability to see all sides of an issues, even when I have strong feelings about the subject matter, and oftentimes that ability is an asset. But because I’m programmed to look at things from so many different angles, I have a hard time making a decision when an action needs to be taken (or not).
That’s where I am right now with Sarah Kate’s upcoming surgery.
The difficult part as a parent is knowing how to put all the pieces together to make the best choice when three (so far) different professionals don’t agree.
- The orthopedist has one perspective, because he’s an expert in the procedures, but he doesn’t know our family or Sarah Kate well because he only sees her briefly every year or two.
- The clinic physical therapist has a different perspective because she has been directly involved in rehab of children who’ve had these procedures, and because she’s worked with Sarah Kate when she had extensive rehab following her rhizotomy eight years ago.
- The local physical therapist has yet another perspective, because she has worked with Sarah Kate regularly for the past several years – she knows Sarah Kate and our family better than anyone.
- The folks at Gillette don’t know us at all, since we haven’t been there yet, but they reportedly are ahead of the curve in this particular area, and they have a long history and the best data available on long term outcomes of orthopedic procedures on children with cerebral palsy.
Few things stress me out more than limbo, and there are a lot of dominoes stacked up behind this decision. I’m traveling for four days in March, Sarah Kate is traveling for three days the week after that; we have Botox scheduled for the third week of March but we can’t do it before we go to Gillette for the gait study; I have a minor procedure scheduled for the day after the Botox that I want to get in before April comes and the serious business begins.
And of course, there’s an as-yet-undetermined surgery sometime in April with a summer of rehab to follow.
My gut tells me that we need to stay the more conservative, less invasive course. Going with that option doesn’t preclude the other option later, though doing both is certainly not ideal. But that other part of me wants to make absolutely sure that we’re doing the right thing, and if the latest research says the more invasive option will have the better longterm outcome, I don’t want to make a mistake out of fear.
So, yes, choosing is tough.
The clock is ticking, so the decision will be eventually be forced on me if The Right Choice doesn’t make itself clear first. I’m trying to remind myself that Perfection is the Enemy of the Good, but with the stakes seemingly so high, I don’t feel comfortable (yet) in settling for the Good.