Kid Surgery is Scary

As I write this, our 6 year old son is having tubes installed (in his ears, by the way) for the third time.  As far as surgeries go, tubes are a bit easier than the others we’ve endured with our kids, including eye surgery and skull surgery.  I sometimes joke that we should get our card punched because maybe the 10th run will be free.  But the medical professionals always say no.  Thanks, Obamacare*.

Let me say this: Kid surgery is scary.  Even if it has happened enough times to feel routine and predictable, it’s still scary.  My feeble familiarity makes me far calmer than the parents a few seats over who are here for the same reason.  Compared to their catharsis, I feel like a robot, or like a Vulcan** whose emotions rarely get in the way of the mission. Yet… Jesus wept.  For whatever reason, he wept.  I cannot imagine how incapacitating it would be to know all that He knows of the human experience.  I suppose perspective is the great corrective.  First surgery? Freaked out by the unknown.  Third (or, maybe, eighth) surgery?  More coffee, please.

As I write, Zac is getting a new set of tubes, which are little grommets for your eardrums that create a tiny hole in the tympanic membrane that releases pressure and allows your ears to drain.  When I was a kid and heard about someone “getting tubes”, I always imagined a long straw traveling from their ears to some spigot installed near their right ankle, which is why that kid always wore moon boots.  Turns out I was overthinking it.  Standard procedure, yes — if we have to get it done again in the future, they might let me give it a try.  Who knows?

There is risk, oh yes.  Anytime you force a body to go to sleep and then start using foreign objects to barge in and root around a biological system that self-regulates, something can certainly go awry. But I know now that worrying about it will produce only one effect: worry.  Worry never accomplishes what it sets out to do, namely, make it all ok.  Jesus weeps, but he doesn’t worry.


*Please note that “Thanks Obamacare” is one of my favorite rhetorical devices to throw out in a less than serious moment.

**My friend and I were talking about how far-reaching the character Spock has been in our culture at large.  Even an isolated prude knows the vulcan semiotic.

About radamdavidson

I'm a husband, dad, and pastor living in Portage, Michigan. I suppose I'm a euphoric melancholy generalist with average skills, experiences, and passions across several intertwined disciplines and hobbies including music, speaking, writing, leadership, ministry, and collecting cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, subscribe to my podcast (RadCast) or friend me on
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