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Preparing for Bennett's Surgery

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The clock has begun counting down until Bennett's surgery on Thursday morning.

We've been given our "marching orders" for the day before the surgery - no food after midnight, no liquids after 5:30am...and a full bath with anti-bacterial soap Wednesday night.

We must report to Scott and White Children's Hospital in Temple, TX at 7:30AM on Thursday morning.  Once we register and check in, we will be escorted to a 2nd floor Surgery Bay where we will meet with the doctors and sign consent forms.

According to the nurse, the Operating Room (OR) is scheduled for Bennett's surgeons to use from 8:30-10:50am.  So, we expect the surgery to begin around 8:30am and for it to take no more than 2.5 hours.  I will be updating the blog regularly for friends and family.

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I called today and asked the Pediatric Surgeon to arrange an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor to be at Bennett's surgery on Thursday due to issues during Bennett's last surgery when the anesthesiologist unexpectedly struggled to insert the breathing tube.

Today, the nurse, who was preparing me over the phone for Bennett's upcoming surgery, said matter-of-factly, "and we are going to have the ENT there since he is a 'difficult intubation.'"

Difficult intubation?

My heart sort of stopped beating for a moment.  I am not sure why hearing it like that was so jarring but those words sounded so clinical, so disconnecting, so terrifying, for that brief moment.

To hear Bennett labeled in his patient chart as a 'difficult intubation' brought back clearer memory of the sudden and surprising involvement of an ENT in Bennett's otherwise uneventful last rectal prolapse surgery.

To hear Bennett is a "difficult intubation" was like getting kicked in the gut - a reminder that Bennett's care is complicated and that in two short days a medical team will be be monitoring my son's heart rate and artificially keeping his airways open while he lies on the sterile table of a surgical OR to have his intestines fixed.

Sometimes, CF seems so normal that I forget that it's not.

I don't often go there, to the place where my deep feelings linger and my deep fears exist.  When you live with Cystic Fibrosis, you daily live with intense fears and feelings of helplessness - so you have to learn how to ignore those feelings on some small level as it's the only sustainable way to live.

So, while most of the time, those fears stay tucked away, it can be little things like a hospital nurse reading two words from Bennett's medical chart that can trigger in me a sense of reality: I am scared.

It helps me to remind myself that I am confident in our surgery team and that Bennett will be fine. Dr. Perger, the pediatric surgeon has been Bennett's primary surgeon on this specific issue for the last few years.  I trust her a lot and I know she trusts me.  And, our ENT, Dr. Kress, is also a wonderful doctor with young children of her own.  So, I know he is in good hands.

In addition to asking for an ENT to be present, I also requested of the medical team do a deep lavage Cystic Fibrosis culture on Bennett while he's under anesthesia.  Hopefully we can peek in to Bennett's lungs and see if there are any bacteria hiding deep within his lungs.  So far, Bennett's lungs have seemed to stay clear from any significantly damaging bacteria.  But, CF can cause damage even when there are no symptoms.  So, hopefully this will just give us peace of mind.

Once Bennett is done with surgery, he will be admitted to the 4th or 5th floor.  We are expecting at two nights stay.  But, that will be determined once we find out how surgery went.

Bennett has packed his bags and is very excited.  Now, it's time that I make mine!

3 Responses to “Preparing for Bennett's Surgery”

  1. All the best, Bennett! Hoping for a speedy recovery and no complications, mom!

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  2. I am praying and will continue to...for the Lord to go before you and beside you...for you to have a peace that goes beyond understanding...for protection, comfort, and quick healing for Bennett. Wish it was in Dallas so I could come sit with you friend. Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing. Love you and praying!

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  3. Prayers going up for Bennett and Mom and Dad.

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