30 November 2012

Finishing out our day.

It's 11:20pm and Bennett has finally fallen asleep for the night...well, for another 3 hours before the nurses come take his vitals...and until 5:30AM when the doctors come to check on him and then the medical residents come to see for themselves at 6:30AM.  But, at least he will sleep for a bit.  I will cat nap tonight too.  But I look most forward to going home to take a nap tomorrow.  (I am hopeful we will be discharged sometime tomorrow.)  But, first, I want to document our day as I know tomorrow brings with it its own adventures.

Our friend Dana came to be with Brian and me during Bennett's surgery.  It was a nice distraction for us.  Dana is the kind of person who doesn't take herself or life too seriously.  So, we had lots of laughter going on, which lightened the mood.   It was most helpful when Dana went to grab us lunch.  Let's just say the cafeteria left us with much to be desired. 

I actually sat with Dana during a significant surgery in her life, the day her husband had brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.  It's nice to be able to share in each other's experiences, even if they are hard experiences we would rather not endure.

Bennett's surgery lasted about four hours.  Then, he was taken to a Post-Operative room where we could see him.   He stayed in the Post-Op room for about an hour, given him time to wake up.

They mainly monitored his pain and made sure he was getting a little extra oxygen.  They also took his blood sugar and found it was 362, much higher than the 70-130 it should have been.  This was due to the injection of a sugar substance they used during his rectal procedure.  He was given extra IV fluids to flush his system and help his body absorb the extra sugar.

After he began to arouse in the Post-Op room and was keeping down some liquids, they decided to take him to his hospital room on the 4th floor.

 I am so thankful that we were admitted.  It would have been terribly difficult to monitor him and keep him still and peaceful at home.

One of the things I love about his coming back from surgery was that even though the surgical team had taken off his clothes.  They had put back on (or left on) his new Spider-Man slippers for recovery.  He hasn't taken them off since.  He may be naked under those covers but he's got himself some warm superhero shoes underneath.

His favorite dog has also stayed near him today.

Bennett slept on and off all afternoon.

Oliver went to school today during the surgery.  We felt it was best to let his day be as normal as possible.  But after school, he went home with his friend Justin to give Brian time to stay at the hospital until Bennett was out of surgery.  Brian went to Waco to pick up Oliver, a few things from home and Chick-fil-a before returning to the hospital for us to spend a few hours as a family.   Bennett preferred to lie on Daddy's chest for a good bit.

Of course, even the best moments of peacefulness are often interrupted by the need to take vital signs or do blood work.

Oliver indicated for the first time tonight that he'd like to be a doctor some day.  When I asked him why, he said, "because I want to take care of my friends."  He seemed very interested in learning how all of the machines, lights and beeps work.  He also had a hard time distinguishing the nurses and therapists from the doctors so he announced to everybody that he was five, he was sick and had allergies.  I think he was trying to find a doctor who could take care of him too.  The sweet staff were very patient to talk with him even though none of them were doctors.

While Bennett was on Brian's chest, the respiratory therapist (RT) came in to do his breathing treatment.  Since we do this twice a day, we told the RT we would handle it.  Bennett didn't put up much of a fight.

 I appreciated Brian coming to the hospital.  It gave me a chance to take a break, walk around and be with Oliver.  I need that break in order to have the strength to be the only caregiver for a while in the hospital.  It doesn't seem hard but you're the only one who can console your child and with people coming in hourly, it takes a lot of consoling.  I have learned through our hospitalizations that taking breaks is necessary and healthy.  Bennett insisted that Brian lie with him in the bed.  It's about as comfortable as it looks.

More blood work needed.  The first one clotted.

In honor of our last December surgery, I made sure to pack Christmas lights to make our own IV pole Christmas Tree again this year.  I kinda like it with colored lights opposed to the white lights we used last year.

Bennett seemed to like them too.

Brian and Oliver had to leave around 8:30pm since Oliver needed to get his own rest at home.  It was hard for him to leave.  He later called hysterical.  We decided we are going to let him skip school tomorrow to come be with us and Bennett.  We have a hunch he is genuinely afraid Bennett is going to die.

But shortly after Oliver and Daddy left, Bennett made a mention of calling family.  So, we tried calling a few family members.  This was the first time I saw Bennett break out a smile.

 Our room.

Sweet boy chats it up as best as he can.  He made sure to explain he currently had swollen testicles (a normal side effect of surgery done on the lower part of the body).  It was pretty funny to hear him share that he had recently realized, during a routine diaper change, his testicles were not right.  He said, "too big!!!"  I laughed and said, "yes, you're right."  Glad to know he knows what size they should be.  Mark that off the list of what to teach a boy.

We later had to do Bennett's vest.  I didn't know if he would handle the shaking but he did.  It was important for us to do that, too.  Four hours in surgery meant he didn't get any of the airway clearance that he would get with playing and sitting up.  Airway clearance is super important in those with CF as, otherwise, the mucus has time to build up, potentially making him sick.

Bennett insisted that I lie next to him during his Vest treatment.  We watched an episode of Super Hero Squad together.  I loved most hearing him sing with the intro song.  Just a little bit of normal Bennett was good to see!

This is my bed for the night.  But, no surprise, it's empty.

This little guy screamed until I relented and said I would sleep next to him in his crib-bed.  I can't blame him.  He knows I will protect him - his first line of defense against these people who has made very clear he doesn't care for.  He told our night nurse: "I don't like you!"  Thankfully, she didn't take it personally.

But even if this little guy hadn't screamed for me to sleep next to him, I would have.  There is something sweet and beautiful about the opportunity to snuggle next to my sweet tiny super-hero under the glow of our IV Pole Christmas Tree.  It doesn't just make him feel safe, it makes me feel a little bit safer, too.



  1. Wow, what an incredible mommy you are to your boys! Thanks for all the updates. I hope that Bennett continues to feel better and go home is on the to do list for today!

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet words, Sandy. I read them this weekend but am just now having a chance to come back and that life has calmed down. :) I always appreciate the time you take to leave comments for me. :)


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