21 January 2016

Our Morning

Bennett might have come to the hospital dressed like a superhero but he certainly did not feel like one today.  This smile was forced and tears were behind it.

Today's surgery was harder on him than I've ever seen it.  

In preparation for surgery, Bennett had to stop eating after lunch at school yesterday.  In addition to not getting to eat, when he came home from school, I gave him 24 ounces of Gatorade and 8 cups of Miralax through his g-tube.  He handled it well, considering he underwent a colon clean out.

But this morning brought with it lots of tears.  New Captain America pajamas, which he got to wear to the hospital, could not pacify his hunger pangs.  

In fact, as we were getting out of the van to walk up to the hospital to be admitted, I noticed Bennett fumbling in the back of the van.  I waited for him to get out of the van but then noticed his staring at me with a giant lump in his left cheek.  It took me a few seconds to realize he had put food in his mouth.  

I surprised him by my ninja moves to promptly remove the mint from his mouth, a mint he apparently found in a van cup holder.   He cried when I took it out of his mouth, "I'm sorry, mom, I just forgot.  I'm so hungry."  

Everything with in me wanted for us to get back in the van and drive down the street to the nearest fast food drive through.  But I reminded him and myself: hang in there - we've made it this far, we can do this - we are almost there.  

I checked us in at the front desk.  But only a minute later, I looked down to see Bennett had slumped down to the floor.  The front desk staff tried to friendly banter with him.  But he wanted nothing to do with them.  This is when I knew that any outward strength was hiding inner fear and despair.

We walked to the surgery floor using the same hallways we always do.  We were just here 6 months ago. In fact, while walking to the Surgery Unit, we ran in to our ENT who had done our last surgery.  She asked about Bennett's headaches.  We reported he is doing well.

Surgery prep can take a while.  We met with the Anesthesiologist, the surgery nurse, the pre-op nurses and the Pediatric Surgeon.  Bennett distracted himself with a bag full of Star War goodies given to him by his kindergarten teachers.  While I could tell he enjoyed it, his heart just seemed sad today.

This was the highlight of Bennett's morning: when Daddy arrived, after having dropped off Oliver at school and Avonlea with friends. It's good when Daddy is here aso that one of us can focus on Bennett while the other one of us can talk with the doctors.

New toys help a lot.  Distractions of any kind are helpful.  But they were not enough today.

Between the giggles were lots of tears.  Bennett couldn't fully articulate what he was upset about, mainly that he was scared and unhappy.  All we could do was give him hugs and comfort.

So many times before Bennett has gone to surgery with such a since of confidence that he would be ok.  It was different this time.  This time, it was harder for him and therefore it was harder for me.

It's a helpless feeling to know I can't do anything to stop his need for this surgery.  I can't stop his pain and I can't stop what is about to happen to him.

Situations like these often feel like walking on a treadmill where you can no longer feel nor control your feet.  You do what you have to do but you wish you weren't doing it.

I really haven't been able to process that we're going through this again.  My own tears will come after Bennett is out of surgery, out of the hospital and out of needing my attention and care.  Once he is better, that is when I will withdraw and grieve.  My own release of frustration, disappointment and hurt will have it's place.  For now, it just finds a little spot to be experienced later.

As my friend reminded me: I must live in the minute.  God has given me, in this very minute, exactly what I need to make it through.  The next minute will take care of itself when it comes and I am given another minute's strength.

Thank you to all who have sent words of love, encouragement, prayers and pictures of themselves in their "In It For Bennett" tshirt today!  I absolutely love seeing Bennett's eyes grow wide when I show him a picture someone has posted for him on Facebook and how his face lights up when I share an encouraging word someone has said to him or about him.  These are gifts - great gifts - and they fill up our hearts at a time when our hearts feel like they are regularly being emptied.

I haven't heard anything new from the OR yet.  Will update soon.

Thank you for walking this journey with us,


  1. My heart is with you all and I hope this surgery makes a big difference in Bennett's comfort... once he recovers. I understand a little bit about how you have to compartmentalize and focus on the now. You've got this... You have the strength and you have so many people cheering you on along the way.

  2. Thinking about your whole family today! I hope Bennett gets to have a favorite snack very soon after a great report from surgery. I love what an advocate you are for your kids.

  3. Just found your blog through a Facebook friend. Prayers for your sweet boy.


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