Archive for November, 2009

I am going to run out of adjectives to describe how well my BenBen is doing.  Chris is here for our shift change.  My dad is here to be Chris’ backup and my mom and I are ready to depart for some sleep.

Ben had his central line removed and when he moved down to his new regular room, he was taken off all constant monitoring.  Ben managed to remove the IV out of his foot during the night.  So we are slowly getting rid of all of our “strings” (that is what Ben calls them). There is great hope that we will remove his chest tubes tomorrow, but then again maybe not.  We will just have to see.

We go for an xray tomorrow morning and he has to get up and walk more in the morning.  He did walk to the bathroom and back to his bed.  He truly is a hard workin’ dude.  He is determined to go home soon.

Right now he is figuring out the pleasures of a bed with remote controls.  Up. Down. Up. Down.  Almost folded the bed in half with him squished in the middle.  That is my BenBen.

More great nurses have greeted us on this new floor.  We are in room 1517. Chris tells me that this was the year of the reformation, so this is a GOOD room with EXCELLENT Lutheran vibes.

I know that tomorrow will be another awesome day.  God is good.  He has given me back my boy in great shape.  We have a few more hurdles to jump, but we will get there with God by our side.

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Breaking the Rules

Madie was very sad today.  She missed her brother badly. (Ainsley asked if we were going to bury Ben in the backyard next to Abby. A week ago I would not have done well with that statement but we are on the other side of our drama, so I can see the  humor now.)

So Daddy sneaked Madie upstairs.  He asked the front desk, “Does she look 12?” (you have to be over 12 to get in the hospital).  The nurse said that if Chris says Madie is 12 than she has to take his word for it.

So Madie came inside (did I mention that Chris had a lot of explaining to do with Madie about why he lied.  Not pretty. glad it was him and not me.) There was such joy in the fact that she got to see her brother and talk to him.  She stayed for about 10 minutes and then Daddy wisked her down the elevator again.

It was worth breaking all of the rules to have Madie reassured that Ben was ok.  She is my little worrier.

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I am Out of Here!!!

Thank you Nurse Katie and Nurse Shannon.  You have helped me get out of my ICU room and into my regular room.

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New Room!

Yes. We passed our tests this morning.  1. Pee on our own and 2. Remove central line. So . . . we are in our new room!!!!  We have orders today to get up and walk.  The “Marriot is closed.”  (as the nurse explained to us) So we must take every meal sitting up in a chair.  He is taking a quick nap before he has to get up and move.  He said he doesn’t need PT to help him.  He’s got Mom and Grandma and they help Grandpa H. all the time get up (especially Grandma). His words.

We will be in our new room for a while.  We have to get an xray tomorrow and we have orders for another xray and sonogram on Sunday.  There are orders written to take the pacing wires (external pacemaker kind of thing) out on Monday.  So they are telling us that we will probably be here through Tuesday.  Who knows.  I have stopped predicting this kind of thing.

I was waiting to eat lunch until we got to Ben’s new room. But now we are trapped on this floor.  The firewall unexpectedly came down and now no one (well. the staff elevators aren’t having a problem) can leave or get here.  So now I am starving and waiting.

Mom is working all of the angles to try to get downstairs to get us something to eat.  Hopefully she will work her magic.  Knowing her she will find a way.

Aunt Debra is bringing the girls up to see me today.  I am so excited.  I didn’t realize how much I miss them.  My brain has been engaged in other places and I know that they are well taken care so I don’t need to worry.

Well I was right.  Mom found a way.  She has brought sustenance. We will let you know more and the day goes on.

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A new day!

Here is Ben today.  Dressed in his new jammies and sitting in a chair.  We are eating lunch.  And as soon as Ben finishes, he gets to go to a regular room.  Of course, he is a slow eater so this may take a while.

Did I mention that we are going to a regular room on the cardio floor?  Yeah!!!!  Ben is so excited.  The nurses removed his central line a little while ago.

We will report more when we get down there.  I need to stop so that I can get him to eat more, so we can move!!!

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Final update for the night

Ben has had a really good day.  I mean a really really good day. He didn’t fuss much during the procedures and did a great job of vocalizing what he needed when he needed it.  He managed to sleep rather well off and on during the day and I expect a good night tonight.  His blood pressure is still higher than they would like but not bad enough to not take his arterial line out.  He kept down two meals and a couple of popsicles.

He watched a lot of tv today (thank God for Disney channel!).  I think that his head is permanently leaning in that direction.  He hardly turned his head today at all except when he was sleeping.  And of course he laughed really hard during Hank the Cowdog.

Nurse Shannon has left and Nurse John is on duty.  He opened Uncle Will and Aunt Michele’s present and enjoyed the cards and pictures from his cousins.  He really liked the transformer and monster truck.  Papa really like the transformer too.  We had to remind him that he needed to give it back to Ben before he took Grandma home.

We are waiting for another hour to pass before Daddy and Uncle Dave come on the night shift.  I expect Daddy to return my BenBen in even better shape than when I left him tonight!  Ben is amazing everyone with how well he is doing.   Good night, sweet boy!

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Ben is eating brisket and corn.  There is pink in his cheeks again. He is a Nebraskan.  He needs his cow and corn.

There is other good news.  He is wearing his own underwear.  Boxers.  He is finally looking like a young man again.  I was trying to help him with dinner and he told me that he doesn’t need me to feed him.  Of course.  Why didn’t I think of that.

The doctor just came in and he said that Ben will be here during the night, but should be moved to a regular bed on the cardio floor by tomorrow.  Yeah!

Maybe we will be home by the end of the weekend.  Maybe.  We can only pray.


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Gettin’ even better . . .

Ben is working on a little lunch. Chicken nuggets and mac&cheese. So far so good.  He hasn’t thrown anything up yet.  Sparky and all of the blankets have arrived to the room via grandma’s laundry service.  We had a little episode where his blood pressure dropped from 120s/50s (don’t ask for specific numbers)  to 60/30. Not good. But of course, Shannon (our nurse) was right on it and handled it smoothly.  The blood pressure medicine that they gave him to lower his blood pressure worked a little too well.

We read two chapters of Hank the Cowdog.  We love that book series.  It is by far one of our favorites.  We read about Hank saving the ranch from giant silver monster bird (aka an airplane) and how Hank doesn’t understand why they think he smells because he takes a daily bath in the septic tank.  Hilarious!

The Ronald McDonald House served Thanksgiving Dinner today.  I had turned down several offers of dinner being delivered to me today.  I thought that it would just be easier to grab something at the cafeteria and dart back upstairs to Ben’s room.  Well . . . the cafeteria is closed today.  Thank you Ronald McDonald House.  The food was homemade and tasty.  Not as tasty as my neighbor’s dirty rice that she offered to bring.  But still tasty.

I truly believe in the power of prayer. Thank you for all of your prayers.  They were with the surgeon yesterday and with the nursing staff today.  Thank you.

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Second Day

Look how good he looks.  He is even eating a popsicle.  He just ordered chicken nuggets for lunch.  Lucky boy!

See the monkey.  That is George.  George has been to every medical procedure and even the last surgery.  George has seen many things.

Grandma and Papa Grace are here to help today.  Grandma is washing Ben’s Monster Truck blanket (sorry, Ms. Diana).  He threw up last night all over it.

Papa is finding a cup of coffee for me.  Thank God.  I got a cup of coffee from the 17th floor today.  I think that it is the same coffee that Mr. Larry made yesterday.  It was good yesterday.  Not so much today.

Our nurse, Shannon (who is wonderful!!), is working hard to get Ben better and in a regular room.  He even got a popsicle for breakfast.  It is good to be Ben today (besides the whole open heart surgery thing).

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First Night

Daddy and Uncle Will had the first night shift.  He did awesome.  When he first got out of surgery, the doctors let us back a little early because Ben insisted on seeing Mommy.  So Mommy went back to calm him down.  He wanted the goop out of his eyes so that he could see.  Of course, the real problem was that he was still coming out of anesthesia.  And he wanted a sprite.  Not ice chips. Sprite.  They finally gave him some gatorade later in the evening after mommy left.

I went back to the apartment that we are staying at (thank you Mrs. Tippen).  It was so nice to sleep in a real bed.  I went to bed as soon as I called the girls. It was a good sleep for so many reasons.

Woke up early this morning and rode the metrorail to the hospital.  I left so early and it still took me an hour to get to Ben’s bedside.  The buildings are all locked because of Thanksgiving, so it took me over 30 minutes to get inside the hospital.  As soon as Ben is better, we are definitely going on a train ride.

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