2. We are in Montreal

Nothing gets me on the shopping circuit more than planning for a long-term hospital stay. Like a squirrel hoarding away nuts for the winter, I go crazy planning, packing, and repacking. I am a chronic over-packer at the best of times, but this stay has me going a bit nuts. I will be working on my university courses during the time we are in hospital; I will be pushing Ben a little harder than I did last time with his studies as I know that there is a huge post-surgery lag in concentration, so I have packed a tonne of things like multiplication cards, math games, and literacy games. I needed to buy Ben a bunch of new shirts because he needs button-up shirts – nothing over the head as he will be in halo traction for a while. I also needed to buy a new planner because I like to document Benjamin’s medical activities, so it’s easier if I have them in a agenda-like diary for reference later on.

I just don’t UNDERSTAND!

So, after a good Amazon browsing, I headed off to Staples to look for an agenda. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a gorgeous backpack. I admit, I have a weakness for bags like this. I stopped to look at it, then I stopped dead in my tracks.

Vegan Leather Transporter

Ummmmm…..what the heck is vegan leather? Did the cow not eat meat? I think that is quite normal. Or…did they just use the cow for the leather and not eat the meat after? From a cow’s perspective, I think that would be equally uncomfortable – and maybe a bit of a waste. Maybe they just rubbed vegan shortening into the leather rather than lard…ummmm….am I supposed to eat my backpack…is that a thing? I just don’t get it. Is it just me? I’m trying to be cool and hip in this world and stay up with the times, but I just don’t understand! (I also don’t understand dairy free yogurt and reading socks, but that’s for another time.).

Anyways, I got the phone call just about 10 days ago, and I immediately had a billion things to do…and a tonne of appointments to attend. Those days flew by and before we knew it, it was time to leave.

We boarded the plane super early yesterday morning, which was another snowy day. We ended up being delayed at the airport and missed our connection to Montreal. We were able to switch airlines and arrived at our hotel at around 8:00 p.m. We unpacked, grabbed a bite to eat and went to bed as we had another early day today.

We got up at 6:00 this morning, so we could have a bite to eat before we left. We went to MCH and had a tonne of pre-op appointments to attend. We started with the clinic nurse and reviewed all Ben’s health notes and addressed all my questions. After that, we met with the pediatrician for an examination. We then met with the anesthesiologist and we talked about Ben’s intubation, which is technically difficult (considered a grade 3 which means difficult but will be much easier with a video laryngoscope, which we will be using). Once he is actually intubated, he does quite well with his ventilation. I was happy to learn that as Ben gets older, his risk level will decrease.

After those meetings, we headed to see the nurse upstairs for some bloodwork. Ben was sad about it, but we had put some Maxilene cream on his inside arm and hand to help minimize feeling there. He did quite well. We then headed to pulmonology to do some lung testing. After that, we had to head to cardiology to do an ECG.

Finally, we had a meeting with child-life. They were amazing as they always are – these are the real super-heroes of the hospital. I had the privilege of working with this department a bit in Edmonton through my volunteer duties – and they are amazing people. They are excellent teachers and help prepare kiddos for surgery. I wasn’t as worried about that as I was for another thing. I was trying to get them to help me get into the O.R. to help Ben while he was being put under. (They are great advocates and are planning to help me get this done, but it is the anesthesiologists call). I have always done this in the past, but Montreal is a bit trickier than Edmonton. I would like to because I am a calm person and I can navigate his hearing aids. He hates to have them off (and can’t hear hardly a thing without them these days). I think it is just better that I am there. So…we put in the request…and it is out of our hands now. I told Ben it wasn’t a big deal either way, so we’ll see.

After that, we left the MCH and headed to Shriners. We took some photos there of Ben’s back and headed up to the restaurant as we were starved. We ate lunch, visited with some of our friends, and dropped off Ben’s schoolwork with his hospital teacher.

Our halo surgery is scheduled for Monday, and our second surgery is scheduled for the end of February. We will see what happens! After our surgery Monday, we will be admitted to MCH overnight. If there are no complications, we will transfer to Shriner’s Tuesday morning. After that, we just hang out there (literally) for a month.

So, after a day of appointments – we treated ourselves to this amazing treat! Yum!!!

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9 thoughts on “2. We are in Montreal

  1. I’m sorry for my delay in responding to your posts! You and Ben are truly warriors and I pray for a successful stay sprinkled with fun and blessing!! He is becoming such a handsome young man!!

  2. Hi guys! We will be thinking of you as you are getting ready to head in to surgery. We will be in Montreal in March for a follow up appt at Shriners – maybe we’ll get to visit. You got this Ben & momma!
    Ps – I need to know where that chocolate cup came from?!?!

    1. Oh yay! If we are still there, we would love to see you guys! We got the American style cocoa from Cocoa 70…so yummy. It’s not too far from the new hotel they are using (Le Nouvel).

    2. Hi Josee Just a note to let you guys know that we are starting a parents and patients of Shriners Montreal FB page. I am sure you guys would be a great source of information for new CP kiddos wondering what their hospital experience will be like.

  3. Heroes! … both of you! Wishing you best of success with Monday’s surgery! Btw: I did hear an interview with the developer of vegan leather. It’s an interesting idea; perhaps like making something with fruit leather. 😋 Hugs to both of you! 🙏🏻❤️

  4. You are amazing and Ben is such a brave little guy. MONTREAL must be like your second home. I love following your updates and I pray that everything will go well. We know Ben is in good hands. Blessings to both of you.

  5. You were the first e-mail I opened this morning, I was happy to read you . Take care and a big hug to Ben , the warrior! The Crooked Journey continues and it is all about true love…and courage .xox

  6. Thinking about you as you continue on your journey. Sending love and positive thoughts your way. We’ll be keeping Ben in our prayers….as always. Tell Ben I’m giving him a virtual hug and tons of sloppy kisses….Willow sends wet doggie kisses too ❤️❤️❤️
    PS….please send me one of those desserts 🍮

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