We were up super early this morning. I woke up at 4:30, finished packing and got us ready. We will not be returning to our hospital room because when we arrive back at Shriners they will put us right across from the nursing unit. So…that means packing up, and it’s amazing how much crap you can accumulate in a month! I had 3 piles of stuff…stuff I need tonight, stuff that we will need when we get back to Shriners, and stuff I’m going to send home with Jesse!
When I woke Ben up (around 5:30), I gave him a few sips of water to keep him hydrated before surgery. After that, I scrubbed his back one more time with chlorhexidine to make super sure he was clean! Jesse came over from the hotel at 6:00. We visited with some nurses and his teacher and then it was time to go! We all went across together, then I went down to register us. I was the first one in the door at the admissions office. Her first words to me were “are you from Alberta?”. “Yes”, I replied…”do you greet all patients this way.?” She laughed politely, which I appreciated.
I then met up with Jesse, Ben, and our nurse’s helper to go to pre-op. I filled out more forms then we went to super pre-op where we met with the surgical team. We did not get the anesthesiologist we adore, but he did see us and rubbed Ben’s chest for a while and told him how much he loved him. He went in and gave me a European cheek kiss, which would have gone a lot smoother had I known it was a European double cheek kiss at the time. I went in for a handshake, then a hug, then I might have kissed his earlobe on the other side, which was super awkward…I don’t know many frequent double cheek kissers, but I think you’re not supposed to make full contact. The problem is that the next time I am double cheek kissed, I will have forgotten all this. I’m glad I was partially blocking his access to Jesse or it could have been much, much worse!
Ben was a trooper – he was calm, smiling, and relaxed. At one point I thought I saw his hands shaking and I asked him if he was scared. He said “no, I’m just relaxing my muscles in case they need them later”. Ummmm….ok?!?
I was allowed to go to the OR with Benjamin, which was perfect. They put his favourite YouTube guy on all the tv monitors in the OR so he was able to watch that as he relaxed. I noticed some looks between the staff and what I thought might be muffled laughs, but I didn’t know why (I was dressed like a marshmallow at the time, but I presumed they had seen the outfit before). They got his IV in quickly and before I knew it, he was asleep. He was sedated at 8:20 our time (6:20 Edmonton). Our anesthesiologist later told us they were laughing because they couldn’t believe how relaxed Ben was about the whole thing.
After that Jesse and I went for coffee and breakfast, then spent the next 8 1/2 hours (this is how long it took to see him again) sitting in a waiting room staring at our phones. Finally our doctor came in to say things went well. His neuros were good throughout the surgery and he maintained sedation well. It was a tricky intubation (as we suspected), but they were able to extubate him in the OR, which was perfect! That was a huge amount of stress off me. His doctor is still not satisfied with his neck, but it’s better than before. I believe that is all we can do.
From what I can you set stand from the doctor, I believe Ben had two pieces of ribs removed, a segment of vertebrae taken out, one rod changed, and screws replaced. It was difficult to fully understand as we were processing slower when he told us – I will clarify tomorrow. He has 3 IVs, an arterial monitor, and a central line in his neck; the monitor and central line will be removed tonight. We will be staying in the PACU (post anesthesia care unit) tonight and will be monitored by the acute pain care management team. So far he has been comfortable; although he has had some nausea. Jesse has gone to the hotel for the night, and I suspect we will switch places tomorrow if I don’t sleep tonight. So far, so good.