Did I tell you this? When Dr. Cahill came into the parent lounge to talk to me and Mark after the surgery was over, I was sacked out on my chair, head on my balled up jacket, drooling. When I awoke I was so embarrassed...wiping the spittle off my chin! "Sorry...I'm so beat!" I explained. But then I realized who I was talking to...the man who'd been working on my son's spine for the past nine hours. "You must be exhausted," I added. "Not at all," he said. "I'm totally energized. Things went so well!" How's that for instilling confidence in your surgeon?
Ben looked pale and ill when we got to the PICU. Tubes coming out of everywhere. He whimpered with every breath and cried that everything hurt. Being the only child in the ward has its advantages and the nurses there are wonderful, gentle, calm, and knowledgeable. He asked to be adjusted over and over. Nothing felt comfortable. And honestly, it was hard for me to imagine a position that might work knowing he had two incisions on his back, several on this side, and a chest tube in his ribs. "On my side." "On my back." "Up a little." "Down." Many times he mumbled something I couldn't quite catch. "Do you want to go onto your back?" I asked, fairly incredulous. "No," said he, in a hoarse whisper, "the dragons are there."
Oh my poor Benny. The dragons.
It took some time for the morphine to kick in, but once it did (they also added Toradol to the recipe), he settled down to a more peaceful state. I stayed for an hour or so, but then Mark sent me back to the hotel. (Mark does hospital much better than I.)
It was snowing big puffy flakes by the time I got back to the hotel. I was craving a latte, something warm and familiar. So I went in (greeting all the lovely employees who always seem so happy to see me), dropped my backpack and bag of knitting in my room, grabbed a few bucks and walked across the street to Borders. Every Philadelphian I've met has said to me, "Enough SNOW!" They are so done with the snow which is crippling the city, closing off streets, slowing traffic. It's common to see cars completely snowed in on every street. I don't know how people get to work! But, for this California girl, the snow was glorious. I felt so high and happy, knowing my boy was "on the other side" as one of my friends from the VBS forum said. I'm sure I had a HUGE smile on my face as the snowflakes fluttered down onto me.
Tomorrow may prove to be challenging due to pain. But Dr. Cahill is hoping to be able to remove the chest tube early in the morning. And after that we should see a lot of improvement.
I will fill you in as much as possible. Thank you so much for all your love and support, blessings and prayers. They mean so much to each of us.