Monday, May 27, 2013

Sitting beside a sleeping boy...

It really does not get old listening to this young man breathe deeply in sleep. Have I ever told you that Benjamin came home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit first when the triplets were born? He weighed a whopping four pounds that day but was already as sweet and loving as a baby can possibly be.

We lived in a  two bedroom apartment where the rooms were barely separated...and yet, Wade and I insisted on sleeping in the same room with our first born son. (And eventually with all three of them but they came home staggered so for a couple of weeks it was us and Benjamin.)

The room held three baby cribs and a twin bed. Yes. A twin bed. Wade and I both slept there. Listening to this teeny-tiny baby breathe.

Eventually, when all three were home and I realized that we had a monitor and a small enough apartment that I was never two seconds away, we went back to our room. And yet, I kept that baby monitor right near my ear. Listening to one, two, three little babes breathing deeply in their sleep.

Sixteen years later, I can not help myself. I am still comforted by the gentle rhythm of Benjamin sleeping deeply -- as if he has no pain from the arduous surgery he endured mere days ago. (Oh that is probably way to ooey-gooey for a mom to write about her no-longer-a-baby-son...don't you dare tell him I said it! Clearly, lack of sleep makes me overly-emotional.)

This guy is doing incredibly. He was able to sit in his wheelchair two more times today. Once for an hour and the second time for two hours! We will take those baby steps. He was able to lose another tube and though he still has a central line, it was locked for most of the day today as he was taking in enough food and fluids on his own!! (They ARE using it tonight but for his antibiotics so it is not a set back at all.)

Post-op day 3...third time in his chair.

We had delightful visitors today -- more dear ones who understand the walls start to close in on you in these rooms. Thank you, dear Dr. Greg and Mrs. Tracy, Mrs. Chris and Becca, precious Rank family, dear Bagley family and lovely Lowry family! There were many more exciting things ya'll could have been doing on Memorial Day -- I will be ever grateful that you made time to love on my son (and all of us!). Thank you!

Wade and our crew ganged up on me a bit today. I had not gotten the sleep I needed last night. At all. I was a bit cranky when they arrived this morning and perhaps not making a whole lot of sense. (I will not even try to do the math this post. Just trust me, two hours of sleep a night is not cutting it.) So, at lunch time I took my Mason, Claire and Cate home and left Dad in charge of Benjamin.

It is hard to transition back to a normal world. A world where every one's life is not revolving around the I.V. beeping, the scheduling of pain medications and the turning of the precious patient to avoid sores and skin issues. It is hard to believe that other people were at beaches, pool parties and amusement parks today. It is just hard to envision anything beyond these four walls. So, it was probably healthy that I did more than imagine, I left the walls for a bit of a break.

I napped with my favorite little redhead for a couple of hours. Then I spent some silly time with my other teenagers and got to check out the super cool Lego creation Cate has made in my absence. I was able to moan the loss of a dryer -- and hope it is temporary. And have a yummy dinner with my crew provided by the boys' small group leader at church (Thank you Tierney family!!).

But I missed a lot of excitement back at the hospital. Turns out the walls were not closing in here at all -- and my kiddo, well, he prefers the excitement that happened here to a day at the beach anytime!

Right after the rest of us walked out of the hospital, the phone rang. The one connected to the wall in his room. Wade answered and a voice asked to speak to Benjamin. Protective Dad asked who was calling...and tried not to miss a beat when the caller said, "John Travolta."

Four years ago, when Benjamin had his hip surgery and took the emergency trip to the ICU, he received a similar call. He had a delightful conversation with Mr. Travolta then as the result of a complicated connection between our surgeon, Dr. Greg White and Mr. Travolta's cousin. We were not expecting a repeat call.

Wade says the two talked movies for more than half an hour. Benjamin is groggy and dealing with the pain of sitting up and fighting to be awake. But apparently, the conversation sounded a bit like an interview for film school -- they talked acting, directing, script selection. And my Benjamin asked how Mr. Travolta's son Benjamin was doing. I asked Wade if Benjamin was smiling during the call -- he said no. Rather, he was intense, like he was completely focused on the conversation.

John Travolta had nothing to gain by taking a half hour out of his day and calling a young spinal patient on the 8th floor of Phoenix Children's Hospital. There were not reporters watching. No public relations team working the call. But he did it anyway. And in the doing, he encouraged Benjamin's passion for film and directing; and maybe he pushed the four walls out just a bit, making it possible to endure this room and this recovery with the promise of a bright tomorrow.

Progress in healing; friends showing their love and a phone call from a celebrity -- that's quite a lot to be grateful for -- wouldn't you agree?

(Specific prayer requests for Tuesday: 1. We need to get rid of all the wires, tubes and IVs. Pray for smooth transition as one of the lines has been providing pain relief directly to his spine. Pray he doesn't notice a difference! 2. B is having a strange rash develop. He is contained to a couple of areas and the docs attribute it to an adhesive used for the drapes in the operating room, but one site is becoming oozy and itchy. Pray that they get a handle on this and it does not delay discharge! Thank you thank you!)


mimartin said...

I just love your writing, your family...and YOU!

Olivia D. said...

Wow! So much good news. I am continuing in prayer!

elissa said...

That is pretty exciting!!
Thanks for the update! keep us posted!

journeyingwithhim said...

WOW! What a great story. Just read it out loud to my husband with tears rolling down my face!!! I'm so happy for this "bright moment" in the mist of a trying circumstance.