Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Ben's Surgery

We've known for quite some time now (like about a year or so) that Ben would need surgery on his thumbs. He developed trigger thumb, which basically means that he didn't have mobility in the middle joint of his thumbs. It usually didn't bother him at all, was never swollen or red, and he was still able to use it. So - under the guidance of our orthopedist - we opted to wait till the middle of this summer to correct it so that it wouldn't hinder him during the school year.

Well the time came, and we headed to Vandy early on Monday morning to have the surgery. George (his monkey) and Lammy (his lovey since birth) went with us, and even got matching hospital bracelets to match all of ours.

Ben did great while we were getting ready for surgery...but then again, we had been talking to him about getting his thumbs fixed for a while now. We'd been to see doctors, we'd read kids books about hospitals and played with our doctor kit to "fix" all of our stuffed animals thumbs. I felt good about how he did going into it because I knew he was prepared. We got a great surprise in that we were fully prepared to have both thumbs operated on, and once we were checked out that morning by his surgeon we only had to do one! The left hand thumb had corrected itself! Here he is in the holding room while we met every person that would be with him:
Showing me his thumb before:Playing with some glow in the dark bracelets:
So they gave him the "happy" medicine and he and Lammy went back with the doctors all by themselves, leaving a tearful mommy and a quiet daddy to wait together in the waiting room. They took him back at 7:45 and we met with the surgeon for a report at 8:50. At 9 he was in recovery coming off the anesthesia and we were holding him and crying happy tears of joy and thankfulness by 9:15. None of us were prepared for what would happen as he came to: he was scared beyond what I thought he'd be, he didn't remember where he was, he didn't remember that he would have a cast on one hand, he was very uncomfortable with his IV line, he was groggy, his voice was raw from the breathing tube and he was not quiet at all in letting us know all of this. There were lots of tears and screaming for what felt like an eternity for Michael and I.

But we made it! We finally got him calmed down (with a little help from some meds) and we were able to take him home by around 10:45 - MUCH sooner than we'd planned.

Mimi and Pop were gracious enough to come up and have a special day with Drew while we were at the hospital. They took him to do some really special things: breakfast at McDonalds, a trip to the park, and a trip to the Dollar Tree to get some special get-well presents for his best buddy. I couldn't be more proud of how he handled the whole situation. He really is such a loving boy with a sweet heart and spirit. My mom said that all day long - even though we had prepared him just as much as we did Ben for what would happen - he never really did act like himself, and kept asking where Ben was. This was definitely one of the longest stretches they've ever gone apart.

They were so happy to see each other once we got home. Ben -though still a little woozy and out of it - was excited to show off his cast, and Drew was so happy to give Ben all the balloons and other presents he'd picked out that morning. Here are the boys watching a movie in Mimi's lap:
Later that day we got some more balloons from MawMaw and PawPaw, Aunt Chelle, Uncle Dan and Dresie. So they both had a great time using those as punching bags and eating all the candy they could.

After all of the drama of the day we were all exhausted, both physically and emotionally. So the boys just chilled on Daddy for most of the evening after dinner and we all headed to bed early.
So the next day he woke up feeling great and back to his old self. He even felt good enough to wrestle his brother (try as I might to stop them, it was useless) and he quickly learned how to use that cast as a weapon. I needed to get them out of the house and stay busy without using his hands, and without getting his cast wet. So we headed to the zoo and BeBe met us there for some fun. Here are a few pictures:
And finally, here are the only pictures we got of Ben unraveling his cast at the end of the week. He only had to keep it on for 7 days, and it wasn't the kind that had to be cut off. It just slowly unraveled, and he was feeling pretty proud of himself for doing it like a big boy.
We are so blessed to have been able to go through two surgeries (the first when they were both three months old) and come out perfectly each time. God was surely with us and we were covered in prayer. We cannot say enough how thankful we are to Him for these boys and the fun we have by getting to spend every day with them. Thanks to everyone who walked with us through this...from the friends who prayed with us and over us, to the family who was and always is there for us, to the friends who brought us dinner: you are so loved and appreciated...we could not have made it without you!!!

Now that that's all over with maybe we can set a goal of staying out of a hospital for at least 6 months. I mean, a whole year without going to a hospital would be great. But I won't push our luck. We'll just hope for 6 months! ;)