Friday, February 26, 2010

Yes, I will finish it!

LOL Yes, Part 3 IS coming...soon. Just haven't had a chance to type it out since Ben just returned home from Arizona.

UPDATE: Ben's Uncle is doing really well. The Dr.'s changed his medication and things are going smoothly now. He had an appointment this morning and all the blood flow and such are flowing perfectly! Praise the Lord!

**Can anyone tell me why I suddenly cannot see my background on my blog? Can you see it?!?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ben's surgery Part Two

After spending 15 hours at the hospital and getting Ben in his room in the ICU, I got to go 'home' at Ben's parent's house.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I got to the hospital early Thursday morning to find Ben looking a bit better than the day before. He was currently on Toradol (for pain and immflamation) and Diloted (pain meds which the nurse told me is 3x the strength as Morphine). The Diloted was what the pain button was for and it made Ben very sleepy. If he pushed the button, he'd be asleep within 30 seconds! Needless to say, he slept A LOT! He also would randomly start talking out of nowhere or he'd sometimes comment on a conversation going on in his room. Here's an example:

This conversation didn't actually happen

Ben: ZzzzZzzzz (snoring softly)

Ben's mom: We're thinking of buying a new car. One that gets good gas mileage.

Me: Yeah that sounds like a good idea. I'd like one someday.

Ben: ZzzzZzzz....No, I want a truck...ZzzzZzzz

Conversations like that happened A LOT. It was so funny! It was as if his subconscious was hearing conversations even though he was sleeping!

For those of you wondering what tubes and such he has, here is the breakdown:

An arterial line in his wrist
an I.V. in each wrist
A NG tube in his nose to drain stomach acid so he doesn't throw up (OUCH!)
oxygen in his nose
A line in his neck
Circulation stockings to keep from getting blood clots
Electrodes all over his chest and back for EKG's
Blood pressure cuff
The occasional shot of blood thinner in his stomach

Before I arrived at the hospital the nurses tried to get Ben to sit up in a chair and it didn't go well. That's all I heard. It concerned me but all Ben said was that he felt nauseous and dizzy. A bit later, the nurses tried again. This time Ben got to the chair. He immediately started sweating profusely and got real pale. Ben's eyes started getting droopy and he was acting slightly strange. Unfortunately a nurse was changing Ben's sheets on his bed (funny story about that later) so Ben had to wait a few minutes to get back in bed. While waiting, Ben's heart rate dropped quite a bit. A safe heart rate is between 60-100 and Ben had usually been around 75-90. While sitting it fell to 49-55. Not fun. The nurses had to keep Ben awake and smelling salts to keep him from passing out. It was a strange thing because Ben's blood pressure was just fine and his oxygen saturation was great. After a few scary minutes (and watching helplessly with his mom) Ben was able to get back in bed and over the next hour his heart rate sloooowly crept back up and his sweating stopped. The nurses consulted Ben's surgeon and came to the conclusion that Ben had a bad reaction to some medicine they gave him. (can't remember what it was, started with an H...)

Well since this post took longer than I thought, I'll post Part Three later!

As I wrote this post, I got word that Ben's uncle's body is trying to reject the liver so please pray!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Our trip to Arizona- Part One

I wanted to blog about our trip out to Arizona for the liver donation surgery and finally figured out how I wanted to do it to make it easier on me! I'll break it down day by day and will blog about Part Two later and Part Three once Ben is home and gives me more pictures!

Monday, Feb. 8th, 2010
We started our trip to Arizona by driving one hour to the airport only to discover our flight to Philly was delayed an hour and a half. This meant we'd miss our flight from Philly to Phoenix so we booked another flight which unfortunately gave us a nearly 3 hour layover. Ben and I made the best of our long layover and enjoyed a leisurely lunch/dinner without the kids and then made our way to our gate which, of course, boarded 45 minutes late. Sigh. Instead of arriving in Phoenix at 6pm, we got there at 10pm (midnight to our bodies). Yuck.

Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 2010
After arriving in Phoenix late, Ben and I got up early so we could make it to an appointment at the Mayo Clinic. Headache all day from lack of sleep! Ben had labwork done and we spent the rest of the day together, kid free!

Ben talking to his Living Donor Coordinator

Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 2010
Ben and I arrived at the hospital (with his parents) at 5:45am for check in. An hour or so later, Ben and his Uncle Wayne were called back to get prepped for surgery. Once they were ready, I got to go back with many family members and pray with Ben and Uncle Wayne. While I was there two nurses put the circulation stockings on Ben so I took pictures of course!

After a slightly tearful goodbye, they took Ben off to surgery. Ben's surgery lasted 4 hours and at one time we had 14 family members/friends in the waiting room!

We played games, ate donuts, and I updated facebook as I heard news. After several long hours and after Uncle Wayne's surgery was started, the nurses let me go back into the recovery room since they didn't have an open ICU room for Ben yet. As soon as I got back and saw my extremely pale husband with tubes everywhere, Ben says "hey I know you!". A little joke between us...he wanted to see if he'd remember to say that while he was drugged up.

I was only allowed to be with him for less than 5 minutes (it was very busy) so I went back to the waiting room.

While waiting (once again), the Dr. performing surgery came out and announced that Ben's liver was working inside his uncle! Many "Praise the Lord!" were said! He also went on to tell us some interesting facts:
-Ben had a large liver so Ben got to keep more liver than they expected (Ben kept 35%, his Uncle received 65%
-Ben has an abnormally large and long appendix that runs up along his side, under his arm
Kinda funny huh?

Once again, the nurses called me back to recovery and allowed to me to stay with Ben while they waited for a room in ICU to be prepared. I didn't watch the clock much but I think I stayed with Ben for 3 hours which he doesn't remember at all. Ben was really swollen (especially his hands) and his voice was raspy from his breathing tube. He would chat with me for 10-20 seconds then fall asleep for a half hour. At one point when the Dr. was with us, Ben kept moving his hand all over his chest looking for his pain medicine button. He asked the Dr. where his button was and the Dr. replied with a grin "it's in your hand". LOL Don't worry, many more funny drugged up stories to come!

To be continued...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Here at the Mayo Clinic

Okay so I haven't blogged in a very long time. It's been rather crazy at our house and frankly, I just wanted to read other blogs and not deal with mine. =)

I'm blogging from the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona right now. My husband, Ben, is donating part of his liver to his Uncle who has liver cancer. Surgery began 2 hours ago and I have heard that he is doing well and the surgery is going smoothly. The surgery is supposed to last 4 hours long and then I'll eventually get to see him. Ben is a perfect match on all levels for this surgery which is just amazing. There is way too much going to with all this to sit down and blog about it in one sitting...(which is why I haven't blogged about it previously). No clue where to start!

Ben will be in the hospital for 4-7 days and then he'll have to recover at his parents house for one week before they'll allow him to fly home to NY. Though I would love to stay here in Arizona and be with him, I can't. My kids (and those who are watching them) wouldn't appreciate that. =) I fly back home in 2 days and Lord willing, Ben will be home the end of February where he has to be 'babysat' for 6 weeks and limited to lifting only 5 pounds.

I may blog more about it. We'll see how things go...

Update: Ben is out of surgery and doing well. Surgery went smoothly and he is on his way to recovery to wake up. I get to see him in an hour to an hour and a half (and post more pictures!)