Second Surgery Down

Today was a good day! Linden's second (and hopefully final) surgery is finally out of the way and she is headed towards discharge sometime next week. Before I get into the nitty gritty I'll review the last few days.


Monday was the first day since arriving at the hospital that we didn't have visitors. Just Laura, myself, and the little lady kickin it in the room alone. We munched on snacks, caught up on some naps, and missed Graham as he spent time with his Ma and Papa a few hours north of us.

We also got moved out of the PICU and onto the transplant floor of the hospital. Well, technically it's not strictly a transplant floor, but all those who have had transplants end up there... all transplant patients are on the transplant floor, but not all patients on transplant floor are transplant patients... comprende? In any case, this floor has a food pantry, and that food pantry has name brand pop (soda)! We were pretty excited to hear that since the hospital we visit in Peoria only has a nasty off-brand called Shasta. Thank you Cincinnati!

We had a great nurse for the night shift and got a good nights rest even if there was a small bed that both of us couldn't fit on and I had to sleep on a foam floor mat — true story.


Tuesday we woke up to a girl in high spirits. Linden was awake for a good majority of the day and we each got to hold her multiple times to give her a break from her bed. We were happy to indulge her and spent the morning cuddling and playing with our sweet Lindy.

Tuesday also brought our little Graham man back to town. We were so excited to see him at lunch time and got to enjoy hearing the stories of the big fish he caught at Papa's house (see below) and all the fun he had with his cousins. After lunch we took Graham to the Cincinnati Museum Center which is the old Cincinnati train station converted into multiple museums and museum exhibits. Graham's favorite was the Woods section that reminded him of the Lost Boys hideout in Peter Pan. Between that and the dance party they had in the little theatre, he was a tired boy by the time we arrived back at the hospital.

Linden however, was not tired... not at all. It was 8:30 by the time we were done eating Chinese with Laura's parents, and hanging out with Graham for a little longer, but Linden was just getting started with her evening. From 9 until 10:30 she was happy to just kick her little legs and smile her face off, but of course that got boring after an hour and a half. Before long she was pulling off her heart monitor and respiration leads and sticking them on her chin, her arms, trying to eat them, doing anything but leaving them alone and in place. I think we had to replace them a total of 3 times and ended up sticking them on her back instead of her chest so that she couldn't get to them. Many of you will think at this point, \"Oh isn't that cute, she doesn't even know what she's doing\" — except she totally did. Each time the machine would start screaming that her heart rate was zero and her breathing had completely stopped, one of us would get up to check her leads and discover her in bed smiling and waiting for us to discover where she had placed her leads this time. Her mischievous streak finally ended around 12:30 when she passed out from a fun overdose. Sleeping on a foam floor mat never felt so good.


We had found out on Tuesday that Linden would be an add-on surgery planned for Wednesday and as a result she had to fast from midnight on Tuesday up through her surgery time on Wednesday. She did surprisingly well with the fast and only asked for food a few times during the morning. We spent the morning in anticipation, waiting for the call that would take us back down to the operating room to close up Linden's muscle layer, pull her drains, and put in her central line.

Graham was a welcome distraction arriving just after 9 with Laura's mom and dad. The rest of the morning up until the surgery was spent balancing pre-op consults with doctors, and playing with Graham and Linden. We were glad to see our wonderful friend from college Nadine come to the hospital just in time to wheel Linden down to the operating room. She is a nurse herself and is probably one of the best listeners either of us know. Talk about a perfect waiting room buddy! From there it was the same situation as her first surgery — pre-op room, followed by doctors and nurses, then us leaving for the waiting room and placing our trust in the hands of the doctors and the providence of our God.

A half-hour in, we received an update that they had placed her central line and were getting ready to make their initial incision. It was a long hour and twenty minutes until we got to see the surgeon who had performed the surgery and hear that everything had gone well. The liver looked great and closing her incision all went as planned. Praise God! Another forty-five minutes and we were headed back to see Lindy waking up from her anesthesia.

Linden went straight onto the morphine this time and was given a PCA which allows us to give her little boosts of morphine if she is experiencing pain instead of having to call the nurse to give her more meds every time! I'm the type to push that thing each time Linden so much as makes a peep, and Laura is the type to never push the button unless we have exhausted every other option... we do a good job of balancing each other out that way :) The rest of the evening has been spent making sure Linden is comfortable and that she gets some good rest through the night.

We are hoping and praying that our little Lu is back to herself, bouncing around and pulling off heart monitor leads before the weekend is out. The doctors seem to be confident that will happen, and it is looking like discharge from the hospital is on the radar for early next week! We are so happy to be on this side of the surgeries and so thankful for the miracles God has done to make that possible.

Thank you again everyone for keeping up with Linden's progress and for your constant and continued prayers for her health, her recovery, and our family's peace and joy.

Jake Bennett