"It's always something. If it's not one thing, it's another..."

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the patron saint of Benjamin's current situation: Rosanne Rosannadanna

It's Always Something

Here's a brief rundown of what has been happening with Ben in the past few weeks.

As I posted earlier, we finally got a date for Ben to see the specialist in Birmingham. Unfortunately, the soonest it can happen is the end of this month. The doctor only does consults on Thursdays, and surgeries on Fridays. Because this particular surgery requires not only this doctor but also the transplant team, the soonest Friday that both are available is on Friday, January 31st. So the current plan is for us to drive up to Birmingham on Wednesday the 29th, then we have our consult with Dr. Christien on the 30th. Ben will be admitted to the hospital on the morning of the 31st and have the surgery later that day. The expected recovery time until he is safe to travel is 7-8 days in the hospital. Once he is released, he still faces another three weeks of recovery time at home before he is really back on his feet.

One of the requirements prior to the consult was for Ben to have a CT scan. That was done on December 26th, and it was a total circus. This particular scan did not require oral contrast, which was good because there is no way Ben would have drunk it. It did require IV contrast, however, and that proved to be difficult. The first tech (who honestly looked like he was a teenager) tried to start an IV, and had a terrible time with it. He stuck Ben, and the proceeded to fish around for several minutes trying to get the blood to flow. Ben sat there stoically as the tech wiggled the IV around and tried saline flushes and such before finally giving up. He went and got another tech, who tried again in a second location on the back of his hand. Again Ben sat without complaint while the needle went in, and again there was no blood flow. On the upside, the second tech abandoned the site very quickly and went to get a nurse. A few minutes later in walked Javier, who just radiated quiet competence. He introduced himself to us, and specifically to Benjamin, and then spent all of ten second scanning around to find a good spot for the IV. Another thirty seconds spent laying out his supplies and prepping the site, and then Javier popped in the needle and flushed the site, getting good blood flow right away. Javier was there and gone within a matter of minutes, and the Ben was off to get the actual CT scan. The test itself was uneventful. Nearly two weeks later, Ben still has a bruise on the back of his hand from the second IV attempt.

The following week, Ben broke out in a fairly severe case of contact dermatitis. He had a red rash over most of his body -- primarily on his arms, legs, and torso -- and the itching drove him mad. Our best guess is that it was caused by a new pair of pajamas he got for Christmas. I had not washed them prior to having him wear them, I just took them out of the sealed package and put them right on him one night, and by the next day the rash had started. It took about a week of benadryl and lotions before the rash finally cleared. In the meantime Ben barely slept because he could never get comfortable.

Towards the end of the rash, going into this past weekend, he started complaining about his belly button. Initially there was nothing visible happening there, but he kept pulling at it. Over the course of the weekend a sore started to appear on the inside of his belly button, growing steadily. This past Monday morning we were back at the GI docs office to have it looked at. The good news is that there is no evidence of infection, nor is there any sign that there is anything going on internally behind it. Most likely when Ben had the rash it caused a small fissure inside the folds of Ben's navel, and the constant worrying at it made it larger. We kept it covered over the weekend, and have been applying some neosporin to it to help it heal, and it seems to be getting better.

So where we stand right now is that the rash is gone, the sore in his belly is getting better, and he is still tired and uncomfortable from his pancreatic issues. We have another three weeks of treading water before we leave for Birmingham. Hopefully nothing else notable will happen between now and then. At least nothing horrifying has happened so far today.



Ben and Snow White

Ben and Snow White

About Shmoolok

The word "shmoolok" is a mashup of the longtime computer handles for my wife and myself ("Shmooby" and "Lokheed", respectively).

I originally created this website to be a place for my family to connect, but it has since grown into something a little different.

As for me -- I am a father, a husband, a son, a software developer, and a writer. On any given day I am not sure how good I am at any of those particular things, but I do try my best.

Thank you for visiting my website.

Latest Tweets



ISBN: 1-482-09330-8

Benjamin's Lullaby

Popular Entries

There has been an influx of new readers to my blog. If you wound up here looking for stories about my son's ten year romance with Snow White's Scary Adventures, here are the major blog posts you will want to read:

SW1K - The Full Story

SW1K Redux

SW2K - The Full Story

SWSA Final Night - Prelude

SWSA Final Night, Part 1 - The Beginning of the End

SWSA Final Night, Part 2 - The Fairest One of All

SWSA Final Night, Part 3 - Counting Up, Counting Down

SWSA Final Night, Part 4 - The Big Ending

SWSA Final Night - Epilogue

Blog Archives

Blog Tags