Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pazel crashes

He's mid-nap, so I only have a moment. When he wakes up we're going to try to find some presents.

So where was I? Oh yes, he got moved from ICU to a surgical bed. I was looking forward to getting back to the surgical floor where we had spent the first night. There were actual walls there, some element of privacy, and a personal pump in the room so I didn't have to trek down to the NICU every few hours. The transfer didn't happen until close to midnight.

(From a hospital financial analyst I can say that this was a terrible idea, that keeping him in the ICU just another 15 minutes would have allowed the hospital to charge for the ICU day instead of a Med/Surg day which would probably mean an additional $800 for the day in reimbursement from my insurance company. But, they needed the bed for another child and operational decisions trump financial implications, although do that often enough and it's like throwing money out the window.)

Instead of moving back up to the 5th floor, they moved us to the 3rd floor which is not a good place. It was a triage area that had been turned into surgical overflow beds, which meant it did not have walls. There was basically 10 families parked around the room with only the thin curtains seperating them. I liken it to a human parking lot, although Matt didn't think it was that bad. On the other hand, he was at home with Janie while I had to sleep there. It seemed like each family had their TV on, and all the babies or kids were crying, maybe because this midnight TV watching was keeping them up. Meanwhile, some poor kid was throwing up a few beds over, and the monitors for the patient next to us kept going off because they had been set to an adult setting instead of a baby's. And I had to use the public bathroom that seemed miles away, and the pump in the NICU, another bunch of miles away. And my baby had just gotten out of the ICU, was swollen so much he was not recognizable, was still not awake most of the time, was still very congested, and heavily medicated. Add to this my fear of him contracting RSV and/or a hospital infection like he did when he was in the NICU.

So I cracked. I didn't get angry because it wouldn't do any good. And although the nurses tried to get me to talk about it, they didn't understand. They figured I was tired and emotional. That's true, but up until this point I had been able to keep it all in check. I had been riding the wave, living in that particular moment and no other. So I wasn't concentrating too much on the big picture, just the little details. Are his heart rates okay? Is he in any pain? Did that nurse wash her hands? Is his oxygen dropping? Is the swelling going down? But now, the despair kind of overtook me. I couldn't sleep. I knew there were wonderful rooms upstairs. They told me they were full upstairs. But mainly they told me that Jack's surgeon had made a specific order for him to be placed on the 3rd floor, which they said is really unusual since most of the time they only keep people there who are staying for a night, not a week. I couldn't see spending my time with him in this area. Although the nurses were nice, and the space was clean, it seemed very third world for all of these families and their hurt children to be in one room to stay.

And while I had been very positive and very stable all this time, this third foor space finally broke me. And I couldn't stop the tears. And I couldn't get my mind out of the dark hole. Like I had tripped into some hidden booby trap that no one else could see.

Of course now he's awake. I'm sorry, I'm going to run again. I'll be back again soon.


Blogger Jen said...

Ugh. What misery. Can't wait to hear the rest. I'm glad you're home now and out of all that.

4:06 PM  
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Blogger April said...

Oh honey - I'm so sorry you're going through so much right now.

thinking of you and yours.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Pazel,
Lucy has her pull-through January 27th. I am so tempted not to do it; I am just freaked out! So reading your blog has helped...


7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son had an IA and has Hirschsprung's. His pull-through surgery was 5.5 years ago.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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