Friday, February 17, 2012

Enough already.

I just squirted apple juice all over myself trying to open a little foil-covered cup of the stuff, and all I could do was sigh and brush it off. At this point...whatever.

Yesterday morning, while trying to sleep through the cats scratching at the bedroom door (despite the fact that I had already fed them an hour earlier), I was woken by a phone call from the nurse who took care of you last night. We've only gotten one other phone call from the hospital the whole time you've been here, which is pretty awesome, but this was just the shit cherry on the crap sundae. Nothing disastrous: just poopy. Actually, that's a really accurate metaphor, since the call was about the fact that you have not been digesting well - at all: it was ugly - and that as a precaution, you were going to be moved back down the PICU for testing and closer observation. I arrived at the hospital not five minutes before they moved you; they'd already done us the courtesy of emptying the fridge and organizing all the other stuff in the room, so I didn't even get a chance to talk to any doctors or anything before you were whisked back downstairs. My coffee hadn't started working yet. I was pissed.

While I certainly don't begrudge extreme caution, I fucking hate the PICU. Sure, the doctors are insanely good (both as medical professionals and as communicators), and the nurses are quite literally the best in the hospital, but it just sucks here. I've complained about the rooms (or rather, the glass boxes that are completely exposed to an insanely busy work station in the center of the unit), and the relative tragedy of the hall we have to walk down is just draining. I feel like a laboratory specimen of a parent, and because of the anal-retentive monitoring that is standard down here, instead of just three little adhesive dots for a heart monitor and your oxygen monitoring glowing red foot sensor, you've got five huge sensor leads with crappily-clustered cords, huge patches on your head and back checking your oxygen saturation in your brain and kidneys, the sensor on your foot, an IV in your arm (which is a standard requisite in the ICU, regardless of what shape you're in or what's being done to you - it's not even hooked up to anything now), and bandages from the several different blood draws they've needed to do. Put simply, you look really sick and damaged despite being in better shape than you were in two days ago when you were hooked up to nearly nothing.

We should be moving back to the pediatric floor today. Up there, we have a real room (with a real door and real windows!), a private bathroom, fridge access, unlimited drinks that we can get for ourselves, and places to sit. How sad is it that even sitting seems like a luxury? Better than all of that, we get more or less full access to YOU there, whereas here, picking you up is like detangling an old VCR from an entertainment center. Yesterday was a special kind of hell because you are such a snuggly little beast. When you're upset, whatever it is you're upset about, picking you up and either moving around or just smooshing you calms you right down. Because you had been having such a tough time digesting, your doctors opted to give you twenty-four hours off eating to give your system time to recover. This meant that you were completely miserable, hungry, and inconsolable...and picking you up wasn't really an option.

Without question or doubt, the day of your surgery was pretty much the worst day of my life, but yesterday was about as bad as things get when they aren't life-threatening. You were so unhappy, and there was absolutely nothing I could do to make it better. Hearing you crying - stopping only to whimper in between when you were catching your breath - and seeing you squirming and reaching for something to physically hurt me. Your doctors had rationally and credibly explained why they were doing what they were doing, but I still wanted to punch someone in the face for putting you through a day like that. It's over now. You're passed out just a few feet from me, tummy full, and while I'm sure you're all manner of pissed off that you're covered with sticky, uncomfortable junk, at least you're legitimately healthy enough to justify being pissed off. Hudson, we should be really close to the finish line. Once you can show your doctors that you can put on some weight, we should be good to go. No more poking, prodding, sticky crap, or people butting in every half hour to check something.

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