Saturday, February 12, 2011

Points for Trying.

Still hospitalized. No O2 most of yesterday but then the girl needed some at 3:30 or so this morning. Oh, and they put a monitor in our room full time so I've been watching it, um, a lot. Startled awake a few times last night to check on it. And it was at a funny angle so there was squinting and peering to see if it said 98 or 88 with the resulting High Alert - Now Fully Awake.

Yesterday the MD said she thought she heard crackling in both lungs and her initial chest films weren't totally clear after all (whaaa?!) but showed signs of RSV (which makes sense in retrospect since it's Respiratory syncytial virus) but there is apparently no bright clear line between a RSV and pneumonia, just a question of degrees. And with the lingering fever and woefully insufficient drinking, she said we might be due for chest films Deux today (with the thought that we might be headed to Pneu). But today she's better. She woke up HARD and unhappy today, and there's been lots of nose suctioning, but the O2 is back off. So today's MD (which would make #5) said that if she made it thru nap without desatting, we can go home.

The nurse this morning said it was too bad the night nurse didn't vacuum her nose instead of turning on the O2 in the wee hours because they won't usually let them out until they can make it through a night without O2. She asked if we were itching to get home. Well yes, of course, but get home with Healthy Babe. I am no fan of hospitals - I've read too many files at work of people picking up strange things in them (which we then may or may not be liable for. The old "but for" argument) - staph, sepsis, and, well, pneumonia. It makes me a total germophobe, contorting myself and dropping things to avoid door handles and elevator buttons. 'Course it's now easily argued I do need to be more cautious elsewhere since we now have officially Caught What's Going Around and landed our butts here, but that's a different discussion. I remember I had to petition the powers that be to break my girl out of the NICU, and in my Kafkaesque world actually had the insurance company lobbying the hospital for me (since, duh, pay for food pump rental or NICU bed? What was that? A three or four -digit- difference for them?).

Also, other than absurd amount of stuff in her nose, the general symptoms are of a cold. A bad cold, with occasional (mild) fever, but a cold nonetheless. And she's much perkier today. Also? I just had more chocolate milk. So I need to be cut off.

But I don't have an O2 monitor at home. Much less O2 tank, tubing, etc. The concern now is whether she can make it through the night without needing O2.... there IS NO WAY TO KNOW IF SHE DESATS AT HOME. I mean, intellectually, I know she's not that sick, not anymore, but what happens if her O2 drops? Does it stay down and then just keep dropping? The proverbial slippery slope? Does it stay too low till the morning, causing lord-knows-what-problems in the meantime? SIDS?!?! (at 2.5 yrs?) Nonononono...I'm perfectly happy here.

Though she FINALLY fell asleep for a nap (two hours after I told the doc I was putting her down - her schedule is wonky) and she's still at 93 92 93 91 93 94

What I was originally going to post till I started rambling about germs & being discharged:

Reservoir Snot Vats
I made a comment in the course of the above discussion about liking their nose vacuum. Nurse said we can just use a bulb syringe at home. Um, no.  They are pulling GALLONS of nastiness out of the poor girl's sinuses.  Her head simply isn't that big. Where is it coming from? 

Residual Signs (of) Virulence
The snot.  The 99 degree fever. The shocking (for her) lack of appetite. My girl likes to EAT. We actually talked to an EI nutritionist because she was becoming a little, um, disproportionate. This morning it took her an hour to eat the soft center from a single piece of toast.

Results of Spousal Vagueness
Matt, the dear, has been pulling triple duty.  Stopping by here, tending to the mutts, giving our son a quick hug at his Aunt's house, then going into work since one of us has to stay employed (also, I have vacation time to burn). But I need to be more specific in the future when asking him to bring me things. 
1st run:  one clean Tshirt, running shoes. No socks, no underwear.
2nd run: underwear, no new Tshirt (shirt #2 now being festooned with snot), but sweater he must have (hopefully?) found on the floor as it's covered in dog hair.

Relearning to use Soap, Vigorously
There's a shower in the room. Nice.  But have you ever smelled hospital towels?  I cannot even begin to imagine the de-lousing those things must endure.  But they don't even smell like bleach, they smell like flea dip. For cattle. I haven't totally abstained, but we're talking bare minimum hygiene.  Looking forward to my own bathroom. 

...or, Rapunzel, Style, Victory
Along with the shower issue, there's the hair! Oh the hair!  Ironically, I just got it cut a month or so ago.  My specific request was it be too short to put in a ponytail because I am L.A.Z.Y. And if I don't have to wash & dry daily I won't. I told myself the slicked back pony is sophisticated (mwhahahaha) but, um, no.  It just looks L.A.Z.Y.  So I look super-duper-fabulous right now.  The victory?  Is my daughter's because I've been letting her play with it endlessly, because it calms her down. 

Relatives Staring Vacantly
...but it's not like anyone here cares about my hair.  The other parents look as zombified and miserable as I am.  Pediatrics floor.  Rumor has it mostly full with RSV-ers (new word!).  So I'm sure their shirts are full of snot too.  We're careful not to look at each other too closely.  [Also, there are some KIDS on this floor. Not the patients, the parents.  Dang, they start early in the midwest!]

RNs, Smashing Vixens
OK, not ALL of them. And really more the techs than the nurses.  And some are trying more than succeeding. Why are you wearing that much make up around sick people? But some? Hawt. Simple empirical hetero observation. I remember being in labor with my boy - sweaty, stinky, and big as a whale when new nurse came in - she was like a movie star. Petite with long curls down to her (teensy tiny) waist.  Which btw? Not sterile, all that loose hair. Luckily she was at end of shift or there might have been A Scene.

Edited to add:  Also, apparently, doctor #5.  Note to spouse:  When your wife is on day #3 of hospital duty, and avoiding the cattle dip towels, DO NOT dramatically sigh as Doc#5 leaves our room.  You might hurt yourself. 

Resume Sampling Vineyards
My immediate plan upon discharge?  LARGE glass of red wine. STAT!

Reliving Sad, Virtually
Daytime TV sucks.  Also, small room and I don't want to keep her up. So I've been reading the blogs (what else?), mostly Tricia, circa 2007, when her girl also had RSV and then immediately (well, immediately in a bloggy way) heart surgery, then her doggie died.  Not that any of these things are profoundly rare (I'm not minimizing, just not claiming kinship) but the timing was eerie. Also, anytime I read about dogs passing, I think about my Max.  Max's story is inexorably part of Brennan's, and how losing Brennan made my girl's extra chromosome so much less importance because... this will sound flippant - it's not... simply because she is ALIVE.  Except it does matter a little, because we're quarantined here because of the extra, probably. I'll have to tell Max's story soon. Matt wanted me to write it down when he died but I couldn't. I suppose it's silly (he's just a dog!) but Sam Simon (of the Simpson's, and later dog rescuer extraordinaire) said something like there's sometimes one dog that takes up residence in your heart and it's irrevocable.  That's not a quote.  It wasn't in the CBS interview summary & the video isn't on line.  Too bad. It was a good line, even though I have on the vaguest memory of it. Just think Lassie. 

Also, because of Brennan, and the heart surgery, and the NICU, hospitals are such swirling emotional cauldrons (can I re-use 'vats'?).  I suppose they are for everyone. Most people both arrive and leave this world in them.  (flipping to flippant...)  Because of this, I think they need nicer towels.

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