Thursday, May 31, 2012

Held Up

So today was interesting. I'm sure you're dying to hear all about it.

It started with frustration as I sat in my car behind a dirty old pickup truck that couldn't decide what it was doing. The hospital's parking garage, which is usually metered, is currently free due to construction. In order to make way for a golf cart shuttle to/from the hospital's front entrance, and also to prevent people from taking tickets when they pull into the garage, the formal entrance is blocked off, and cars are directed to enter one of the exit lanes. The driver of the truck couldn't get it. He just sat paused in front of the exit lane, looking like he really wanted to go up the entrance if only it wasn't blocked off. I audibly sighed when the reverse lights blinked on. I was right behind him, with now a couple other cars behind me; where did he think he could go? Realizing that any attempt of escape was futile, the reverse lights blinked off, and the truck edged forward little by little until we were finally in the garage. You would think then that the driver would easily figure out how the parking garage worked and set about using it, but no, he still inched forward slow as molasses with the rest of us just wanting to hurry up and park already. I was thrilled when I spied an open spot on the third floor's exit row, and even more thrilled when the truck slowly rolled up to the fourth floor; I could both park and not have to follow the slow truck anymore, yay! I ran down the steps instead of waiting for the elevator.

When I made it up to the fifth floor of the hospital-- severely delayed thanks to Mr. Truck-- I picked up the phone outside the NICU and waited for someone to answer. And waited... and waited... and waited. The phone was ringing for a good two minutes before I finally heard a welcome, "Hello?" I gave the name of my baby and the voice on the other end said, "Ok, come in." I hung up the phone and waited for the doors to open. And waited... and waited.. and waited. Another two minutes later, I picked up the phone again. After a couple of rings this time, the voice on the end answered, and I asked, "May I come in?" The doors immediately opened. The receptionist at the desk claimed she had forgotten about me. Okay, whatever. I was late to breastfeed Poppy and had just about used up all of my patience for the day (though I would still need more later).

The good news is that Poppy was awake and ready to eat. She ate well! Senpai arrived for morning rounds. Poppy has a new attending physician today, and we wanted to find out what his philosophies are. Not that it matters much since she'll have another new doctor tomorrow. They're currently trying to fill in scheduling gaps. I'm just waiting for somebody to say the magic d-word sooner rather than later. It wasn't today's doctor. Will it be the one tomorrow? I can hope!

We went out for lunch. When we returned, we got on the elevator to go back to the fifth floor, but the elevator went down instead of up. The four other people on the elevator with us (two smokers expecting their first grandbaby, an elderly woman, and an older lady going to visit her sister in the ICU), were just as surprised as we were that it decided to do that. We laughed it off when the elevator took us to the basement, and then the sub-basement, but no one laughed when it stopped and the doors didn't open. No amount of button mashing did anything; we were stuck. Senpai and I still had cell phone coverage (yay, Sprint!), though no one else did. I called the NICU to let them know we wouldn't make it in time for Poppy's noon feeding. Senpai lent his phone to the older lady to call her family in the ICU. Senpai also leaned over to use the emergency phone that had been installed in the bottom of the elevator's control panel. Help was on the way! Twenty minutes later (there's that patience again), we occupants were relieved when the elevator started moving up to the third floor. It stopped there and opened its doors. Senpai and I dashed out, taking the stairs the rest of the way.

Poppy's noon feeding was delayed, but thankfully we hadn't missed it. She ate well again! Without a nipple shield! Her eyes were even open: two beautiful dark eyes that we hardly ever see. Rosemary's eyes were dark in the NICU, too. They're now gray, so who knows what color Poppy's eyes will be.

When Senpai was leaving, he noticed his wedding ring was missing from his pocket. You aren't allowed to wear jewelry in the NICU. I had taken my wedding ring off when my pregnant fingers got too swollen for it, and I'm not bothering to put it back on until Poppy comes home because I don't want to risk losing it. Senpai has no reason not to wear his aside from the NICU, and he isn't there nearly as often as I am, so he just sticks it in a pocket. We searched the floor of the NICU, and were resigned to going back to the lunch restaurant where he had pulled something else out of the same pocket, when it occurred to me: the elevator! He had to lean over to use the emergency phone, and the ring had been in his chest pocket. We  pushed the button and waited in front of the bank of three elevators. Would the middle elevator-- the one that had trapped us-- be the one to open? More waiting, and yes! The middle one opened. Senpai jumped in and found his Tungsten ring obscured against the carpet. He immediately jumped out. Having enough to do with that particular elevator, we took the stairs down.

I was just following him out because I needed the exercise. I was going to stick around the hospital for Poppy's next feeding, but I was alarmed to discover my blood sugars rising in a scary fashion. I drained a large cup of water in the cafeteria. The numbers kept rising. My heart throbbed in my chest and I knew ketoacidosis was starting to set in. What to do, what to do? There were no lemons available to neutralize the acid flowing through my veins, I had no extra needles or insulin on hand to deliver a saving bolus of medicine, and I was certain that the fresh infusion set I had inserted this morning was bad. I trudged up the five flights of stairs, needing the exercise then more than ever, and was relieved when Poppy was too sleepy to breastfeed. I had tried to put her to my breast, but she stayed in her dreamland. I laid her back in her crib and let the nurse gavage the entire feeding.

20 days old. 36 weeks gestation.

It was difficult to drive home. I was so thankful to pull into the garage, and even more thankful when my Dad handed me a large mug of freshly prepared lemon water. I was able to inject insulin via syringe, put in a new infusion set (the one from the morning's catheter had kinked inside me), and gradually get my blood sugar back under control. I missed out on the trip to take Rosemary to Monkey Joe's, but I appreciated the opportunity to finish "Catching Fire," the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy.

So those were today's adventures. Maybe tomorrow will be.... less interesting?

In other news, yesterday Poppy was moved to the isolation room. A swab culture found MRSA inside her nose. She is not infected, herself, but as a carrier, she still needs to be separated from the other babies. I am less than thrilled with this development, especially since over the last few days she had been cared for by nurses who also tended to the isolation room babies. Where did the MRSA come from, hmmm? She now has to stay in the isolation room for the remainder of her stay in the NICU, and Senpai has to wear a gown and gloves to hold her. I would scratch eyes out if someone told me I had to wear a gown and gloves to touch Poppy, but since I breastfeed her, they figure there's no getting around it. I just have to wash my hands really well before exiting the room. I am not pleased with this development. More reason to get out of there fast.

"H" is for "H'isolation" Room.
"H" is for "H'isolation Room."



Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...