Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 121: In

For a brief moment last week it looked like we might have kicked this bug. After adding hypertonic saline to our daily routine, Lemon was able to get back to his baseline. Unfortunately, once the oral antibiotic ended, the runny nose returned with the cough hard on its heels. I knew pretty much as soon as his nose started to run that we were going to end up being admitted, but we managed to hang on in a state of semi-denial until Sunday morning.  Then, knowing that an admission was inevitable, we decided to just head in rather than waiting at home for Lemon's symptoms to get any worse. I think that was the right call, especially since Sunday afternoon is a pretty quiet time at the hospital and we were able to get ourselves and all our stuff situated without too much trouble.  

It required the combined effort of 6 adults to get Lemon's IV placed, but after that trauma it hasn't seemed to bother him much. He is receiving Zosyn, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which hopefully should kill whatever is causing his troubles. We're also doing 4 vest treatments per day in an effort to shake out whatever we can and help the antibiotics work. 

There are a lot of things that are unsurprising about this hospitalization so far: terrible food, constant interruptions by various staff members, blood sugar monitoring at 2am, etc. 

Some things have surprised me, though. One is the amount of attention it requires to keep a two-year-old from pulling out his IV by accident. Lemon has been amazingly good about not messing with it on purpose, but he moves around a lot and those little tubes seem to want to get twisted and snagged on every possible point of entanglement. And then there's the pole and the wire that plugs it in and the furniture and the toys and the other people in the room. Another thing that surprised me is that we're essentially using all our own gear and medicine here at the hospital. We brought our own vest and compressor, and all our own medicines and vitamins. Good thing, too, especially for the enzymes, otherwise we'd be asking Lemon to wait 45 min before each meal or snack while an individual enzyme capsule was carried in by passenger pigeon from Nebraska. 

Some other minor surprises include the fact that this room in a children's hospital doesn't have a changing table, which makes two kids in two different size diapers a real challenge, never mind the fact that they want us to save Lemon's diapers so they can measure his output.  Also, room service will not deliver coffee, and you can't even call until 6:30 for your non coffee to be delivered, which doesn't help much if the kids are up at 5:15.  Rest assured my little coffee pot from home is now installed in a spot befitting its importance in terms of my survival. 

None of this would be as big a deal as it is were it not for the fact that we're not allowed to leave the room, lest we spread whatever Lemon has. I'm told there's a nice kitchenette on the floor with a refrigerator and hot water and whatnot, but it's of no more use to me than my kitchen at home. There's also a nice activity room and family lounge that we saw on our way in and won't see again until we leave. 

So, that's our story. Lemon, Lime, and I in a hospital room together for the next 10-14 days, with our key support people and the ever changing roster of staff drifting in and out. We live so close to the hospital that I can see the foot of our street from our 5th floor window, and yet home sure seems pretty far away right now. 

* written on my phone, so no photos this week--hopefully next week I'll figure out a way to get the pictures up. 

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