Monday, March 23, 2009

We Are Home

Yes, we are home.

Our day yesterday was going great, Charlotte was eating like a pig (and I mean that in the best possible way!) and slowly but surely, the Docs were checking her off the lists, she was getting detached from the various lines and tubes, and the car was packed with everything but us. This was about 12:30pm.

Then the nurse thoughtfully asked if I wanted her to change CJ's central line dressing before we left. At first I thought no because we're getting pretty good at doing it from home, I didn't want to be wasteful since she wasn't due for a few days, and, most importantly, Charlotte didn't want it done at the hospital. She wanted me to do it at home. She was pretty emphatic about it in fact. But then something tugged me back and I changed my mind. I was thinking, "they're professionals, I might learn by watching her do it, and all that.

Well we started the process and Charlotte was fussing and fuming over what was about to happen. She would only let Daddy take off the dressing and as I did, we noticed something odd. Turns out the stitch that held the line in place on the outside had come out. Not sure how and it didn't look like it had torn.

Well, we immediately covered it back up and paged the pediatric surgeon on call. He was up there very quickly and they decided to put in one stitch and order a chest x-ray just to make sure the line hadn't moved too much.

They set her up with a dose of morphine and after a bit, that glassy look took over but once the fireworks started, it was like they had given her chewable aspirin. She was wide awake.

In another example of the doc either seeming to be thinking more about the procedure than the patient or lacking the language skills to say, "here we go. Make sure she doesn't move," he prepared a needle with Lidocane and proceeded to try to inject it into the spot next to the line.

That's when CJ became fully alert again.

She actually rolled into the shot making it go further under the skin and the surprised doc made some kind of "woah" sound and pulled the needle out. Which means he had to stick her again. We were all ready this time and even though she jerked again, he kept the needle in and delivered the dose with Charlotte screaming all the while. I believe the most repeated phrase was, "I don't like that!"

As usual, I was the one holding her hands up and out of the way telling her it had to be done and that nobody liked it but it had to be done because I couldn't fix this at home.

I had to hold her hands the entire time and after a while, she started crying something new that I couldn't understand. Then finally, Nurse Andrea, who is rather boisterous but we love her, translated. "Daddy, you're hurting my hand." I didn't realize how tightly I had been squeezing her hands until then. I had been trying to be strong, cool, and collected for CJ but I got found out. I've said it before, it's hard to hold your baby down while others inflict pain on her. Terrible, actually, and it showed in my hands. (You should see me fly)

By the time the doc got around to the stitching, the skin was numbed and she didn't feel a thing and I wasn't letting her watch. She even complained once that she couldn't see the TV in the middle of it all so I knew her attention had shifted. Don't worry, she was still crying a lot.

Finally the stitch was in and the nurses officially changed the dressing. Unfortunately, the needle sticks made her bleed a little and they couldn't get it completely cleaned up before they put down the cover so we're going to have to change it again in a couple days (right on schedule if I had left without trying to change it in the hospital). Good thing we checked it when we did.

After the hubbub died down and she was resting comfortably again, and as we waited for the x-ray guy to come, she said the most amazing thing. "Daddy, I still like you." That was nice to hear.

Next came the chest x-ray. She didn't like the look of the big machine being wheeled into her room but she had had an x-ray when she checked in so she was easily convinced that it wasn't going to hurt. The tech was pretty good to so it didn't take long at all.

Then it was wait for about an hour for the film to be developed and looked at to make sure the line was still in place. We chilled in her bed and I actually dosed for a bit. Everything had been taken to the car so I didn't have a lot to do. I even told the catering services woman not to worry about lunch because I was sure we'd be gone. Shoulda knowed better. At least we still had leftover pizza.

Thanks to Heather from Child Life who did a masterful job of keeping CJ occupied while I went to get coffee or the little daddy's room.

FINALLY, we got the all clear, I dressed CJ as fast as I could and we were outta there. I was half expecting someone to come chasing after me, "Wait! There's something else!" It was like one of those war movies where the people who the NAZIs have been looking for are passing through the last checkpoint before freedom and everyone is on the edge of their seats wondering if they're going to get caught.

OK, so maybe it wasn't that bad but it did make me think of it.

So after planning to leave the hospital around 1, we didn't get home until just past 6. Made the homecoming that much nicer. Now we turn right around and go back for round two in a week and a half. (One day at a time.)

Charlotte's Devon came by and visited for a while before she has to go back to school. Even with Devon wearing a mask, it was a very good visit.

Charlotte got a bath and we all slept soundly for once. When Rachel and I came down this morning, CJ was waiting for us with a nice full diaper and gave me another one later. BONUS POOPIE!

This morning was very nice, everybody got a little bit done, CJ actually got to see Dora on Nickelodeon, a rare treat.

Now I have to go do a class at Romp n' Roll and load up the car for RNR2Go tomorrow in Ladysmith.

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