Monday, April 6, 2009

Parents Have to Be Advocates for Their Children

Just about 4am (as you can read intelligent CJ lover) and we just had an interesting experience. It's also reason #42 why parents have to be advocates for their children.
Because the central line pulled out, they had to put a traditional IV line in her hand-not a lot of fun. When I got here everyone informed me they would have to poke her again to draw blood for her labs and, of course, they couldn't do it at any kind of sane hour, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! They have to do it at 3am because that's when they have to check her numbers.
I settle in at around 11pm to see what kind of sleep I can get from this very noisy room and slightly lopsided chair knowing what's coming at 3.
Now being the kind of guy who gets a little freaked out about oversleeping when there's an early wake-ups time, I was up just about every hour until 3 when, as usual, nothing happened. (Hospital standard time). The nurse came in to do vitals and in the back of my mind, I was actually hoping they had decided to wait. No luck. On her way out the door after the vitals check, she warned me it would be about 10 minutes.
It was more like 7. Which is good because it didn't give me the chance to fall back asleep.
in comes the nurse and another woman, presumedly (sp?) to hold Charlotte down. Of course, that's my unpleasant jorb. (yes I said, "jorb." That's the next trivia challenge...) Turns out the other woman was the one doing the actual poking. That, believe it or not, made me feel better as the night nurse, nice as she is, doesn't seem all that secure doing procedures above and beyond taking vitals and hooking up drugs to the pumps. The other nurse, Mary, came down from the PICU and we all know how highly trained they are down there. She said she gets called out to do draws all the time because it's so difficult to access little veins.
I at least feel like CJ is in capable hands. I get on the bed next to her and shield her eyes as they lights go on and the "big rubber band" gets tied onto her other arm, which she doesn't like and lets us know. I mentioned out loud that they should have some kind of topical cream that would numb the pain right at the site. (There's a really bad movie in there somewhere with Phil Hartman and Sinbad involving liquid novacaine and mistaken idenity.) Can anyone tell me why they don't use it in hospitals for little pokes and things like that?
I'm thinking, "This is REALLY going to suck. I'm getting ready to help them inflict more pain on my baby and she'll be wide awake screaming and I'm never going to get a shower." (Yeah, selfish, I know)
Then I remember something the night nurse mentioned, totally in passing just after Rachel left, about pulling blood from the IV line and how she was scared to try it because it might pull out the IV which would be far more tramatic for Charlotte. Almost in desperation, I said, "So there's no way you can do this through the IV line?" Nurse Mary from the PICU looked up like the lightbulb went off and said something like, "Hey, let's try that."
Bless her and all her progeny from here to the mext millenium. It worked and all CJ had was some minor discomfort from the "big rubber band." She was out again in about a minute, and I'm not exaggerating.
Of course, I'm wide awake and about to get my wonderful shower.
So let that be a lesson to you. Ask those "dumb" questions and be the obnoxious, persistant parent.
In my hyper emotional state, I think "Mary" just made it to the list of potential names for future children/pets behind Tye, Joanne, Kahn (only as a Trekkie pseudonym), Melissa, etc...(about 10 others)
Speaking of that, we forgot to mention that Charlotte went by the PICU for a walk and just happened the see Nurse Melissa and another nurse, whose name I'm ashamed to say I've forgotten, near the front doors. They certainly remembered her and came out to fawn (faun?) all over her. She didn't mind.
After having Leah's death weighing pretty heavily on me for most of the evening, we had a sliver of a good thing happen. It's all we can ask for, right?
The spring fling at Primrose went smashingly and a good chunk of money was raised for A.S.K. in CJ's name. Thanks to all there including the teenage volunteers and especially to Karen Giles who allowed me to leave and go perform with John Robison from Southern Horizon at the Confederate Heritage Days celebration down at the Old Chester Courthouse. (There's some irony in there somewhere)
An aside: Although I really love playing the music and I'm becoming a student of the history behind the "War of Northern Aggression," I think some folks need to realize that the Civil War is over. I used to think that sort of thing was just reserved for geeks like me who got caught up in the Renaissance Faire mentality. (Man, I loved those days!)
Hey, did I mention we're having a head shaving party Friday?!? :-) The golf tourny and other various fun-raisers are being planned and I'm blissfully unaware of most of the details. Just point and tell me to go, I'll be there. You'll probably know about it before I do.
Wesley Berry's family (who we met here) is having a golf tournament Friday April 17 up Cameron Hills Golf Links in King George County. Romp n' Roll is going to sponsor a hole and donate some prizes. Here's the link to a story about him:
Go play a round for us.
It's now 5:00am and I still haven't showered. Here I go.

A Quick Update before going home for the day:
It was a great day at Romp n' Roll and Roger and I have been busy all day. Roger is now up in Caroline County launching our Adventure Classes at Ms. Alisons!
Charlotte is doing ok from what I understand. We FINALLY got a call from the surgeons asking for permission to re-insert her Central Line and that will happen first thing tomorrow morning. I don't have news on her methotrexate levels but I understand she was peeing like a racehorse today and eating well. Not sure if she's pooped.
Thanks to the Masseys for visiting with Easter Baskets. Riley's second grade class actually made baskets for all the kids on the floor and delivered them to Child Life today. What a sweet gift!
Now it's time for me to call gramps and get picked up from work. Did I mention that the alternator in my car died? More joy to the world.
On a positive note, I spent the morning running errands and got to listen to my This American Life podcast which was full of fabulous stories (as always). And through the rain I got to see a pretty cool rainbow while trekking down I-295. Plus I got to hang out with some pretty cool kids at Romp n' Roll today! At least I can find some joy in the day.
Time to sign chariot awaits.

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