Dec 5, 2008

Home, sweet home

Here is what you SHOULD take when you go to the hospital, EVEN IF you think you'll only be there a few hours (in no particular order):

1. Cell phone
2. Cell phone charger
3. Laptop
4. Laptop power cord
5. Toothbrush
6. Saline solution and contact thingie
7. Feminine hygiene products
8. Book
9. Bookmark
10. Pillow
11. Blanket
12. Camera

Here is what I took:

1. My purse
2. My one-quarter charged cell phone
3. A book (one small triumph!)

Here is what you should WEAR to the hospital, even if you think you'll only be there a few hours:

1. Elastic-waist pants
2. A T-shirt that disguises spit-up
3. A comfy cardigan

Here is what I wore:

1. Jeans in size Just Barely Fit
2. A black T-shirt
3. A cute pink jacket from Talbot's

Note to self: A person whose day job is PROJECT MANAGER should really have done a better job of planning this little jaunt to the hospital.

I DO give myself props, however, for sending my little point-and-shoot camera to the ER with Grayson. I knew I'd need some shots for Jake's scrapbook and the blog, and I was pretty sure Grayson would have time to take a few. Prepare to reap the benefits of that forethought, My Internet Peeps.

Here is Jakey right before they left the house on Wednesday night, flushed and dazed, breathing 89 times per minute:

And here is what he looked like in Triage (not appreciably different, but handclaps to Grayson for taking the picture. I owe it to him to post it. OH! And he had the pulse-ox monitor attached already.) And look, Aunt Debbie! I remembered to put socks on him. It IS December, after all:

Anyway, as for what happened when Jake was admitted, Grayson called around 1:30 a.m. to say that they were trying to find a bed for Jake in the step-down unit and he was going to come home and get some sleep.


To which I answered, "HELL, NO. I'm really not comfortable with that. I'm going to need you to stay there for the night, and I'll come take over after I take Nathaniel and Nicholas to school in the morning."

And there was some gnashing of teeth about sleeping upright in a chair in the waiting room, et cetera, et cetera, and some silence from me, et cetera, et cetera, and then it was decided. He was staying.

So Jake waited on a gurney for a while, playing with his New Toy, the lead line for his pulse-ox
monitor! Christmas came early, Mommy. Lots of fun was had.

He finally fell asleep on the gurney for about an hour:

Then they had to wake him up to go to step-down (the step-down unit from the ICU) around 3:30 a.m. The Happiest Child in the World kept busy by playing with boxes of petroleum jelly, a package of wipes and the lead lines to his resp monitors, and he had a little harem of nurses who were just captivated by him.

He fell asleep and rested well until morning, while Grayson "slept" in the waiting room until he could go back and see him around 8:45. (In step-down, you can visit the children during specified hours but have to take breaks, as well.)

I got there around 9:15 yesterday morning to relieve Grayson and was so glad to see Lit
tle Man. He was adorable, but looked tired and was still wheezy.

Jake was in the first bed as you enter the unit, and everyone who came in (about 15 people an hour) exclaimed over what a cute little "Welcome Wagon" he was and how great it was to come into the unit and see this "Little Linebacker" grinning hello to them. This is what it looked like when you came through the door:

As soon as you cleared the threshhold, you got a huge grin and sometimes a giggle (and some Peach drool):

Mid-morning yesterday we had a surprise visit from one of his daycare teachers, Ms. Ann, who brought him a balloon and a fuzzy blue bear that he loved. She and his other teacher, Ms. Faye, just couldn't STAND the thought of their Favorite Baby being in the hospital, so she had to come see for herself that he was really OK. He just lit up with joy when he saw her.

If I haven't mentioned it before, we are so fortunate to have such great child-care providers. They love all of our kids like they're their own. Ms. Ann drove 20 miles up to Children's to see him on her break, then went back to report to all the other concerned teachers. What sweet, sweet women!

After the visit from Ms. Ann, the day was a blur of vitals checks, doctors' rounds, meals, one short nap and weighing diapers. UNTIL Nurse Rebecca brought us THIS last night:

Still hooked up to his monitors, he went to town in that thing. And let me tell you, he entertained the ENTIRE UNIT for an hour while he played in the jumper. Parents of other kids kept coming by to watch him because he was such a little ray of light o
n the unit. In a million years, you would never have guessed that he was sick in the least:

About five minutes after I extracted him from the jumper, he spit up most of his supper, but I suppose it was worth it. Although my black T-shirt would beg to disagree.

Last night around 11:00 we finally got moved to a regular room on the floor, and aside from the hourly vitals/oxygen sats checks, Jakey and I had a "quiet" night in our own room
. Here are our new digs:

He slept well, considering the regular interruptions to his night ... he only woke up for the BP checks, and he went right back to sleep each time. What an angel!

This morning during rounds, the resident said he'd feel comfortable discharging him to come home with the Albuterol treatments to be administered as needed by us, but the attending had to sign off on the discharge orders first. He doesn't have the same "light" in his eyes this morning that he did last night ... seems a little more puny ... but I'll still be happy to have him home.

Grayson came in to relieve me around 9 a.m., and I stayed until 10:30 hoping to see the attending, but she didn't arrive before I had to leave. However, he just called and said they've been given the "All Clear" to leave, so I assume I'll be seeing them within the hour.

It was sort of surreal, taking this sort of a journey with Jake. When I think of how much worse it could have been, I shudder. Knowing that we had to wait for hours and hours to be moved to a "regular" room because the hospital was so full they had no room for us made me sad. Not sad for us, the family who would hopefully be leaving within 24 hours, but sad for all the families who wouldn't.

Walking the halls past all the Christmas trees, listening to the high-school carolers in the lobby, seeing handmade Christmas cards taped to the bottom of lots of the kids' beds ... it reminded me of visiting our friend Lydia Schuster there last Christmas, as she was battling leukemia. The Schusters were there for months, through Christmas and well into this year, before heading across the country to Seattle to beat the leukemia there, once and for all.

Little Lydia is healed now, against the 75% odds that she wouldn't survive. And the staff and doctors at Children's, both here and in Seattle, are largely to credit for that. Wonderful people, they are, and they took great care of us while we were there, even though our stay was among the shorter ones. We are so appreciative of them and of the Lord, who took care of Jakey!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support this week. And sorry for all the unanswered calls and e-mails over the last two days! Hopefully the pictures and videos make you feel like you didn't miss much, after all. Here's one more from Jakey to you!


Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light said...

Oh so sweet! He is just delicious!!!

Greer was admitted to children's when she was 5 weeks old (over Valentine's Day). It is so hard, and it really does make you grateful for a healthy family!!!

I am SOOOOO with you on the list, too! It is Right ON! If only I had had that before our little adventure and night in the ER waiting on a bed on the floor....yuck!!!

Prayers for a healthy Christmas, and REST!!

Patrice said...

Glad to hear he's okay. I've been following very closely. Seems like he handled it like a champ, though. Leave it to Jake to fake being sick just to get a little extra attention from some cute nurses. You better watch that one... he's gonna be trouble. :)

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Thanks, Megan! I didn't know Greer had had a hospital visit at an early age. I'm sure she was a trouper, too! Hope you have a healthy Christmas, too!

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Thanks, Patrice! You know how these Hilton men love to be surrounded by women tending to their every need. :) He was such a charmer, and it was sweet to see how well everyone responded to his cheerful personality!

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