Archive | 8:09 pm

Don’t Put Me In The Room With The Big Comfy Couch!

5 Mar

When I approached the information desk and made eye contact with the woman behind it I must have looked a little “frazzled”. When I asked her if Oli was out of surgery yet she must have sensed my panic, noticed my tightly clenched fists, or saw me on the verge of crying because she immediately went to check for me. She even bypassed pretending to know how to work the phone or computer.

She came back a very long 5 minutes later and said “No. She is still back there, but they will be done soon. She’s doing just fine.”

“Oh okay. Thank you. I knew everything was fine, but you know…..well, I had to check because you see, she’s blind and autistic and has this rare gene deletion, so we don’t really know a whole lot about it and this gene caused her eyes not to develop so she wears prosthetic ones and she started having seizures in 2011 and…..”

Crap. I lost her.

She’s “working on the computer” now and trying to politely get me to go sit down.

What?

You don’t want to hear Oli’s life story?

Are you sure?

I can tell it 2.5 minutes if I talk really fast and run all my sentences together.

No?

Whatever. You’re missing out on a really good moment of mommy-gone-mad. Especially since I didn’t sleep last night. It’s an even better show when I don’t sleep. I’m much more likely to cry and then burst into fits of uncontrolled laughter.

Oh well. Your loss. That’s some quality entertainment your missing out on.

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You better believe that I sat my butt down in the nearest chair and did not move until that pager lit up and vibrated.

I finished my much needed cup of coffee, checked my Facebook (thanks for the prayers guys!) and waited.

6 hours later…..no, it wasn’t really that long. It just felt like it. They called my name and walked me back to another little waiting room.

This one was WAY better. It had a nice big squishy couch, a table and chairs, a little TV….

Wait!

No!

I don’t want to be in this nice room!

This looks like a “bad news room”!

You never give parents bad news in uncomfortable chairs. That’s just plain mean. You give them bad news in rooms with big comfy couches and little TV’s. Rooms with a circular table and chairs for having “discussions”.

I want to go back to that other room! I want to go sit in those crappy vinyl covered chairs with the fish again! NEMO! HELP!
images (16)

“Make yourself comfortable. The audiologist will be with you soon.” The volunteer tells me.

Make myself comfortable? I am going to get the worse news of my life, well….the second worse, behind “Your baby is blind, do you have any questions?” It will be the same. “Your daughter is deaf, do you have any questions?” I should call the School for the Deaf right now and just get this ball rolling. No need to waste time…Good thing I have my Tab, I’ll just Google it.

I mean…the news cannot possibly be good. This couch is just way too comfortable.

Maybe I’ll hold off just a minute. Google will be there in 5 minutes. Maybe I’ll take a nap.

I’m feeling a little over-tired and the craziness has begun to set in quite rapidly.

Luckily I did not have to wait long enough to be able take a nap. (Well I guess it wasn’t so lucky for everyone else that had to deal with me the rest or the day.) The audiologist walked in and sat down.

Uh-oh. She’s sitting. Number one rule of doctors and nurses: always sit and be at eye level when delivering bad news to parents.

Stand up lady! Stand up!

“The results of Oli’s hearing screen were 100% normal. She has perfect, beautiful hearing. No problem.” She doesn’t give me the chance to spin out of control with panic.

“Really?” I exhale for the first time all morning.

“She’s fine. But her eardrum on the right is still not moving well. I think that it’s probably just scarred and thickened from having so many infections in it and then rupturing. It DOES NOT affect her hearing. She can hear you just fine.” She explains.

SHE CAN HEAR! OLI CAN HEAR!

To say that I was ecstatically, fantastically, wonderfully, overjoyed…would be an understatement.

I now knew, 100% without a doubt, that my sweet girl can hear me.

imagesCATLF7OC
(I know how to carry on. I just do not know how to keep calm while doing it.)

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Don’t Go And Get Coffee While Your Child Is In Surgery

5 Mar

If you can’t laugh at yourself, nothing else seems very funny. -me

As soon as the nurse’s walked out of the doorway carrying Oli, I began to cry. Some of the tears were shed from fear. That irrational fear that I would never see her again. Fear that the audiologist would walk back into the room and tell me that her hearing on the right was lost. Fear that she felt alone and scared. Some of the tears were shed because I was just sad because she is so young and has been through so much. No child should have to go through the things that Oli has had to go through. And the rest of the tears were shed because I am a mother. What mother wouldn’t cry if her child has surgery? What mother doesn’t cry when their child has anything that she can’t fix herself?

I waited in the pre-op room until the ENT came back to talk to me about his recommendations for putting tubes in her ears. He walked back into the room about 20 minutes later.

“She does not need tubes in her ears again at this time. They were perfectly clear. No sign of infection and no fluid. I was surprised. I’ll keep a close eye on them and we’ll see if they stay clear.”

I was surprised too! Usually when she has a runny nose and goopy eyes (which is did that morning) she also has fluid in her ears. I thanked him for his time and gathered my things to go wait in the surgery waiting room until they called me for the results of the hearing screen.

I walked back out to sit in those very uncomfortable waiting room chairs. Who designs these waiting rooms? It’s like they said, “What kind of chairs should we put in here? We know that these parents are nervous, afraid, and will be unable to sit still while they wait for hours for their child to get out of surgery. You know what would be the best idea for chairs in here? Hard, plastic ones with a thin vinyl covering with just enough padding to avoid bruising and corporate complaints. Why make this process any easier by providing sufficient butt comfort? Oh… and let’s put a few gazillion gallon fish tanks in here. Who isn’t comforted by Nemo and Dory? And make sure to build the cafeteria at least 5 miles from here. It’ll give them something to do.”

“Sounds like a great idea Bob! I have one more! Make sure the person at the information desk is at least 100 years old, has no idea where anything is located and can’t work the computer or the phone. Parents will think that’s hilarious and won’t be at all frustrated or annoyed.”

Before the ENT left the room and sent me to this wonderful waiting area he said that the audiologist would come find me in the waiting room sometime between 1 hour and next Tuesday to tell me the results of the ABR. They gave me this little blue pager that was supposed to light up and vibrate when Oli was done. I had to keep it with me just in case they couldn’t get a hold of me by my cell phone. I really wanted to go get a cup of coffee, but I hated the thought leaving the waiting room. What if the little blue pager only works within a certain distance from the surgery area? I doubted it would work 5 miles away and in an underground cave-like area, which is where the cafeteria was located. I seriously doubted that my cell phone would work there either. My cell phone only works half the time, above ground in my apartment.

I spent the next 10 minutes having an inner debate about coffee.

Did I really need it? My butt was really starting to hurt already. Maybe a little stroll would take my mind off imaginary surgical catastrophe situations. No, I can’t go. What if Oli needs me? What if the pager and the cell phone fail and something happens that requires the one thing that no nurse, doctor, tech, therapists, specialist, aide, helper, or 100 year old woman can help with. What if it can only be fixed by my immediate action or Oli will die? I don’t need coffee that bad. Wait…that would never happen. Oli’s fine and in good hands. I will only be gone a little while.

I decide to make a go of it and fast-walked my way out of the waiting room. My pager and cell phone were clutched tightly in one hand. A few weeks later I stumbled back into the waiting room, pager and cell phone non-vibrating, lit, or ringing. I sat down and glanced at the brown card attached to the pager. It was directions on how to use the pager. Aaaaa….I had been in enough restaurants (pre-children) to know how to use one. I didn’t bother reading the card when they gave me the thing. I read it now.

________Do not place pager and cell phone in direct contact. The pager may not work properly if this happens._____________

What?!

I was holding onto them both in the same hand!

Oh My God!! Something terrible has happened and I was GETTING F****** COFFEE IN EGYPT!!

I rushed the old lady at the information desk.

“My daughter Oli is in surgery. I went to go get coffee and I had my cell phone and the pager on me, but I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to put them in the same place because I didn’t read the card because, you know, I thought I knew how to work one, but then I got back and I read the little card and now I think you probably definitely tried to get a hold of me but my cell phone doesn’t work very well and of course the pager didn’t work because I had it in THE SAME FLIPPIN’ HAND AS MY CELL PHONE, STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE I HAVE LOST MY MIND AND TELL ME MY DAUGHTER IS OKAY!!”

Of course I didn’t really say any of this. They might not let me take Oli home with me. I steadied my trembling hands, took a deep breath, and said “Can you tell me if Oliana is out of surgery yet?”

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