Tag Archives: hospital

Total Mommy Meltdown

17 Feb

“There’s no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids.”

― Stephen King

Finally after what seemed like hours of waiting in those little blue plastic chairs and watching cartoons on the Disney channel in the kids play room, the nurse called my name from the doorway.

“You can go back and see your daughter now. She’s awake, but we just got her into the recovery room. Normally I wait to bring families back until the kids have been there a little while, but since you work here I made an exception.”

I thanked her profusely for letting me go back early, but then was wishing she had waited a little bit longer as I rounded the corner and could hear Oli screaming at the top of her lungs from the end of the room.

I quickened my pace to get to her bedside and then looked at the recovery room nurse as she straightened out cords and tried to get her connected to the monitors.

“Aren’t you going to give her some pain medication?” I ask the obvious question when ones child has had surgery and then is screaming like they are still slicing off some major body part.

“Yes I’ll get her something in a minute.”

In a minute? Can’t you hear her pain? This purple color is not the normal hue of my daughter’s face.

I know what it’s like to be the nurse and have anxious parents breathing down my neck, but come on lady. I understand that you are busy and it is obviously important that you straighten out these cords (for some reason unknown to me), but give her something. I think she might be dying.

She finally untangles the last knot in the stream of medical cords and saunters off to get Oli pain medication.

By the time she came back I don’t think I had ever seen Oli quite the color that her face was now. I had no idea, until that moment, that human skin could turn that color. Her face had a kind of red, purplish tint that only the truly pissed off baby can become.

Now I am quite familiar with it. Now I know that when Oli turns that color I better get the hell out of her way in about 10 seconds because she may spontaneously combust. Or try to bite, scratch or beat me to death. Good thing my peanut is only 40lbs soaking wet and has yet to actually hurt me. ( She is usually very sweet. I promise… Except when she’s not. )

The nurse gave her some medicine and Oli eventually quieted down and went to sleep.

“This is normal. Sometimes children have that kind of reaction to the anesthesia. She should be better after a little while.” The obsessive compulsive nurse tells me.

“Okay.” I am thinking yes, I realize that, but it does not give me any comfort because I am watching my baby have a total and complete meltdown and therefore am well on my way to total meltdown phase myself. Watching her scream louder than I have ever heard her scream does not in any way feel “normal” to me.

However, thank you for trying to reassure me.

I don’t feel any better.

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The doctors opinion

1 Feb

“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.”

― Tim Burton

Continuing on our scavenger hunt, the woman from the blind foundation gave us another name. A pediatricians name. Oli had already seen one since leaving the hospital, but we were not impressed.

The opthamologist told us to make sure that Oli’s pediatrician drew labs to check her pituitary gland. She told us that she knew kids with microphthalmia commonly had abnormal pituitary glands and that it was imperative to check the labs.

Her first pediatrician just blew me off with an annoyed look when I asked for the labs to be drawn. Apparently this was a common attitude with this particular group of pediatricians.

Don’t we need to check her pituitary labs to make sure she doesn’t need medication? Don’t we need to check her growth hormone?

No. We don’t need to check them right now. We’ll just watch her and see what happens.

Watch and see what happens? She’s not a science experiment or an action movie! I don’t want to just watch and see what happens! I want answers!

We will just wait until after you see the geneticist and see what she says. I’ll wait for her recommendations.

There was only one pediatric genetic doctor for the entire Las Vegas valley. The waiting list to see her was 6-9 months long.

Don’t you think we at least need to do an MRI to take a better look at her brain? Don’t you need to draw chromosomes? I’m sure the geneticist will want chromosomes drawn. What about her kidneys? The doctors at the hospital said that you should refer us to recheck her kidneys.

No. I’m not going to order any tests.

By this point she was really annoyed with me for questioning her. She knew, that I knew, that she was uncomfortable taking care of Oli. She had no idea what to do for her.

I left that appointment feeling frustrated and bewildered that a doctor wouldn’t want to look further into what was going on with my daughter. Why didn’t she want to help her? Now what?

Then we went to the open house at the blind foundation and received the name of the perfect pediatrician for us and for Oli.

Dr. Rosemary Hyun.

The day of Oli’s first appointment she came in the room and sat down.

How are you doing?

(You can guess my answer.)

I’m fine. Thank you.

I’m glad that you were able to meet another family with a child like Oliana.

Yes. The mother of the boy gave us your name. We weren’t very comfortable with Oli continuing to see the first pediatrician we scheduled.

I’m glad you’re here. Let me just take a quick look at her and then we will discuss what tests need to be ordered and if there are any additional things you want ordered.

She was asking my opinion? Really?

I was so surprised. This doctor was actually considering what we needed as her parents. She was thinking like a parent herself. What would she want to know if it was her child. I probably don’t even need to say this but, for a doctor, this quality is very rare.

After she looked over Oli carefully she began to write down a list of tests and labs to be ordered. She asked us if we needed anything else. Then she handed us the slip of paper detailing everything that she had ordered.

Cardiologist appointment for an echo.

Endocrinologist appointment for labs.

Urologist appointment for her kidneys.

MRI of her brain.

Lab appointment to draw her chromosomes.

A follow up appointment with her.

A referral for the geneticist.

It seemed like an overwhelming amount of appointments. Especially, since I was used to seeing the doctor only once every 3-6 months with my son.

But I needed answers.

As I walked out of her office a startling realization hit me.

Was this how the families of my patients in the NICU felt when I sent them home?

When I discharged them from the hospital with a list of appointments, doctor names, medications, medical equipment, and specific feeding times.

Was this how they felt when I carried their baby through the sliding glass doors of the hospital, handed them the car seat and 15 plastic hospital bags containing all of the things they needed to keep their child alive and said “Good luck”!

My experience with Oli began to give me a whole different perspective and a new found respect for the families of my NICU babies.

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