We Are in the Hospital

January 10, 2008

Tuesday I slept in. Zach was not feeling well, I had 2 non-consecutive hours of sleep Sat night, and Sun was only a little better. I dropped the ladies at pre-school about five minutes late then took Tommy and Zach to Zach’s well-baby appointment at 9:15. By 9:45 we were checking into the hospital with two X-rays and a nose swab under our belts.

Zachie has RSV, pneumonia and also a secondary infection. I kept Tommy with me until 3:30 in the hospital room. Can you imagine being in a hospital room for five-and-a-half hours with a sick 2 month-old and a healthy 18 month-old? We played drive-the-tractor, lose-the-puzzle-pieces and shred-the-toilet paper. The emergency room let us take their “Easy Button” and we about wore it out. The kitchen gave us two noon meals, including Jello for Tommy. “Gave” is probably the wrong word to use here. I dashed home find that Husband had got upwards of 60 pounds of free baby carrots from work. At least I don’t have to wonder what to do with them.  I managed to line up our once-a-week nanny, pack, orchestrate my hospital entertainment and child care for everyone else over the course of half an hour. I got back to the hospital in time for the doctor to tell me we wouldn’t be leaving until noon on Friday, or later.

I brought Zach’s baby quilt, which I am about done with now, The Secret Garden to read, (I am out of unread books at home) and my cell phone manual. I spent the first night learning how to text message better.  I also brought the laptop, thinking I could write, or organize my files.  The Dr told me two months ago they didn’t have wireless.


This was as far as he opened his eyes Tuesday.

We got a single room, and a bassinette like when Zach was born. This is a small hospital, there are maybe 25 or so rooms. I recognize most of the nursing staff from my stay two months ago. They remember us too. We have a banner claiming “ISOLATION” outside the door. This means most hospital personnel who come in have a mask and hazmat gown. Zach is on an IV and also oxygen. He has bandages on both “elbow pits” from blood draws and owies on the back of both hands where they tried to put a port in. They also tried twice on his head before they got it in. Poor little guy. Someone comes in every four hours to do breathing treatments on him with some kind of vapor, Chemistry 101 escapes me.

Wednesday, after the best night’s sleep I have had since I don’t even remember when, I was awakened at 5:00. A hospital is no place to sleep, we had people come in five times that night! Zach was put on glucose, since he wasn’t nursing well. As the day progressed, that changed, and he made up for several days’ worth of feedings by eating pretty much full time from lunch to bed time. Zachie sounds like he is breathing backwards through a harmonica. Mom and my Stepdad came to watch the other kiddos, because Husband has a business meeting out of town Thursday. The whole tribe came to visit, for half an hour that evening. I had bought a bag of Cheetos, so my bedding has small hand shaped orange spots all over it. Kinda makes the place seem homey.

I learned this evening how to control the TV volume. We had it on extremely low. I accidentally noticed the dial on the bed thing, and realized I could adjust it. Cool! Since we have no cable, I miss out on some of the cultural things going on in society. Things I like to have a passing knowledge about, like “Sex in the City.” I got to see that for the first and probably last time. I also got to watch “Monk,” which I liked. I won’t watch anything with a crawler. I panic because I can’t not watch the words. I am a compulsive reader.  I have the same problem with subtitles, even if they are another language.  It took me until Thursday at 8:00 p.m. to figger out I had wireless.  Oh the time I could have wasted.  Seems like I need to be a little more observant of my surroundings.

Thursday, I slept in until 7:00. Oh my gosh it was wonderful. Right before I went to bed, around midnight Tues night, I moved Zach to my bed, because he was not happy in the bassinette, and managed to pull out the glucose line and cause him to bleed all over my bed. That was awful. The nurses keep saying that they want to use the same port site as long as possible. I guess I didn’t do any harm to that, but I sure felt bad for him, and he felt bad too. I slept great after that though. I must be running on fumes to be able to sleep through someone taking my kid out of my bed to give him breathing treatments. Personally, I hate to sleep where other people can see me. I stayed awake the whole time on the plane to and from Hawaii. I seem to be over that problem.

We have special garbage containers in our room, for all the stuff they put on. I made a comment to the cleaning guy about how much waste is leaving our room. He weighed it and we are using about five pounds of gowns/gloves/diapers/medical packaging a day. The respiratory therapist made a joke about the food here, and while it is not what one would expect from a high class restaurant, I didn’t have to cook it, so I won’t complain. It is definitely down home style cooking, and there is nothing wrong with it. I have had both beets and spinach for vegetables, nothing fresh though.

Dad and Nanny came to visit for an hour today. They are on their way through for some kind of meeting somewhere. They kindly brought me the Christmas gift I had given them, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. I was not done reading it when I had to wrap it. I should have plenty of time now, since the quilt is almost done, and The Secret Garden is pretty short. I sent the quilt home with Mom, so she can get the binding ready for me to attach. I have a hard time not doing anything, even watching TV for very long.

Later, Mom brought the ladies for a brief visit. We all used the stethoscope on Zach, and when the Cheetos ran out they left. Shortly after that, the port gave out and the nurses had to remove all the tape from Zach’s hair. I left when they put in the new port. After supper we had another guest. The Dr said he his thinking we might go home tomorrow afternoon, maybe.  I tried to upload video of Zachie breathing, but I couldn’t get it to work.  I will try again before I leave this wireless haven and return to my prehistoric dialup.


 Notice the Cheetos, Mom can actually be bribed with them.                                      


 Looking a little better.

This begs the question, what happened?  How could my kid get so sick without me knowing it?  I knew he was sick when we went to the Dr.  The appointment was the reason I didn’t take him in Monday.  Sunday, a friend told us his daughter had RSV, but we didn’t touch him, or anything he touched, and she wasn’t around.  I understand that the child needs to be present for the disease to move from one to another.  God, I hope so, I visited my cousin’s baby in the hospital!  Zach stayed home.  I guess the only thing weird, other than what I thought was a cold, was the fact that Zach had foamy drool.  Sorry about the technical jargon, but that is it.  When it dried, it looked a little like egg whites.  He was breathing a little rough, but all of my kids were snuffley at that age.  Hmm.

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