Posts Tagged: hospital

Jan 12

Deep breath

I owe my husband a debt of gratitude because not only did he keep a cool and level head on Saturday evening (when we took Anna into the ER with labored breathing), but he also slept (ha! like anyone actually sleeps in the hospital) right by Anna’s side all that night, while I had a restful 8 hours of solid sleep at home by myself.

Anna had a cold that did the thing that it always does with her–it went to her chest and lungs and triggered asthmatic breathing. We are used to that. We have all the tools to deal with that here at home: an inhaler, a nebulizer, Albuterol, Pulmicort (for when it gets really bad). What was different this time? We suspect that her little body got so dehydrated during the day on Saturday that it just wasn’t as strong as it needed to be. We couldn’t get on top of her symptoms at home, so in the car we went with our sick girl to Goleta Cottage Hospital ER, where they gave us prompt, courteous, and extremely helpful attention. Poor girl, there were so many things that were traumatic for her: just being in the hospital, getting an Xray, having an IV line placed (probably one of the funniest things here was when the nurse approached her with the alcohol swab and she started screaming “I DON’T WANT A SHOT! NO SHOTS!!!!!” like he was going to poke her with that little square of wetness), then the transfer to downtown and the night in the hospital). She’s a trooper and we knew she had definitely turned the corner when she asked (Oh, this is embarrassing and you have to know she has only had them ONE time before in her entire life!) for some Chicken McNuggets (of course we got them for her! She hadn’t eaten in more than 24 hours!). The prednisone sure has changed her appetite around!

After one sleepless night in the hospital, she was discharged, along with her prednisone, her inhaler, and her medications for the nebulizer. I, for one, am counting down the hours until the prednisone has left her system as it has made her not only ravenous (which is fine, I’m happy to provide food for my teensy one) but also agitated and, how do I best put this?, pretty damned bitchy. She woke us up at 4 am screaming that we had to bring her books and turn on her light because she could. not. sleep! BRING ME BOOKS RIGHT NOW! When we went to try and calm her down, she tried to throw things at us and started running around the house, still screaming. I took her lamp away (mistake? It was hard to back down after I threw down the gauntlet that there would be no reading of books at 4 am) and then that turned into her insistence that the lamp be returned. Right now. Immediately. And if I wouldn’t give it back, she would get it back herself (also humorous: watching her try and reach into one of the highest cupboards in our house with her 6″ tall stepstool). So that was fun. Especially because this all happened just 20 minutes or so before Adam’s alarm clock went off (he had a 6 am flight this morning).

But, the main point here is that she is breathing a lot better and thank goodness for that. It was scary for me to see her struggling to breathe. And I am thankful for medical personnel being there when we need them. What a relief to walk into the ER and have them say, Let me take you right back. What a relief to know that that is there.

These times of sickness are the trenches of parenting. The moments where you buck up and put your head down and run into the storm. Where you put on your battle armor and prepare. They are intense, they are heart pounding, and they scare the crap out of me so thank goodness we are on the path to wellness now. Deep breath.

Sep 08

STILL waiting

We still don’t know anything.

Since my surgery was so late on Friday afternoon, the pathologist didn’t get a chance to get things going until today (Monday). Which means that we don’t really have any firm answers, won’t really have any firm answers, until tomorrow.

My oncologist, sweet man that he is, apologized profusely (for something that is not his fault), asked if there is anything he can do for me in the meantime (answer: not really). He does say that, unofficially, he suspects Hodgkins lymphoma (actually a better diagnosis than non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma) but we will find out for sure tomorrow afternoon. Our appointment is at 4 pm. After that appointment, we’ll have a diagnosis and a treatment plan. We’ll know better what to expect.

In the meantime, well, there’s nothing to do but more waiting. My stomach is doing flipflops.

Sep 08


Nose Picking Anna
Just to make you laugh, my daughter the nose picker. Taken earlier today in my hospital room.

Sep 08

Post surgery

I’m happy to be out of surgery. And guess what? I got my own, private room finally! yay!

Me and my neck bandage. I’m a bit sore but looking forward to some pain medication soon. I think they’re going to release me in the next couple of hours. It will be bliss to be back home.

Right before the surgery I was starting to get all kinds of antsy because it was delayed and delayed and delayed…..and then there was so much traffic in my shared room, people talking and tv blaring and I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink ALL DAY (and it was late afternoon by then) and I started crying because I just had the enormity of all of this hit me. It is all well and good to pretend that everything’s fine, I’m just taking a vacation in a place that measures my urine output, but, in the end, can’t fool myself….I’m in a place that is trying to make sure that I don’t die of this thing that is currently eating my body. And that is just freaking scary. So, I was crying and shaking and feeling weird and just wanted to get the hell out of there but an Ativan helped get me back on even keel, which was just about the time they finally brought the gurney to take me down to surgery.

Mom and Adam came down with me to the Pre-Op center and stayed with me while I answered all the questions again and again (what is your name? DOB? What are they going to do to you again in there?). Then they let me pee and got me settled on the bed, and wheeled me into the operating room. I don’t remember much beyond bright lights, being scooted onto the table (which was COLD!) and the anesthesiologist telling me he was going to give me something to relax me and make me drowsy. And boy did it. Next thing I know someone was rudely trying to wake me up from a lovely dream. Sigh.

I had a sweetheart of a nurse in the recovery room, a cancer survivor herself, who gave me an angel pin and told me that my angels were always around me and to be strong and that I would beat this thing. I find myself getting pep talks everywhere I go now. And, oddly enough, even though this is something that might previously have annoyed me, I am finding myself calmed and comforted by the murmurings and preachings of strangers. Why, yes, I think, I do believe there are angels around, angels everywhere. Look at all my angels….all these angels in my life. And the best thing about these angels is that I can touch and see and hug them and kiss them. My angels bring me flowers and smoothies and pictures of their children and of us during good times. They make me laugh and the wipe my tears when I cry. My angels are always with me.

Thank you, my dear angels, family angels, friend angels, friends of friends and families of friends, and friends of family, and my girls….all of you….my angels.

XOXO to all of you!

Sep 08

Pictures from the hospital

Self-portrait, Anna and I

I’ve been feeling this burning desire to take pictures, to somehow prove that this is happening, to have documented proof so that I can be sure I’m not just having some strange dream from which I never wake. Mom brought her camera this morning, so with that and with PhotoBooth on my Mac I’ve got some things to see. Please don’t be offended by my appearance: no makeup, haven’t washed hair in a couple of days, etc. Sheesh. If cancer isn’t a good excuse, I don’t know what is.

Anna wasn’t sure about taking pictures at first, but she eventually warmed up a bit, as you can see by the picture at the top of this page. My sister and Mom are also in the room, along with my lovely flowers. I’m trying to get a little video I took to work, too!

I’ve had lots of visitors today, but didn’t take pictures of them all. Here are just a couple.

Sister Liz, Anna, and I

Mom and Anna

Friend Kristy, Anna, and I

Adam sharing a bite of food with Anna

Andy, Sasha, Stasi, Jill, and Todd

Nov 06

Anna’s first outing

Yesterday we did something amazing: we left the house.

After a brief struggle with the carseat (which Anna totally and completely slept through), we (Adam, Jen, Anna, and Nana Jean) drove to Cottage Hospital so that we could get Anna’s Newborn Screening done.

After all my stress about having to go to the hospital, it was so easy!

Anna slept almost the entire time. She only cried briefly during the procedure (didn’t like getting her foot squeezed) and we were in and out of there really quickly. All of the reception people and the phlebotomist were quite amazed that she had been born at home–I guess they don’t get too many babies like that in there!

Picture below is of Adam struggling with the car seat; the picture above is of Anna sleeping peacefully in her seat. Good girl, Anna!