Saturday, May 1, 2010

I need a spa day.

Not so much for the relaxation (although that would be welcome), but for aesthetics. Let's just say I've looked better in my life. At least I certainly hope so. I must have, right? I mean, someone married me, so that's a good sign. The hard part about that someone is that he gets scruffy and rumpled and looks hot while I just look, well, scruffy and rumpled. And I'm not sure it's okay for a girl to look that way.

Hospital life is hard on you in so many ways. You never really sleep, the air is so dry I can't even describe it, and it can be really depressing. And it's not even depressing just cause you're stuck in an ugly room all the time, but in a pediatric unit, you're surrounded by some very sick kids. During James' nap yesterday I sobbed for half an hour because I was listening to a little boy crying next door. He had no right hand or right foot, and his left leg was in a cast. He wanted his mommy to hold him (I'm not really sure why she wouldn't, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt) or he wanted to walk. It was heart wrenching and I was already feeling a bit emotional. Thankfully an old friend who is a nursing student stopped by for lunch and distracted me.

Most of the kids who were here when we got here are gone. That alone is a part depressing, because we are still here, and part happy because they are going home. It's still bittersweet though, because across the hall from us is the Bone Marrow Unit. So most of our neighbors have leukemia. I saw little Sarah when we first came in. She had long brown hair and was ridiculously cute. She went home today, which brought me to tears again (hey, I cry at So You Think You Can Dance and Plastic Makes it Possible commercials-this is no surprise). Her hair is mostly gone and mostly white. Her parents are some of the nicest people I have ever met. I know that even with all they go through, with their 5 kids at home and one on the way, they prayed and will continue to pray for James every day. Of course, the reason this is so bittersweet is that she will have to return for treatment, like so many of the kids we've seen and played with.

An amazing thing about UVA Children's Hosptial is that they have school here. There are 3 teachers available every day that hold different levels of school for patients and also siblings of patients. James goes to preschool most mornings for about an hour. We have a ton of fun with Ms. Chelsea blowing bubbles and singing songs. When kids are too sick to leave their rooms, the teachers go to each kid's room and play with them and try to engage them. When we first got here and James was in such a sorry state, Chelsea would ride by the room on a ridiculously small car and could even crack a smile out of my boy. I'll never forget that. This is only one of 4 hospitals in Virginia that has a program like this, and one of 16 in the country. We are so lucky to be here.

I feel like we've made so many friends here, especially with all of the incredible, unbelieveable nurses here. James is, of course, pretty famous. Mostly for his hair, but also just his crazy self. He has started running up to each nurse, smiles and says "up", and then climbs in their laps and proceeds to pelt away at their keyboard. Not one nurse has ever put him down to get their work done. They always pull up Nick Jr or a word document and let him take over. I'm working on getting pictures of him with each of his victims. :)

But I'm still ready to head home. Last night was James' first night to not vomit on the overnight feed. So we will increase him slowly and start daytime bolus feeds and hopefully get home next week. He is started on arithromycin (butchering spelling--I'll fix later) which is an antibiotic that's side effect is increasing gastric emptying. He won't have to be on it forever, but it seems to be working and we are very grateful. I'm not sure when, precisely, we will be home, but I'm banking on before Mother's Day and let me just say this: I have high expectations.

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