Friday, November 7, 2008

On a clearer mind...

The world looks a lot different after two consecutive days of 7 hours' sleep, let me tell you. It's actually pretty amazing. I still have a nice stress headache working right at the base of my skull, but I'm considerably less grumpy than I have been.

I'm not saying that I'm not grumpy, mind. Just that I'm less grumpy.

The nurses at CHoP have been fine. I don't mean to imply that they've been negligent or inattentive or anything. They've been sweet and knowledgeable for our entire stay. Granted, they've paid a little more attention to our roommates, but that's to be expected in the current circumstance. Our first roommate was the youngest of three kids, and mom had to go home at night to take care of the other two and go to work in the morning. That left the baby (5 months old) by herself for a lot of the time, and that's really, really difficult for everyone. I know that if we had left The Boy alone at 5 months old, he would have screamed like a banshee for the entire time we were gone. Our second roommate, who came in on Thursday morning at 1:00AM, was a late-night admission, so the mother got no sleep at all until she fell asleep from 8 o'clock to around noon or 1 o'clock. The annoying thing about that was the people that would call the room telephone and let it ring 12 or 13 times, disturbing everyone except the sleeping lady. (Telephones wake The Boy up quite easily.)

Folks, if you're calling a hospital room and they don't pick up after three or four rings, hang up. Particularly if there's a roommate in the room.

It just reminds me how lucky we are, to be in a situation where one of us, always, can drop everything we're doing to spend time with The Boy at the hospital. We never have to leave him alone, and we never have to leave him unsupervised and under a nurse's care. The nurses at St. Barnabas and at CHoP are caring and attentive; but, they miss stuff. They miss discomfort. If attention isn't drawn by someone else, they can miss vomiting and pain for a long time. They can make mistakes when it comes to medicines and doseages. If someone is there, then those mistakes are lessened or eliminated, and important stuff (like The Boy puking up stomach fluids because they weren't suctioning them out for 12 hours or so) gets handled quickly and efficiently.

I'm not casting judgement on those other two mothers - Faith's mom (who had two other kids) had to take care of the rest of her family and her job. Jada's mother probably was running on pure adrenaline for the 12 hours prior to Jada being put in the ICU. I'm just thanking G-d that we have the option of staying with The Boy the whole time.

The advantages CHoP has over St. Barnabas: Playstation 2's in every room; little cans of soda and Oreos in the food pantry on the hospital floors; diet Dr. Pepper in the soda machines; my cell phone actually works; Chai Lifeline r00lz. Advantages St. Barnabas has over CHoP: less bureaucratic issues (by a LOT); more friendly doctors and nurses; free parking; 90 minutes less drive; the child life specialist stops in daily and says hi, even in ICU; the patient representatives stop in and say hi a couple of times per day, even in ICU; sister-in-law in accounting and one of my chorus guys' stepmoms works in the main building. Plus, the Valerie Fund Center totally pwns anything at CHoP that I've seen.

(Definitions: pwns - pronounced like "owns" with a p in front of it, "powns," not like gowns - means totally dominates, kills, wipes out. Usually used by online gamers to describe whipping up on somebody. r00lz - pronounced rules - stronger version of the word "rules")

I want to get the doctor's appointment over with quickly - although it will be nice to have access to a new asthma doctor, I hope. I love Dr. Weber in Glen Ridge - he's great, but that's 50 minute drive in a time where I can't drive there. I'm having breathing issues this week (thanks so much, change of seasons) and would like to stop them.

I'm nervous about marching band, because I've been gone for the better part of a week. I don't know where they are or what they're doing. I don't want to be a sink, particularly in the all-important last big rehearsal before championships.

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