Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Month of Stuff, aka "When Life Gives you Lemons..."

I've been wanting to post something over the past month, but have not had the time due to a variety of things.  There have been several ups and downs, all the while my stress levels have not seen a decrease.  So, here's a brief summation:

Up - Smurf 3 finally came home!  He is on several medications but we're able to maintain them and keep track of what's needed at what times.  He is more alert and active than he was in the hospital, and his siblings are CONSTANTLY checking on him.  When I say checking, I mean they: talk to him, hug him, kiss him, want to hold him, read to him, rub his head, give him his bottle/pacifier, etc.  It's a little overwhelming at time, and we have to continue reminding Smurf 1 and 2 to give him some space.

Down - I've noticed that since he's been home it's been hard for my wife to get into a rhythm with the other two Smurfs.  She spends most of her time with Smurf 3 (which is expected), so i'm monitoring the others.  This means I do most of the homework, cooking, cleaning, laundry, bathing, and bedtime with them.  So of course if she reprimands them or gives directions, they ask me if they can do it (which bugs both of us).  I'm trying to keep them to a routine and integrate Smurf 3 into it, but because he hadn't been home long we have to worry about his health and safety.  ugh.

Down - the hospital we were at sucked.  Well, the hospital itself was okay, but the nursing staff in the NICU sucked.  If you ever have a young child that needs to go to a hospital, DO NOT take them to a teaching hospital.  I don't care what kind of experts they have, the day-to-day pains of dealing with ignorant, crappy, and uncaring nurses is not worth it.  They get rotated each shift, so it was rare to have the same nurse two days in a row.  That sucked because they wouldn't know Smurf 3 and would try things that, if they had been there before, would know did not work with him.  Or they were lazy and didn't care (or at least gave that appearance).  There was one nurse who was so lazy that she spent the entire time on the computer doing a wedding registry.  Luckily my wife was able to sit there all day with him, so she was able to advocate for Smurf 3 and call the nurses out on what they were doing.  If it wasn't for her, they would not have moved as fast or informed us of what was going on.  The staff there (doctors and nurses) would try to talk around or over my wife regarding care and progress instead of with her, and so she started speaking up and dictating what they would and would not do.  If she hadn't, he would have had several unnecessary procedures and probably would still be sitting there. If possible I do not ever want to go there again.

Up - No jealousy from the siblings.  As I mentioned earlier, they are constantly checking on him and want to help take care of him.  I haven't seen any signs of jealousy; it makes  me proud. However...

Down - they do worry about him.  Each day I pick up the Smurfs from school they ask if he's still at home or the hospital.  If he coughs or make a noise, both immediately stop whatever they are doing to check on him.  They are diligent that he gets his medications as well (remember, they are only 3 & 4).  It makes me sad that they worry about him because of the lengthy hospital stay, and at their age they should be having more fun than worries.  This leads into the next thing...

Down - Today we had to take Smurf 3 to the ER.  He was having some fast breathing for the past two days, and this morning while drinking a bottle he started crying again.  He then turned purple and had trouble breathing.  I tried to clear his airway and give pats on the back, but they didn't work. My wife did rescue breaths while I called 911, which seemed to work immediately.  At the hospital every test is turning up negative (which is no surprise given his history), lungs were clear, heart was strong, etc.  They suspect an upper respiratory infection because he did have some mucus and required oxygen for saturation and reduce his respiration rate.  So right now he's in PICU at the hospital with my wife.  I'm at home with the other two Smurfs and had to explain to them why he was in the hospital.  I told them he got sick and the doctors wanted to check him and let him stay for a few days to make sure he was no longer sick.

Up and Down - Vising the hospital was fine for the Smurfs.  They actually took it in stride and asked a few questions; otherwise they did not act bothered.  After the visit, however, Smurf 1 told me he was nervous about going because he thought Smurf 3 was going to look bad.  Smurf 2 just processed the situation by talking out loud to me and her brother was asking for reassurance.  That really broke my heart to hear the both of them, but I reassured them that everything is okay.

Up - My wife is holding up better than I am.  She was freaking out when he turned blue, but working together helped her out.  She said she's now just hanging out there with him, watching t.v. and waiting.  Also, the doctors at the hospital (which is the one we prefer) have been upfront with everything, asked questions, gave information, and have been receptive to feedback.  Right now it's a waiting game until he is well enough to go home.  Me, i'm a basketcase because i'm not there.  However, it's easier for me to be with the other two Smurfs because we have a routine that works for us.  If I was at the hospital I would annoy the hell out of everyone with constant questions. Plus, I cannot sit still for any length of period unless i've got busy work.

Up and Down - no idea what i'm going to do for work.  As is, with doctor appointments, Smurf 3 coming home, and keeping up the home (which still looks awful) I'm not doing as much work as I should to bring in money.  Since my job ends soon, I need to figure out what i'm going to do to at least have some income.  However, I've gotten to the point where I just don't care and have decided not to stress about it.  If i work, I work; if not, then "oh well." 

I've been reciting a hilarious rant in my head to keep me sane over the past month. It works some of the times, but I should probably replace it.  It's Cave Johnson from Portal 2.  It's a rant about life giving you lemons and what to do with them.  I'm going to keep trying to keep my head above water and not go crazy on someone (although I did come close today).  Wish me luck.