Hospital Fun. Ugh.

Laelia did better at skipping breakfast and lunch than I thought she would. She just kept looking at us like we forgot something. Then when we packed up her stuff to leave, she really was barking at us. We were pretty good at distracting her during the two hour wait before surgery. We had to meet with the anaesthesiologist, surgeon’s fellow and head nurse. Then we changed her into her hospital gown and I tried to control my tears.

They asked who would carry her to surgery and Charley responded, “Her mother,” faster than I could say, “I think I’m going to throw up.” :) I went to the restroom and did just that.  After that I got on a mask, hair covering and gown of my own. Then I carried my confused little baby into the surgery room. I set her on the table and tried to calm her as they put the gas mask to her face. I wasn’t doing well so they kicked me out while she was still crying and struggling against the mask. It wasn’t the way I wanted to leave things, but I was about to pass out.

The waiting began. Then everyone was distracting  me, although I demanded more than peek-a-boo and stuffed animals. We waited for a billion years which actually turned out to be a little less than three hours. Then the surgeon came to tell us how it went. He said it went well and he only had to use one pin. He also decided to only work on three toes once he was in there. We’ll see how that will turn out. Then he said that she should wake up in about 45 minutes and one parent could see her at that time.

Then we went back and waited again. This time I was going crazy. I had written on EVERY form I filled out that day that I wanted to be there the second she woke up (or even as she woke up), and was terrified that she would wake up and be alone and  terrified.

Then almost an hour later they called on the loud speaker for one parent of Laelia Wesley to go to recovery. So I left and went to recovery. AND NO ONE WAS THERE!!! I said, “Hello?!” in the worst, shaking voice, and  NO ONE  answered. Then I ran around the hall looking for another room marked recovery. Then I  stopped two medical-type-looking menfolk walking down a hall and started panicking as I said, “My daughter! Where is she??! She was in surgery and now she’s not and.. WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER?!!” They directed me down a hall which turned out to be WRONG! Then I found another medical-type women (who I yelled at), and she directed me down a hall that ended at a door marked “hospital staff only” with no way to open it without a pass. And at this same exact  moment I heard  some little ones crying on the other side, and  recognized one of those voices as my daughter. (I turned out to be  right, but  couldn’t know it for sure  at the time.)  So I began to pound on the door like a crazy woman. And I mean POUND. I tried to tear the door apart with my bear hands as my dad and sister  (who finally came out to help me) backed away with a scared sort of look. Then someone came out and directed me back to the original room (now occupied with people), and showed me down a hall I didn’t see before to a window I was suppose to divine was where I waited for someone to notice me. Then I was told in a harsh tone, “Stay here,” as that women disappeared down another door for hospital staff only. I think my Christian  response was something to the effect of,    “Like hell I’m staying here.”   So I followed her and pushed my way in. Then finally a nurse asked who I was here for (and said it like I was about to kidnap everyone in the room) and I said, “Laelia,” and  they took me to my baby. Once I saw her I started balling. I got control of myself before I approached the bedside of my pitiful-looking child. When the harsh-toned nurse asked if I was “okay” in a  tone that spoke volumes, I went off on a diatribe, “No, your incompetent, idiotic  staff…”  in a cooing tone while looking at my child and brushing her hair with my hand. I pretty much told  the nurse  off while hushing my child. I had  Laelia in my arms within moments  (which was hard with the wires and leg cast) and she immediately calmed down. Then the nurse said I needed to put her back on the bed so they could wheel her to long-term recovery,  to which I simply replied, “No.”  So the nurse  then went to another nurse and switched out. (See, I’m scary!) The new, slightly intimidated nurse asked if I would like to be wheeled into the other room in a wheelchair while I held my daughter. That’s better. I made sure to be incredibly sweet and nice to this new nurse. “I like you,” I responded, trying not to smile because I would show too many teeth and scare her away too. :)

I guess Charley had the same experience as me when they finally called for other family. He came out and announced himself to the first person he saw with a clipboard, and was given a dirty look as that person took off. Then he just planted until we found him. Stupid system. Retarded!

The thing I had worried about was that Laelia would freak out when waking up without her mom. Well, sad to say, I was right. Her heart rate climbed so high that she worried the staff. When I came in and she saw me, her heart rate immediately went down. When I went to the other side of the bed to pick her up, there was a moment when I was out of view and all her monitors started beeping loudly as her heart rate jumped up to 190! (100-120 is normal.) Then when she saw me again and I lifted her into my arms, her heart rate dropped down to normal. Now imagine being asked to put her back in the bed after that! But I was a good girl and didn’t kill the nurse. :)

Once in the long-term recovery room I noticed just  how out-of-it my baby looked. But she was alive. And surgery was over. And she was in my arms.

She had a rocky start after that. Her oxygen was too low (making everything beep and a doctor run in), then her pulse  was too high. Well, REALLY too high. It jumped up every single time I stopped physically touching her.  At one point I put her in the bed and noticed both my legs and the arm she had been resting on were all  asleep. So I had to put her in the hospital crib, but I  leaned my whole self over her with my other arm under her and rubbed her tummy and chest  with my free, rather numb hand. (It was a weird sensation to remove  my hand from  my daughter’s chest and at that same moment have two monitors punish me by  beeping loudly! Her whole system was only going to behave if I was loving on her.)  The thing that shocked me was how much pain she was in. She was so confused and scared. It was hard to see. I’ve never seen her like this. Her oxygen was making me dizzy and my back was killing me, but I didn’t realize it at the time. Only when Charley  came back from his trip to the apartment and took over did I realize I had been standing and hunched over in that position for five hours.

After that I threw up again and had other bad side effects from worrying. I’m  realizing more and more than I’m a weakling when it comes to this stuff.

She said her first words around 8:45 PM. She looked at me clearly (she had been pretty hazy up until this point) and said something like, “Ga boo ma ba?” Then her eyes hazed over again and she was crying. Then around 9:15 she allowed me to put her sippy cup in her mouth and she took a sip. Her throat burned (they put a tube down it that they didn’t tell us about) so she didn’t like that. Then they brought us some apple sauce and said she needed to get something down or they couldn’t release her the next day. So it was stressful when she couldn’t get anything (food or drink) down until  eleven hours later!

The next day  we got books from her room and some other foods from home and she did much better. She was able to get down the apple sauce from the night before and also some crackers. That’s all we needed to be able to give her the oral medication… that she spit out. *Sigh*  But then we tempted her with two hours of Elmo (kill me), and she did even better with the medicine. Elmo  got grating  by the end, but since she doesn’t watch tv at home, it was a special treat that kept her attention. Well, that, and reading  her favorite book  a literal 16  times in a row. Charley and I switched off for that one.

Then we got  to take out her IV and go home! She  cried a bit in the car, but fell asleep.  For some reason she didn’t like right turns. But we were so thrilled to get to take her home! When we got home we fed her more, more  oral medication too,  and  had group nap time. It was great!Mommy, daddy, auntie Em, Grandma, Grandpa and baby all took a  nap. We were tired! She was back in her own  crib and was looking less pasty. Her lips were pink again and she had real clothes on! It was a sight for sore eyes.

We fought off a bit of a fever after coming home, but it left as soon as  it started. She ate her dinner fine. She has sat on the couch with  her leg elevated while everyone takes turns distracting her since then.  For the next surgery when the grandparents are gone, I may elicit help with this. It takes a lot to distract a post-surgery baby.

But she’s doing so much better now that she’s home! She’s doing so well. So so well! She laughed! And she can focus her eyes! And she can eat!  And she hasn’t thrown up once! And she’s swaying to some music right now. And she’s holding her stuffed kitty. And she’s telling us what sounds different animals make. She does  cry when we move her or lift her, and she is fussier than usual, but I’m so happy with how she’s doing. I really thought after our rocky start that she would not be doing well. I was thinking the worst.  I’ve been feeling her heart and it’s normal. She got a bit more out of her lungs too. She’s kinda raspy and the nurses and assistants asked me if she had a cold before surgery… um, no, I’m not that stupid. But then the doctor informed them and us that this was normal for post-op. We cheer when she can cough it out. We cheer when she eats. We cheer when she says anything. She’s pretty spoiled. :) And that’s how it should be.

I honestly have no earthly idea how we are going to do all this again in two weeks. But that’s still the plan. And her left foot is worst off so it may take longer.  I’ll be glad when it’s all over with. But at least this next  time I’ll know exactly where to go  for recovery.  And Charley will be the one to carry her into surgery. And we’ll know what stuff to bring.  And maybe we can borrow a computer so we can give better, more timely updates. Lots of things to plan.

One Response to “Hospital Fun. Ugh.”

  1. Chelsea P says:

    Still praying like crazy for you guys. During her next surgery I would be happy to help distract or whatever. You know I’m here for you guys and the little one :) Much love.

Leave a Reply