Notes From the Hospital

Every January, around my birthday, we usually take a weekend away in Pittsburgh and indulge in a fine luxury hotel and shop the clearance sales until the van won't hold any more loot. (And we don't even have the kids along!) This year we did not, for a few reasons. It would have truly been nice to get away and spend the night elsewhere, away from dog hair and feeding animals in the cold and housework. Fate has quite a sense of humor. I don't consider a night in a hospital bed an equal substitute.

It's amazing how perspective changes things. My first thought when we were snuggled in the narrow bed with side rails was that this child of mine has grown since we slept together in a hospital bed last. That would have been at his birth. It's amazing what nearly 5 years will do. But I cannot complain too much about the sleeping conditions as I totally made that choice. We were given a room with a crib AND a bed. He wanted nothing to do with the crib so my plan was to put him to sleep in my bed and transfer him. (We do it every night at home, so why not at the hospital?) But as I was laying there looking at that crib I decided against it.

The crib was a cage. A huge metal cage on wheels. And I love it. I was mentally trying to disassemble it and wondered how much of it I could stuff in my purse and smuggle out. The boy won't sleep at home unless I'm sitting with him. He needs the confines of a cage with a lid on it. But he didn't sleep in that wonderful thing because it sat up off the floor about 4'. And the one whole side dropped down and the mattress was exposed with no side rail. A 4' drop from bed isn't something that would cause a spontaneous miraculous healing, so the option would be to put the rail up. But with his cords and hoses I just didn't see any way to do that comfortably for him. So I chose to sleep in bed with him, ever mindful of his tubing. The lack of sleep on my part I cannot complain about. I am glad, however, that I was awake enough to know that Micah slept most of the night despite his connections to monitors.

The doctor ordered clear liquids for Micah. The kid is more stubborn than any goat or mule I've ever encountered. If he doesn't want to do something, it just doesn't happen. Not only was he not drinking, he certainly wasn't going to drink from a cup the hospital offered. That would be condoning what they're doing to him. He wouldn't even drink juice that they brought and I poured into his cup as he watched. He knew where that juice came from. And for good measure he wouldn't even take his cup from home with home juice in it because they want him to drink, and by golly there's gotta be a reason. Well, he'll show them who's going to win this battle. He won't drink anything, ever! Who wins now?! The nursing staff looked at us like we were completely insane when we asked for a medicine dropper to shoot juice down his throat with. Desperate kids call for desperate measures.

And then, as any parent, you get to the point where you say "fine, you win. Tell me what you want and I'll move heaven and earth to get it for you if only you'll eat or drink something!" After pulling him from his IV (to see if he'd actually collapse or continue to thrive) I was desperate for any sign of cooperation so that we could go home. We snapped off and on through the morning. (A combination of snoozing and napping, and snap is what your neck does when the door suddenly opens and a nurse walks in just as you doze off.) By late morning he was bored out of his skull so I asked if we could walk the halls. Oh, glory be! There's a lounge just down the hall and they have an entertaining vending machine. Nothing like watching the candy channel. And then my tired brain wrapped itself around a preposterous idea. I'll bet he'd eat candy. And if he did he might get thirsty enough to drink something. I felt like a thief as we sneaked down the hall trying to conceal our M&M's from nursing staff eyeballs, then locked ourselves in our room and indulged in a chocolate frenzy. He ate! And he requested a drink! It was only a sip, but it was a drink nonetheless. And he ate. Chocolate doesn't exactly fit into the clear liquid diet, but my theory is that anything is better than nothing. His doctor had to concur as we were talking during the morning rounds. (We were talking about applesauce at the time. I'm not sure she would have condoned candy.) But I know my kid. One food will make him realize that he is hungry, and that will lead to more food. So I ordered him a lunch tray and he ate applesauce and Cheerios. No drinking went on, but I had him eating strange food in a strange place when he was well aware that the nursing staff wanted nothing less from him. I won. Mama triumphs again! And if he was doing this, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he'd drink at home. And he did. He drank two bottles. Yes, I know he's almost 5 years old. Yes, we took them a few years back and only save them for medicating purposes only. But sometimes a battle won is at any cost. I consider this a victory on my part, not a setback.

But the bottle thing backfired. It's now used only to get him to drink something in a pinch. He no longer will accept it if there's medicine in his drink. He knows before seeing or tasting it. I think he smells the deception on me.

I have no idea how on earth I managed to avoid getting sick. But at this point I may not get sick at all. What with all the antibiotics and steriods being spit in my face a few times a day, I'm ingesting enough to ward off anything. And here's a thought that I just grasped this morning after a good night's sleep. Remember how I requested more meds than his actual prescription so that I had enough to actually dose him with when he shared it with me? And remember how the doctor so quickly complied? (She actually laughed and had that "I know what you mean" look in her eye.) I'm now wondering what on earth she was thinking. I asked for more steriods. The pharmacy had a slightly large episode over this but had no choice but to do as the doctor ordered. I guess I've got that Good Girl image stamped all over me.

19 comments:

girlymom said...

I hope you all get some more sleep today. Maybe a milkshake, that always works around here. Good luck with the food and drinking, it's tough to get kids to do what they really really don't want to do. My oldest is so very stubborn too- I figure if I can get through her I will be set for the other three that follow. Ha!

Andrea said...

I hope you catch a nap today. It's amazing to me how mom's just somehow stay healthy around sick kids. I hope you all are feeling better now!!

THE MOM BOMB said...

Sorry you've had to deal with this junk -- sounds like you've had more than your fair share of sickness at your house. And hope your guy is feeling better.

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry to hear that Micah is not feeling well. I sure hope this leaves your house soon. Enough is enough, huh?

Deb in OPKS said...

Oh, the liquid battle. I hate it. Peanut is a little easier to get to comply, but not much. We've had to resort to clapping and jumping around like a bunch of fools to get one sip. Like you said, whatever works! And I've been known to do the medication dosage thing for juice, myself!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

It was my pleas to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that made Micah start feeling better, don't you think? ;-)

You know, I sense that we are very similar in a lot of things. I think we're both pretty strict and have pretty high expectations, but yet both have that "whatever it takes" breaking point when something just isn't worth fighting over. It makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one like that, so don't correct me if I'm wrong.

You are so winning the Mother of the Year Award this year. I just know it.

Kellan said...

Popcicles might work for liquid too! They don't want what they don't want - do they? I found much of this post very funny - even though I know it is/was not a funny situation - you still crack me up. I hope Micah and you get some rest and he gets better soon. And the story about you not getting sick because of all the stuff spit in your face - hysterical. See you soon. Kellan

Flea said...

Not even KoolAid, huh? And Kellan's idea is a good one. We keep flavored ice pops in the fridge year round for events such as yours. Even the Daddy will eat them when he's sick.

My doc always gives a refill on antibiotics when one of us has something contagious, so I don't have to drag another one in, pay another co-pay. She knows it goes around. Sounds like you've got a mighty smart doctor there.

Karen said...

Not popsicles, not Kool-Aid, not juice or soda. Nothing he would drink, dont' even go there.

Okay, the Burgh Baby is better at Seussing than I am. Laugh away.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Loving the new header! Micah's hands? SO CUTE!

(If you knew how long I had to do that Dr. Seuss, you would be far less impressed. I had ZERO to do that day.)

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Love your new header!!!

Poor little sugar. And poor mommy.

Michelle said...

I just read the trip to the ER post below - how scary that must have been to see him struggling to breathe like that! Sorry to hear he was so sick :(

What a relief you only had an overnight hospital stay and he's now back at home eating and drinking! Praying he continues to be on the mend and that you continue to be healthy!

Flea said...

What a gorgeous new header! You have beautiful children and I'm jealous! Wait, that didn't come out right ...

Madame Queen said...

OMG! Where have I been? How have I missed all this?!?? I'm so sorry and I hope everyone is on the mend!

I remember when Punkin was bout 5 months old she got RSV AND rotavirus at the same time and had to be hospitalized. She had already weaned herself from the breast at that point but refused to take a bottle. The only way she would take any liquids was to nurse -- and I barely had any milk left! I can remember that I was so glad when she finally took a bottle.

I'll definitely say some prayers for Micah's speedy recover -- and some real rest (not hospital rest!) for you!

Nap Warden said...

Ugh, no fun...Hope you get a nap!

KIDZMAMA said...

I can totally relate to your hospital experience. I spent way too many nights with Happy in the same situation. Last summer he was in for a week and the last few days you could tell he was feeling better because he started refusing all food and drink that came on a tray! Ugh. He had the same kind of bed too. But he was only two years old. Wires, tubes, and all he had to sleep with me on the tiny sofa in the room. I ended up telling the nurse to put a sign on the door that said no one was allowed in except for the doctor. I refused to let them take his temperature of blood pressure for hours. It was the best sleep we had in days.

I hope now that Micah is home he'll come around and drink more. Hot chocolate? Smoothies?

Cecily R said...

I am so behind again!!! Sorry Karen! Sorry you spent your vacation time in the ER. Sorry you couldn't take home the crib/cage. Sorry your little one is so darn smart and won't drink the koolaid. Wish I had a great suggestion for you on that, but I don't.

Hope everything is better and that you have gotten some sleep.

Colleen said...

yes, I think I see "Good Girl" on your forehead on your profile photo. :)

Don't know if this will work at all for Micah, but for some reason, Gavin sees the fruit/fruitpunch flavor of Pedialyte (er, I buy the generic, but same thing) as a FANTASTIC treat. So when I need to put fluids into him, that's what I use.
Glad to see you got him to take in some fluids...hope he keeps eating and drinking for you! :)

caramama said...

I get super busy for a week, don't stop by for a few days, and I miss all this?? I'm so sorry about all the kids getting sick, and especially about Micah's stay at the hospital.

And I think you are brilliant for coming up with the candy leading to eating leading to drinking. That is a smart mama move in my book!

I hope everyone is feeling better now!