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Friday, April 02, 2010

X is for X-ceptionally X-asperating

Worst. Week. EVER.

Wednesday, I had an appointment with my gall bladder doc to schedule my surgery and pick a substitute surgeon since she's going on maternity leave. I had an 8:15 am appointment, which was plenty early to allow the husband to come and corral J until he had to go to a meeting at 9:30. Or, it would have been, had the husband not had an 8 am last minute employee interview. And by the time I found out about this that morning, it was too late to find someone to watch J. So, instead, all three of us, J, E, and I went alone to the appointment. I had fed E at 6:45, so he was good until 9:45-ish, and J had had breakfast and seemed to be feeling a bit better. I was cautiously optimistic that things would go smoothly.

I was wrong. First, E fell asleep on the way there and stayed asleep, but that meant I had to bring his carrier in with me, which left J free to roam the waiting area/halls/off limits wards behind alarmed doors. So there was a lot of running on both our parts. We waited a long 20 minutes of me trying to distract J from running off by throwing toys and snacks and books at him while rocking E's carrier to keep him asleep. When we did get in, the nurses brought Mr. Potato Heads for J to play with, which was nice and kept him occupied for a good 10 minutes. Sadly, we were there for 30, during which time he discovered 1) that if you throw Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head on the floor, their back compartment doors fly off, their pieces fly out, and they make a REALLY loud noise (Angry eyes, indeed.) and 2) the hospital doors, with very easily accessible handles, make another REALLY REALLY loud noise when you slam them and 3) Mommy can't chase you down the hall after you escape when she is listening to doctors tell her the risks involved with surgery and filling out paperwork.

Eventually, we left there, only to be sent to Central Registration to be signed in for a surgery that's not happening for another two months "since you're already here." Yes, and I'm so unencumbered and enjoying myself so much right now! At Central Registration, we filled out yet more paperwork and were then sent to Pre-Op. Here things went from bad to worse. By now, J was showing signs of being significantly less well than I had thought, as evidenced by his increasing crankiness and unwillingness to cooperate. After knocking the handouts off the desk at Central, he insisted in being carried to Pre-Op, so off I went, lugging carrier and diaper bag on one arm and my tiny toddler on the other. Once there, the nurses looked at me like I was an alien even though I knew I was in the right place, and it took awhile for them to settle on what to do with me. All the while, J was rolling on the floor or running down the hall or saying "Happy Easter, Eggs!" to their Easter egg tree decoration in a VERY loud voice. The nurses were not charmed but finally realized that perhaps the best way to deal with us while we waited for the anesthesiologist was to put us in a room.

Then we waited some more. By now, it was 10:15 and E was sucking on a pacifier, for the moment being fooled into thinking he was eating while J was playing with yet another door and melting down inconsolably. I was on my last kleenex for both of us, my usual bag of tricks wasn't working with sick J, and I could feel E's hunger like a fog around us. Finally, Mr. Anesthesia arrived, went over some questions with me, and then said "Can I pray with you now?" A bit shocked, I said yes and bent to tell J to fold his arms but it was too late because Mr. A had already launched into his plea to the Lord for him to watch over these "beautiful boys" and for me to "find him." What? Is this even legal? Sometimes I forget how strange the South really is! Prayer done, so was Mr. A and so were we, though we had to wait to get our car (it's a cheap valet service, which is great for arrivals for not so good for departures). The ride home was filled with screams from both children who had had more than they could stand. I pulled J out of his car seat and dropped him inside the door, went back to get E and stepped over still howling J, made E a bottle and gave it to him while walking back to make sure J was still inside. Eventually, I got both boys fed and down for (much too short and not overlapping) naps. And at that point it was noon. And I wanted to pass out. I think I had some animal crackers, which are much underestimated as a food source.

The rest of that day is a blur, though I do remember lying on the bed with E on my stomach and J in bed beside me covered in three blankets, bouncing E to sleep and sort of reading J a story while praying through a fever haze for the husband to return quickly. Thursday wasn't much better, but this day had the added bonus of E getting a fever. I'm so clueless as to what to do for a baby this little with a fever that when I called the pediatrician and told them what had been happening, I was shocked when they told me to come in immediately. Easier said than done: there were three accidents on the three major roads leading to the doctor's office, so feverish E, J, and I were stuck in the car, arriving basically at closing time, though thankfully they waited for us. The doc told us to watch E closely and take him to the emergency room if his temp went above 100.4 (it had been up to 100.1 already) or his breathing worsened because it was clear he had the same virus as the rest of us. In the meantime, she was very concerned about J's cough and told me to start the 4 times a day nebulizer treatments immediately. However, only one pharmacy in the area stocked the meds in the pediatric doses we needed. The husband arrived at home in time to deal with the pharmaceutical issues and we made it through the night with the both of them, but only just. The husband did take Friday off from work, so I was able to get some sleep Thursday night, but J continues to hack, E is stuffed up and coughing high pitched, alarming baby coughs, my sinuses need to be cut out of my head, and the husband is wasted from trying to pick up the slack.

Happy Easter, everybody!

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I feel exhausted just reading this post. You didn't tell me about the Dr. Prayer! Awesome.