Tag Archives: hospital

Graham Crackers & Peanut Butter with a side order of crazy: Part III

Welcome to Part III. Today I talk with the doc and get sent to the ER. Not the best day in my life but one of the most helpful by far. Click here to read Part II.

And we’re back at the morning when I wanted to let go.

They say the hardest thing to do is to let go.

Lemme tell you something – that morning, letting go was easy. I was weak, tired, frustrated, confused, and overwhelmed. I had nothing left to do but to let go. So I did.

As I drove myself to the doctor’s office, my mind was blank. I don’t really remember the drive. When I arrived, I went back pretty quickly and shuttled into a little room with a nurse. She asked why I was there. Didn’t I tell you on the phone? Why do I have to repeat myself? It wouldn’t be the last time. I sighed and let the monsters out of the bag. I was too far gone to care about consequences.

I sat in the doctor’s office confessing all of my dark secrets. But it wasn’t me.

No, I floated above myself as this other woman confessed to a multitude of sins that I had not committed. To thoughts I had certainly not had. To horrible things like not bonding with my child and wanting to smother her with a pillow. My mouth moved, sound escaped, but surely it wasn’t my voice uttering these things. I am a good mom. Good mothers do not want to do things like smother their children or abandon them at the hospital. Good mothers can do anything. Good mothers are perfect and kind and… well, like June Cleaver.

My house was a wreck, I slid closer and closer to carrying out these horrific pirhanic like thoughts swimming through my brain, I barely slept, barely kept up with anything anymore. There was no way in hell good mother applied to me.

She spoke slowly and deliberately, asking how long it would take me to get to the local hospital, what route I would take, if I felt I could drive myself.

I asked if I could go home to get some of my things. I needed a breast pump. My breasts were starting to sting they were so full. (It was almost 4:00 p.m. now. I had not pumped since 11:00a.m. and normally pumped every three hours.)

No. You have to go straight to the hospital. Can you do that?

But I need to get my things….

No. Hospital. Now.

Okay. If you say so.

She and I walked quietly to the front of the office where she helped me check out. (Sidenote: I carry that receipt/slip with me in my wallet to this day. It reminds me of how far I have come since then.)

I left and walked to my car. I called my husband to tell him the doctor sent me to the ER. I’d call with an update when I could.

When I arrived at the ER, they were waiting for me. The doctor said she would call ahead. I was triaged and sent back almost immediately.

The ER doc on call came in, sat down and asked me what was going on with me.

I told him. Quietly and calmly.

“I’m here because I do not want to be Andrea Yates. I don’t want to be Andrea Yates. Please, keep me from being Andrea Yates.” I pleaded with him as he sat across from me, legs crossed, arms crossed, yet seemingly warm and open. Relaxed. He stood in a very relaxed position. This made me comfortable.

I remember this ER doc. He kept telling me how much courage it took to seek help. He commended me for my bravery. Shortly after the ER doc left, a nurse came in and a security guard showed up. My belongings were taken away from me to keep them safe. (Translation – to keep ME safe.) I talked openly with a social worker about my situation, my thoughts, everything. I don’t remember what he asked or what I said to him. I do remember asking if I could have a breast pump. It was now nearly 6:00 p.m. I believe. My breasts were moments away from bursting.

The social worker talked with me about hospitalization. I nodded in agreement. I needed help. I needed to rest. He disappeared to make some calls. I wish I had known about Emory at this time. I would have requested to go there. But I didn’t so off to elsewhere I went.

My husband arrived with some of my things including my breast pump which I received permission to take with me. He looked exhausted and scared. I’m sure I looked the same – or worse.

Shortly after he arrived, the transport driver showed up. I asked to go to the rest room and had to be quick about it. I hugged my husband good bye and followed the driver to the van.

I don’t know what time we left the ER. The inky sky swallowed me whole as tiny rays of light beamed down. I missed the sun. I felt even more trapped and alone as the van glided over streets I had driven time and time again prior to this night. Yet tonight the buildings judged me, the stars judged me, and the headlights of the oncoming traffic judged me. They all knew – they all knew why I rode in the back of the medical transport van.

As the driver turned onto the main road away from my town, I took a deep breath. I had no idea what the rest of the night held but I already felt a tremendous sense of relief.

(Read Part IV here)

What a week!

Monday was Charlotte’s cleft repair, pharyngoplasty surgery, and ear tubes.

Tuesday morning she got the nasal tube they put in to aid in breathing removed. Then she ate. And ate some more. And drank.

So we were discharged Tuesday afternoon.

She stopped eating Wednesday morning. Stopped talking by the middle of the day. She was also refusing all medication and foods.

We were instructed to return to the hospital.

So we did.

And there we stayed until yesterday morning when her appetite and fluid intake finally picked up enough to make me feel comfortable with bringing her back home.

Our stay was riddled with issues.

The first issue was failure to get written consent for her ear tube surgery. The surgeon took the time to track down where the breakdown in communication happened and did apologize to us but then just a few sentences later admitted that post-consent happens quite a bit in her practice with her adults. Yeah. We’re SO not going back to see her.

Second issue arose during our return to the hospital. The ER had a hard time getting ahold of Charlotte’s doctor to approve admission even though we had been instructed to return by them. We arrived at the ER at 830p but did not get a room until nearly 2a Thursday morning.

Third issue was our day nurse on Thursday. She was a bit flighty and had a propensity for over-explaining things and failed to be prompt in her attention to us. My daughter’s med pump went off repeatedly as did her fluid pump with no response from her whatsoever. She was apologetic and spent some time trying to kiss Charlotte’s behind but I had the nurse replaced. It’s not my kid you have to impress, lady.

Fourth and fifth issue happened on Friday.

Fourth: A tech walked into our room and asked if I wanted to give Charlotte a bath. I said that I did. So she got everything ready and decided we needed to give Charlotte a sponge bath in bed. We had Charlotte lean back over a bowl of water and wiped her hair down. The tech realized she didn’t have water to rinse with so she went and got some while I tried to keep Charlotte calm and still. The tech returned with the water and began to pour it on Charlotte’s head. Charlotte screamed. I reached up and felt the water. It was absolutely scalding. I immediately told the tech to stop and get out of our room. The water she had gotten was entirely too hot! She acted surprised and I had to ask her several times to leave the room. I asked our nurse to make sure she was not allowed back in our room. I didn’t see her again during our stay.

Fifth: At about 1p the phone in our room rang. I answered. It was a prank call. I hung up. They of course, redialed. I was very unsettled (they said horribly mean and rude things to me) and called our nurse. He came right away and handled the situation beautifully. Unplugged our phone and had our phone number changed. A report was filed.

I don’t tell you all of this to complain. I’m telling you all of this to stand strong. I got flustered only twice during our stays. The first was immediately after surgery when we had to hold Charlotte down as the anestethia worked its way out of her system. She was angry, confused, and frustrated. Kept pulling at her IV, her nose, and wanted to be done with all of the pain. I admit that I cried. It took four hours for her to finally calm down.

The second time was when we got prank called. I was very very scared. I didn’t know if it was someone from inside the hospital or outside. I felt very vulnerable and afraid. I even had a plan in place if someone we did not know were to burst into our room. But nothing came of it and I was able to get back to sleep within the hour.

I am glad this past week is behind us.

On a positive note, Charlotte’s speech is ALREADY improved. She’s saying words that we can now understand a lot more often. There are sounds she struggled with before that she is now making with seemingly no effort. We still have quite a bit of work ahead of us but for now, we’re miles away from where we were this time last week.

Last night was rough but I have hopes tonight won’t be as bad. I think she’s got some night terrors and trauma residuals going on as a result of spending the week at the hospital. Teething tablets and a night light finally helped her go to sleep on her own last night but she spent the bulk of the evening in the living room with me. We’re going to have her return to school so her mind will have other things to focus on as well to help leave the memories of this past week behind.