All tagged Medical

At the End of a Week in Pediatric Intensive Care

During rounds this morning the team discussed how to adjust and increase feeds around respiratory treatments, coughing, and vomiting. I explained what I do at home. The Fellow commented almost under his breath, "That is a lot of work," and immediately I started to sob. In the middle of the hall, in the middle of rounds, in front of a team of professionals and strangers, I lost it. And I could not pull it back together.

I barely could whisper a response between breaths, "Yes, Nathaniel is a lot of work."

The team paused to give me time. All I could do was cry.

Post-It Note Parenting

I crawled into bed at five thirty-three Monday morning and put my head on Rich's shoulder. It was the first time we had shared the bed that night. "Just coming to bed?" he asked, "How is he?"

"Yes. He's asleep. Thanks for the notes." I responded. Neither of us said more. For a few moments the only noise in the room was the hum of the air compressor for Nathaniel's heated humidity. I drifted into a light sleep, and Rich's deeper breathing resumed.

From under his pillow the alarm on Rich's cellphone went off.  Five forty-five am.  The shoulder I was using as a pillow moved, and then was gone.

My All Done Broken Heart

I knew as I walked out of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in November that Nathaniel would recover from the acute illness requiring swift intervention. His body was already responding to the IV fluids. However, I also knew that my heart will never recover. There is no ointment or medicine or surgery that can fix how it breaks when I have to pin Nathaniel’s little body to an emergency room gurney and hear him plead with his voiceless screams and beg with his searching eyes for the procedures to stop.

Hello from Cincinnati... Let's Have Cake

had a heavy heart Monday evening when I merged from Interstate 74 south to 275 east. I do not need a map to get to our Cincinnati hotel anymore. I know this city well. We walked into the lobby, and Nathaniel started to cry. He was inconsolable through the check in process and worse when we got to the room. He stood frozen halfway between the bed and the door, held his trach and cried. I had to wipe tears too. Everything about arriving in southern Ohio for another group of appointments felt hard and heavy and sad to both of us. We've done this a lot in the last year. Many of the visits produced physical pain and difficult news. Neither of us wanted to be here.

In the process of settling into the room, Nathaniel's g-button was pulled out. My twelve-year-old niece was in St. Louis last week for her annual "Camp Rankin" visit, and I asked her parents for a second week so she could be my travel companion. She is brave beyond her years. She responded quickly and confidently to instructions and helped to reinsert the button. Nathaniel laying on the floor without his shirt led to tickling and giggles. Ellie is old enough to be a fantastic mother's helper and young enough to be a buddy to Nathaniel.