Monday, December 6, 2010

4 Things Things to Be Happy About When My Child is Fighting For His Life in the Hospital

There's a long-standing joke in my family that one must NEVER EVER EVER pray for patience.  Because when they pray for patience, God decides the best way for us to learn patience is to give us some massive trial in our lives that we have no control over until we're beaten down enough to realize that the only thing we can do is PATIENTLY endure. 

Hmmmm.  Apparently I've been talking in my sleep again. 

I apologize for last night's ranting.  I should never blog at 4 in the morning.  What was I thinking?!

Yes, a few hours under my belt DID do me some good.  I was able to get about 3 1/2 hours of sleep before heading back to the hospital and relieving KC of his all-night shift with Jacob.  And when Jacob was in my arms, it only took seconds for me to realize that ultimately, all was right with the world again when we were together - regardless of where we were.  Having him snuggle up to me and contentedly sigh and fall asleep has a way of sapping all of the anger and frustration away.  We spent the entire day just sleeping and snuggling with the occasional interruption of those pesky medical workers earnestly trying to find out what was wrong with my baby boy.

We met with Ultrasound, where they strapped Jacob to a board, had him drink barium - laced sugar water (which he LOVED by the way - he had a fit when they took it away from him before he finished!) as they watched the flow of the barium down his digestive track to make sure that all of his anatomy was in tact, not twisted, and working properly.  Clean bill of health!

We then met with Radiology where they laid him on a table and gave him more liquids to check for reflux and to see if the liquids were coming out the "other end" in a timely manner.  Anatomically, Jacob looked fine, but the radiologist said that Jake had reflux all the way up to his mouth.  Soooo, to add to baby Jake's list of ailments we now have reflux.  But I'll take reflux ANY DAY over something like a twisted colon, or misplaced intestinal tracts, etc. 

With a diagnosis of reflux in hand, we met with a speech therapist (yep! the infant got to meet with the speech therapist!) who sat down with me during several of his feedings during the day to assess his current feeding habits and then to show me a modified feeding regimen will help inhibit all of Jacob's reflux so that he can keep his food (and medicines) down and his weight up.  The result? We now have Jacob on a prescription formula (who know that they even had prescription baby formula!) with a page-long description of how we are supposed to feed Jacob (How to mix the formula, position to feed him in, position for burping, when to change his diaper, position he's supposed to sleep in  and so much more!) They brought in a wedge and sling for his bed (If I can ever figure out how to download pics from my cell phone I'll download the picture of him in his sling - he looks like he's in a straight jacket!!) for sleeping. So, it looks like rather than waiting till Christmas to kick Courtney out of her Crib (she's getting a "big girl bed" on Christmas) - we'll have to kick her out early because the wedge and sling definitely won't fit in his cradle. 

Through it all though, I just try to remind myself that this visit isn't really life-and-death.  It's a little hiccup that can be quickly addressed, managed, and we'll be back on our merry way in no time.  In fact, once we'd met with the speech therapist the next two feedings were spit-up free!  That is until the night shift nurse came in, listened to us give her the run-down of what we were doing to manage his vomit, then ignored us and gave him his full dosage of Dijoksin and Zantac rather than giving him mini-doses to help him digest better.  Who'dve guessed that he'd throw up EVERYTHING 30 seconds after she squirted it into his mouth all at once? (sigh)  Luckily that will be the only dose she gives him before the next shift change. Hopefully we can get someone who will listen to us, what we are doing to deal with the vomiting, and try to work with us rather than doing it their way and having Jacob reap the consequences.  Plus, we now know what's wrong, and have the tools necessary to manage this problem at home.  Its just a matter of him gaining enough weight and keeping enough formula down to get him out of the hospital so we can begin doing what we know works for him rather than having to fight all of the various medical personnel at each shift change.

OK, so I REFUSE to end ANOTHER blog on a negative note, so it's important for me to say that yes, life right now is hard.  Yes, Jacob is going through a rough patch.  Yes, this has been an incredibly emotional experience.  But I've got to look on the bright side too.

  1. I've got an incredibly supportive husband who has done nothing but take care of our family, advocated for Jacob time and time again, and gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to taking care of me, our children, our home, and everything else that's been in upheaval the last 6 weeks.  I'm so blessed to have him as my rock right now. 
  2. KC's work has been such a tremendous blessing. He's had the ability to take almost a month off of work to help out  and be there for Jacob while he was in NICU and PICU.  Where else could a person do that and know that he will still have a job when he comes back?  We've been so blessed to have Avista, the support of their employees, as well as the incredible insurance that we will be making very good use of in the upcoming months and years. 
  3. I'm so blessed to have the family that I have - both on my side and on KC's side.  What a huge support system we have - both physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I am speechless at the outpouring of love and help that I've received from my family through prayers, babysitting, transporting, helping out around our home, meals, phone calls, blessings, e-mails and so much more!  The support we have received from our family has been unparallelled.  We've been so blessed!
  4. Where the family left off, my ward and our friends kicked in.  All I can say is "Wow!".  The meals, the phone calls, the rides for the children, the help around the house, gifts, friendship, shoulders to cry on, prayers, cards, and so much more.  I'm speechless. 
I've had more than my share of opportunities to see the other parents in the hospital visiting their children.  How lucky I am to be able to care for my child and not worry about the other three at home, or my home, or my husband, or any other responsibilities.  We have such a massive support system that we can rely on when necessary.  And so many people have little or nothing to rely on in their times of need.  I feel almost guilty for being blessed with so much by so many.  For all of you I am abundantly thankful.

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