In a holding pattern

It's 11am, and we've now been in this hospital room for two weeks. A full 14 days. A fortnight. We've exceeded our hopes of making it past the first 72 hours by 264 - and counting. Our doctors are baffled and our nurses are impressed. Even Anna seems to be in better spirits today. She's already had breakfast, showered, and started another embroidery project. I chased a nurse out of the room at 4 this morning, but other than that ill-advised interruption, they've been letting Anna sleep through the night. We didn't wake up this morning until just after 9. Not bad for hospital sleep.

We're still in a "holding pattern," as more than one of our doctors is fond of saying. In fact, our situation is so stable that our doctors now pop in just to tell us that there's really no reason for them to be popping in. Even these visits have become increasingly infrequent. After two weeks, we've actually settled into a routine, and this incredibly strange situation has evolved into something approximating normalcy. They keep telling us that things could change at any minute, but my gut tells me that we might be here for a while. I've even replaced the first wave of flowers, that's how sure I am. Anna hates hearing it, but I think she's resigned herself to a good, long stay.

On the bright side, we've accumulated a good deal of practical knowledge that we're happy to pass on to folks who might someday find themselves similarly situated. For example, if you have a heplock (an IV line-in, minus the line) in your arm, you have to cover it before you shower. Some nurses prefer to cover the heplock with a surgical glove, sealed off with tape around the forearm. Others use a piece of plastic wrap, taped around the forearm and the hand. Both of these methods failed to keep Anna's heplock dry. Our favorite nurse, Hurricane Karen, came up with the ideal solution: a premie pamper, sealed at the hand and forearm with surgical tape. Good for a bone-dry heplock every time. The premie diapers also make a great koozie to soak up the moisture from an ice bucket (fig. 1). And a little consolidation of medical paraphernalia can turn any cabinet into a pantry or wardrobe (fig. 2). Seriously, we're chock full of handy tips. I should really make a list.


Post a Comment

<< Home