Tuesday, October 4, 2011

List of New Things

It's been a week of new things.  I woke up this morning thinking about all the "new" things I had either learned, done, or been introduced to, so I wanted to find a way to write it all down and share it.  I decided the best way would be a categorized list.  (What other way would a GOLD personality type do things!)  So, I started the list on paper while I contemplated going back to sleep, and now here I am.

Medical Professionals
Nurses I have had the same day nurse, Holly, pretty much the whole time I have been here.  I am pretty sure I love her and I will never forget her.  I've had a few others (Holly does go home occasionally), and have really liked some, but none are Holly.  And my night nurses seem to change a lot.  Unfortunately, the one I seem to have had the most is not my favorite.  Eh - you win some you loose some.
Nutritionist She's been the most comical so far.  She came in, introduced herself, then asked if I knew why she was here.  I said no, and she said neither did she.  We chatted a few seconds, and she was gone.
Chaplain - Sister MaryCatherine While not specifically a medical professional, still a member of the Mercy staff.  She came by to visit, and pray with/for me and the baby.  she had some great stories and was a wonderful departure from the normal visitors!
Physical Therapist This lady was super sweet!  She gave me a sheet with some "suitable for bed rest" exercises on it, went over it all with me, then we just talked.  She was very nice.
NICU Family Support Specialist I think I may have messed up this sweet lady's schedule!  After she explained who she was and what she did, we talked FOREVER!  She is also pregnant with a "surprise" baby, but she has triplets at home!  Her job is to help us feel at ease with our NICU experience (should we have one) and to help be a liaison between the family and the staff.
PICC Nurse Specialist The nurse that puts the PICC line in is certified in the procedure.  The woman who did mine was phenomenal.  I was pretty much terrified of this (even though the IV stick every 3 days made me cry), and she talked me through it before she started, and then we chatted all the way through the procedure, and it really kept me at ease.
Radiology Tech After the PICC insertion, I got a chest X-Ray with the portable machine to make sure it was in the right place.  Another great professionsal who was sweet and caring.

Also over the past week, I have gained some new "equipment."  I'll address that in the same way.

Leg Compression Cuffs  I don't know exactly when I acquired these, almost a week ago now I suppose.  But, they tether me to the bed, practically, and I am still not a huge fan.  The purpose is to prevent blood clots in the legs. They are these large Velcro closure cuffs that wrap around my calf and have an air bladder in the back.  They are attached by flexible hoses to a motor that hangs off the foot board of my bed.  The bladders inflate alternately on each leg for a few seconds at a time.  And the motor vibrates the whole bed.  I was told to wear them 23 out of 24 hours - I would say I am averaging about 20.  Not to shabby when I seriously loathe them.
PICC line PICC stands for peripherally inserted central catheter.  Basically, it allows IV access for extended periods of time without having to move the IV port every three days (ouch).  It was inserted with ultrasound guidance right here in my room, then the portable X-ray came to make sure it was in the right place.  I knew nothing about them, so I Googled it.  Found this site to explain it to me and my family.  Once the insertion site stops hurting (nurse told me about 24 hours) I think I am going to like it.  Had my first blood draw from it last night, and I didn't feel a thing!
SKYPE So, I am just now catching up with technology.  Never had the need for it before, really.  My mom had it to talk to my brother and niece in Texas, and lots of other family members had it to talk to grand-kids and such, but I see my parents every day, and my in-laws don't even own a computer!  So, after a friend suggested it on Facebook, I was eager to get it going.  Only one problem - no web cams.  While they are readily available at a ton of retailers, and they are relatively cheap, every penny counts at this point, and it wasn't a priority.  Plus, we needed 2 - one for home and one for my laptop.  A week went by after I first mentioned it, then we were blessed with a Wal-Mart gift card that would cover the cost of 2 cameras, plus a tank of gas to come see me!  PERFECT.  I got it all set up Sunday night, and my kids LOVE it!  Me too.

(I wouldn't be pregnant if I didn't have a few.)  Most of these relate to the fact that I feel a bit trapped.  I feel like my freedom has been taken from me, and some days I struggle with it more than others.
Bathroom trips I have to unhook my legs from the bed, wrestle my way out of this crazy auto-adjusting air bed, and without being too graphic, the process in the bathroom is not pleasant, either.
PICC line It does come with its own set of problems.  Like the 5am flush.  It requires a bit more maintenance than the traditional IV ports.
Showers I don't shower but every 4-5 days.  I hate that, too.  But, I feel like someone should be here with me when I do it, so I wait for family.  Plus, with the PICC line, it requires a bit of maintenance before I can just hop in there.
Can't be a mom to the 3 at home This one hurts.  We've had a couple of situations over the past week where it has just KILLED me to be here and not there.  Sometimes, no matter how good the people around you are taking care of you, you just need your Momma.
Allergies Ragweed.  Plus regular pregnancy congestion.  'Nuff said.
Failed the Test I found out last night I failed the 1 hour glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes.  So, I am currently fasting to take the 3 hour test today.  JOY.

There is always a way to find God in all of this and to praise the One who paid my debt. 
Health Everyone tells me how good and how strong Finn looks on the monitor.  And my bleeding is back down to the minimal amount that is "typical" of most days after the incident last week.
PICC line Thankful that this procedure exists.  The repeated (hard, painful) sticks were getting depressing, and not to mention never ending since there is no telling how long I will be here.  I think even with the higher maintenance, this is a better option!
Revolving Door The nurses make fun of me for how often my door opens and closes!  I am blessed with deliveries, mail and visitors!  Not a day has gone by that I have not had at least one visitor.  Even when I thought no one was coming, I would be surprised!
New Fall TV I try not to watch TV during the day, but the evenings are filled with the new fall shows and returning series.  I have no DVR, so I miss parts due to nurses and visitors, but its still fun!
Countdown We are counting down the days to my due date, and I am grateful for my friend Kate on Twitter who is singing to me daily to remind me what day we are on!

My family is amazing.  The things they have had to endure I cannot imagine or speak for.  I do know my mom has had to pick kids up in the middle of her work day twice lately.  I know that they have had a few hectic mornings, and one grounding has occurred.  I know that every day brings its own challenges, and I am just so thankful for all they have done!  My mom reminds me often that the routine and pace she is keeping for my kids are why women her age don't have kids.  My dad has re-learned the skills of how to talk to elementary school kids about their day and how to play nurse to kids with their ailments.  And my husband has been completely immersed in the life of a single parent.  I remember those days; I only had 2 kids, but they were toddler twins, plus he has 2 more family members far away that he is worrying about.  ALL of our plates are full.  But we are ALL blessed by the many people who have reached out to us, cooked a meal for us, brought things back and forth for us, taken our kids for a few hours, and everyone who has prayed for us.  Keep it up!  There's still 94 days to go...

1 comment:

  1. Amen for the blessings!!! That makes all the other things seem small. :) This is just a season and before you know it, you'll be home with your family and little Finn!!! I love that you're keeping a list b/c if you try to think back on all of this, somethings can be forgotten. You'll be so amazed when you re-read this years later.