Saturday, February 28, 2009

There's No Place Like Home!

A (not so) quick note on our hospital stay...

After we were done in the recovery room the nurse began rolling us to the room I'd call "home" for the next 3 days. I was so excited when we got there and they began setting me up by the window. I'd never had the window side before and when you are in the hospital for any length of time having a bit of a view starts to seem like a pretty special thing. What I didn't know at that moment is that I should have traded the window spot for a healthy room-mate.

Unfortunately, later in the day, the next lady they wheeled into my room was very, very, sick. She was vomiting constantly for hours and hours on end. I felt just terrible for her and, I must admit, I was getting a bit grossed out by listening to her. I assumed she was just having some sort of reaction to having given birth, or the meds. she had been given, or something like that. But, by the time she let the nurses know (obviously within earshot of me) that she had also been having (turn away now if you are squeamish...or if you are eating...or if you just don't want all the gory details) explosive diarrhea it started to become clear that something else was going on with this lady. I heard the nurse tell her, "Well, you really shouldn't be sharing the bathroom with the other women. I'll get you set up with a commode chair. And, be sure to always wash your hands really well. That is a terrible bug you have there".

Oh great.

So here I was with my brand new (read: vulnerable) baby and I've got the woman with a "terrible bug" as my room-mate. The nurse came over to my side of the curtain and said, "Have you been washing your hands well when you use the washroom?"
Well, Yes. Of course. But, has she!?

The panic started slowly there. Once they got the lady's commode chair all set up for her - the panic became full blown.

Imagine you are in the hospital, with your little baby, and the woman on the other side of the little curtain has been vomiting constantly since she came into your room and you've now discovered that the vomiting isn't her only symptom. Then, they set her up with the equivalent of a kitty litter box which is placed directly on the other side of your little curtain in which she is supposed to have all her explosive diarrhea from now on. Not only is there no noise control over that situation, there is also no smell control. And, all I could think of as this went on...and on...and on...was the aerosolization of all her germs that were just floating up into the air...up, up, up and over my little curtain and down, down, down onto me and my baby.

I tell you - I got no sleep in the hospital. Literally. None. And by 4 am on Monday morning I was up and out of my little bed and packing up all my stuff. I couldn't take it anymore! I packed up all my clothes, all the gifts that our friends and family had brought by, and all my magazines, etc. I only left out one change of clean clothes. I sat on the side of the bed freaking out and waiting for time to pass. I was desperate for the morning so that I could, basically, plead to be let out of the hospital and...if that didn't work...I was well prepared to demand it.

In the morning they started to get prepared to move my room-mate to her own private room. Great. But, unfortunately, I had already spent 3 days with this lady. I wanted out of there and I let everyone who would listen to me know it.

Lily-Pie had lost some weight since her birth, but I knew that was only because she wasn't eating much for the first day or so. She was eating well by that point and I had no concerns about whether she was going to put weight back on. My only concern was getting her out of there. The nurses decided to call my family doctor and let it be up to him. Fortunately (for everyone involved) he agreed to have us released and we just needed to bring Lily-Pie into his office the next day for weighing.

I asked the nurse how concerned I should be about having roomed with the lady who spent the first three days of her son's life puking her guts out - and she told me not to worry. Well, I was worried -- worried about what the next 48-72 hours might bring me (let alone Lily-Pie)! But, at least I was leaving.

The room with a view wasn't all it was cracked up to be, after all, and never before had the saying "There's no place like home" rang more true for me.
This is the traditional photo that Dave and I always take when we are bringing a new baby home...with the self-timer on our camera. This time we put the camera on the hood of the truck...almost worked!

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