There has been unexpected phrased that comes in a close second to “Where did she get that scratch on her forehead?”
It is: I remember you!
I have run into a lot of people from Christopher’s stay last year and we recognize each other. The first time, I saw a nurse on Saturday morning and we were both like “I know you.” I mentioned Christopher. She gave me the sweetest touch on my arm and said “I remember you!”
A few hours later, our dietary aid dropped off lunch and I said, “I remember you!” and she replied, “Yes, I saw you sleeping in PICU. I didn’t recognize your daughter but I knew you!” Obviously, she had seen me sleeping with Christopher and my drooling, snoring, wild-haired image had been seared upon her brain. I remember her because of the outstanding job she did then (and does now) at making sure my children and I have good things to eat.
Monday morning, both our nurse and our respiratory therapist walked in the room and immediately said, “I remember you.” Our nurse, in fact, remembers amazing details about our family!
I think I figured out this morning why everyone remembers me so well. Apparently, I am one of the few parents who sleeps with their sick child in their hospital bed. Last night, I surprised our nurse when she didn’t see me on the sofa and then saw a big lump in Bridget’s bed. Later, when I asked Bridget if she wanted me to move and she cut me a sideways glance that questioned my sanity.
Speaking of Bridget….
I’ve fallen so in love with her during these last 5 days. She is an extraordinary child in normal situations. But here, she is so strong and charming, that sometimes I find my heart exploding with love for her.
On Friday, she “won the prize” for being the best intake in the hospital: she received her IV without any screaming or no crying. She was shocked they did that to her, but she didn't even have tears in her eyes. My brave little squirrel even had to have another blood draw a few hours later from her other hand and didn’t cry then either.
In PICU, when they were trying to reposition us to go to sleep, they tried to get her into a more prone than a sitting position. She was screaming NO!! and hitting at the nurse when I realized that the previous nurse had told her that sitting up straight would help her get better quicker. She is going to do what she needs to do to get better.
She has this sly, charming smile when she thinks adults are being silly or are telling her some untruth. We were watching Madagascar last night, and during the song “I like to move it, move it!”, the nurse started to dance. Bridget gave her that smile and I swear the woman’s socks just shot right off of her.
The doctors, nurses, and therapists have been encouraging us to get her moving. We’ve had to explain to every single one of them that the problem is NOT getting her up and out of bed. It is that she wants to run the halls right now for the whole day. They finally let her walk around for just a little bit yesterday, but it was too much. She pooped out last night and had to go back on major oxygen. Today, she is not allowed to even walk to the bathroom.
The problem is that she has asthma and pneumonia or asmonia as the PICU docs called it. The issue is whether the asthma or the pneumonia is worse and when do you treat which one and how since treatment of one (exercise for pneumonia) aggravates recovery in the other (asthma). Bridget apparently has a much worse problem with pneumonia than asthma. We are on Day 5 right now and although she is better than we she went into PICU, she is not progressing. We are exploring our options on how best to help her out.
She is tired of being here. Even a super squirrel like my Snidge can get down. There are two ways I’ve discovered I can help when she gets really upset about being here. One, we have an ongoing story about Pirate Bridget who sails the seven seas with her six pirate chickens. Pirate chickens are quite a sight, in case you are wondering. Two, I tell her what is wonderful about herself and I give examples about why I think that from what she’s done here. It lets her drift off to sleep feeling good about what is going on here and it lets me share with her how much in love I am with her.