A friend of mine believes that whatever you do on New Year's Eve is what you'll spend the rest of the year doing. I can guarantee you that on Dec. 31, 2012, none of our activities (which included a boatload of family dancing Gangnam style) suggested how much time we'd spend in the hospital. So I'm hoping Dec, 31, 2013 is just as predictive as Dec. 31, 2012. We didn't family dance Gangnam style another day in 2013, so let's hope we don't spend another day in the hospital in 2014.
Bridget, despite being in the hospital for going on three days is doing very well. Again, we started this episode with medical personnel being shocked, SHOCKED I say!, at how good she looked at how crappy of an oxygen level. I am now considering this as a "data point." My squirrel is pink, happy, alert, and talkative (!), even when her O2 levels suck out loud.
And even though we came in at a low O2 (really, not that low--intake was 87% whereas I was seeing her at 84% asleep at home), she IS DOING GREAT!!! Even when her first night nurse asked if she was "always this bad?" at 3 liters of oxygen and 94% oxygen and I fairly shouted "THIS IS GREAT!!!! She's not in PICU and she's not on a rebreather. She's FANTASTIC!!!"
We'll probably be in here 5 days and Dave and I are psyched about that. Yes, I'm fully aware that other kids who seem much sicker get out quicker than we do. But for us, 5 days is Bridget's Personal Record in the hospital when she's sick. It's also patently obvious that our treatment protocol for Bridget is working very, very well. We clearly have some room for improvement (maybe? Will she always have atelectasis when she gets a bad virus and require O2 support?!). Still, she is doing SO MUCH BETTER than before. Even with a likely 5 day stay in the hospital ((le sigh)).
So let me share with you what it is like to be a frequent flier at the pediatric ward in the hospital, because you are probably lucky enough not to experience it. You may recall when the Squirrel first came in last April, many people thought they recognized us from Christopher's stay. When we came back in April, folks were like "weren't you just here?" Now, CNAs, RNs, and the Child Life specialists just stop by to say Hi! And catch up on how we're doing. Seriously, it's a little reunion with our support folks and it's nice. Dave says we are now Silver Elite members.
Even funnier, when the first teeny tiny room we were supposed to be assigned to was still dirty and we were reassigned to a much larger room, there was a not-so-silent cheer among the staff who knew us when we got a "family suite". Indeed, this room is about the same size as my apartment in Greenwich Village, except there is no loft/bedroom and no fantastic view of the Empire State Building.
Best of all, when our nurse walked in the room on Tuesday morning, the first thing she said was "Hello, Miss Squirrel!!" Actually, what I should say is that best of all, when she started listening to Bridget's lungs, she knew exactly what they sound like healthy and what they sound like with atelectasis and immediately called for respiratory.
Being at hospital is not great. Being Silver Elite at the hospital is not great. But not having to explain every quirky detail of our daughter's illness, being liked by and feeling cared for by the staff, having folks be clearly bowled over by the charm of my daughter, that does not suck. It's actually nice.
Happy New Year, y'all.