Day Forty-Two...


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Published: August 9th 2015
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William IVWilliam IVWilliam IV

Born July 30 about 8:30 a.m. Weight: 8 lbs 15 oz Length: 22.5 in
…didn’t turn out as planned. Kathy had to go in to work so the plan was for Mary Jane and Lenny to pick us up, drive to their daughter, Patti’s, house, see two-day-old William, visit for a while, then come back to Kathy’s and start the packing process (laundry, etc). Then Bob and Mary were going to take us out to dinner.

That was the plan.

Here’s what happened instead.

Kathy went off to work. She’s an OR recovery nurse at a nearby hospital and even though she’s now retired, she can still work a few hours a week. So off she went. An hour later I’m out of the shower and getting the first load of laundry going. Mary Jane and Lenny arrived a short time later. Lenny wanted to check out the trailer. We got into the car and headed to Patti’s house. She lives in the same house as when we were here in 2006. It’s her ceilings that gave Mike the idea to scrape the popcorn off our ceilings and apply a texture. Patti’s are plaster; Mike used drywall mud. The texture on our ceilings is a bit thicker, Patti’s is more subtle. We walked up to the house and new daddy, Billy, was sitting on the wrap around porch enjoying the bright morning. Patti greeted us as we walked in. She had some blueberry bread and pastries out on the kitchen island and told us to help ourselves as she got everyone drinks. Patti’s son, Travis, came down from his room to say hi and grab some food. He’s grown a lot since we last saw him. He didn’t stay in the kitchen long. He went back upstairs to do what 20 year-old boys do…play video games. Will (Billy and Marissa are leaning in that direction as a nickname) was still sound asleep. Patti took us to what used to be her office. It’s painted light and dark blue with white trim. A sailing motif is carried throughout the small room.

Will was content to sleep, but he did need to wake up so he wouldn’t be up all night. She went to his crib and unwrapped him from his thin blanket. His hands were up near his head, his legs drawn up tight to his sides like a frog with his feet turned in. He didn’t stir, didn’t care. My goodness he has long legs, long arms, long fingers and toes and BIG feet! If he was a puppy he’d be a Great Dane. After changing his diaper, Patti brought him out to the kitchen where we were all gathered. Marissa took him from Grandma and tried to get him to wake up…he didn’t cooperate. After a while she asked if I’d like to hold him. Of course!

Like Patti and Marissa, I tried to get him to wake up. I scratched his back, tickled his neck, tickled his feet…nothing worked. I jostled him, turned him this way and that, the best I got was half-opened eyes…very brief glimpses. I resigned to simply enjoy holding him. As babies do no matter their weight, he began to feel heavier the longer I held him. I was sitting on a bar stool at the kitchen island. How handy, I could just turn him perpendicular to me and hold him lengthwise in my arms and still take in his features. As I was sitting there looking at him, I began to feel the energy drain from me. This happens every once in a while, usually when I stand up quickly. I did what I always do…brace myself, focus my eyes on something and concentrate on my breathing. So I found some sugar crystals on the counter top from Mike’s pastry and breathed. It’s not working as well this time…maybe if I just rest my forehead on my arm…I’ll just stretch my arms out a little farther toward the center of the island…………..I feel Mike’s hand on my back kind of shaking me and I hear Mary Jane in the other room, “Do you want me to call 9-1-1? Mike? I’m going to call 9-1-1.” I hear Mike asking if I’m okay, but I’m too drained to answer. I come back to full consciousness. My arms are in the same position minus Will. I’m soaked with sweat and have to hold my head up with my hands. There are wet spots on the counter where my arms were. Mary Jane and Patti bring cold wash cloths and orange juice with a straw. I’m feeling better, but I want to lie down. They help me to the couch in the living room where I lie and wait for the EMTs. The police arrive first and get my pertinent information. I answer all their questions. I’m nearly back to normal. The EMTs arrive and I go through the name, rank and serial number again with a few additions including smiling--make sure I haven’t suffered a stroke. I tell this to Mike because he sounds like he doesn’t understand why they’d ask me to smile. They test my blood sugar level. It’s a little high. Probably the orange juice…and the slice of blueberry bread and half of a pastry before I passed out. They decide I should be checked out more thoroughly by some doctors so they bring in a funky chair to carry me out of the house to the waiting gurney. I get up off the couch, sit in the chair and wait for them to strap me in. They then pick me up and maneuver their way through all the people now crowding the living room.

When Travis went up to his room, all was fine…he came back down and “there’s a cop car and an ambulance in the driveway!”

The EMTs get me outside, down the steps and next to the gurney. I climb onto the gurney and lay down. They strap me in and begin the very bumpy walk to the driveway where the ambulance is parked. Okay, I said I was NEARLY back to normal. Between the jostling and turning in a sitting position from the couch to the gurney and now the jostling and turning in a reclined positon from the house to the ambulance, my head is spinning and my stomach is threatening to revolt. I close my eyes and concentrate on my breathing, trying to calm my stomach. They raise the gurney to get it at the right level to roll into the ambulance…nope…too high, try lowering it a notch…yeah, that works. Deep breaths…in through the nose…out through the mouth…keep your eyes closed. Jostling and banging into the locked position inside the ambulance. They ask me which hospital I’d like to go to. “I don’t know. Ask him” as I point to Mike. He tells them the name of the hospital Kathy works in. Mike is here with me. He answers all the EMTs questions. I open my eyes but the ambulance is bouncing through the streets and turning corners. This doesn’t make my head or my stomach happy so I close my eyes again and breathe. The EMT notices and asks me how I’m doing. I tell him I’m trying not to throw up. He hands me a disposable barf bag. It’s a flat, clear plastic bag with a flattened cardboard cone at the top that fits nicely from under your chin to over your nose. I don’t have to use it, I’m able to keep everything where it is despite all the spinning. About halfway there, a car cuts us off and the driver has to slam on the brakes. Yeah, that feels good. We arrive at the emergency entrance and the EMT in the back tells Mike he’ll have to jump out first and move off to the side so they can get me out. All goes smoothly…until we bump over the threshold of the ER doors. Glad I still have the barf bag. They wheel me through the corridors, around a corner, over the river and through the woods…I have no idea because I haven’t opened my eyes in 15 minutes. I’m transferred, sheet and all just like in your favorite hospital tv shows, to the bed in my new digs. The first nurse, Amy, comes in and has authorization papers for me to sign. Are you kidding me?!? I could barely hold the pen, let alone make it do anything remotely legible. (I wish I had a copy of those signatures.) Then she gets me changed into a hospital gown. My shirt is still soaked. She asks me all the same questions the police and EMTs asked. Amy heads off to get my chart started and another nurse comes in puts the thing on my finger and puts a couple round, white patches on my chest and hooks me up to the monitor. As soon as she leaves, yet another nurse comes in and starts putting even more stickers all over me. She’s gonna hook me up to an EKG machine. Wow, there are a lot of wires…I took a quick peek. The machine beeps and does whatever it does. I assume everything checks out because she didn’t scream and call a cardiologist in. She disconnects all the wires and she and her electronic coworker go off in search of another patient. Next up, a chest x-ray. The tech comes in with a lead apron and asks me if I’m pregnant. I tell her I certainly hope not. My bed is set up in a sitting position, but I have to lean forward so she can put the plate behind me. Oh…moving forward is not good, not even two or three inches. Breathe. X-ray done, move forward so she can take the plate from behind me, lie back, breathe. The whole time, my eyes are still closed. Now it’s the doctor’s turn. She comes in, whips out her stethoscope and asks me to lean forward. Really?!? I take deep breaths for her, my lungs sound fine. I get to lie back again. She listens to my heart—also fine. She’ll order something for the nausea that’s still hanging around, waiting for an opportune moment to jump out of hiding. Way cool Nurse Amy comes back in with a bag of clear liquid and a really long straw. Mmmmm…liquid lunch. Then she becomes mean Nurse Amy and sticks a needle in my arm and attaches the straw to it. She stays and chats for a bit. Mike tells her his cousin is working there today. Amy’s not familiar with the name, but would probably recognize her. She leaves to continue with her day and Mike and I are left alone in the room. Someone has brought him a chair so now he can sit and relax a bit. I’m still keeping my eyes closed for the most part. When I do open them the room is a little jumpy which makes my stomach and head do the same. Nurses come and go while we all wait for my tank to be topped off as Nurse Amy put it. Part way through, another nurse comes in and asks me if I can give them a urine sample. I tell her I don’t think there’s anything in there and I’m not sure I’d make it to the bathroom. Still feeling somewhat shaky. I feel shaky inside, but when I hold my hand out it doesn’t look the way I feel. Maybe I am shaking and my eyes are just jumping at the same rate so I appear to be steady. Soon there’s a familiar voice coming through the door. Kathy is on a break between patients and has come down to see me. It’s good to see a familiar face. Mary Jane called and left a message on her phone explaining what happened. She stands at the end of the bed and puts her hand on my shin…I didn’t shave today…didn’t expect anyone to be close enough to my legs to notice…how embarrassing, everyone at Patti’s house, the police officers, the EMTs, the nurses, the doctor and now Kathy…ugh!... Yes, guys, that’s what goes through a girl’s mind…kind of like the ‘Always wear clean underwear’ advice your mom gave—girls should always have clean-shaven legs in the summer, or any time they’re wearing shorts or capris.

Kathy and Nurse Amy did in fact recognize each other and exchanged pleasantries. Kathy wrote her extension on the corner of the mattress in case anyone needed to reach her before she was finished with work. Amy recited her extension as well. Kathy stayed and visited for a short time, then headed back upstairs to her next patient. Mike and I are left alone again. I’m cold so he finds a blanket and covers me…better. I’m able to keep my eyes open for longer periods of time now and even look around. Moving my head is still not a good idea. We sat in silence, we talked, we joked, we wondered when someone would come in and check on me next.

Finally, a nurse comes in to check how I’m doing…she’s here to check my blood pressure. She checks it while I’m lying down and again while I’m standing. I can stand! My legs don’t feel like they’re made of Jell-O any more…yay! I’ve never had any problem with my blood pressure and now was no different apparently. Earlier this morning was a whole different story, though. Again, we’re left alone. I pull up the blanket again. A while later Kathy’s back. She’s off work now and has come to see how I’m doing. I’m much better than the last time she saw me…she’s happy about that. She needs to go out to her car so Mike joins her. They’re gone for maybe 15 or 20 minutes. While I’m all by myself in the room I listen to my monitor go BEEP, BEEP, BEEP every minute or so. I notice an echo coming from another room in the ER. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP…beep, beep, beep………..BEEP, BEEP, BEEP…beep, beep, beep. This keeps me entertained until Mike and Kathy come back. My juice bag is almost empty. I’m feeling so much better now. Nurse Amy was right, just needed the fluids checked and topped off…kinda what I figured too. I haven’t been drinking as much water lately because the temperatures are a lot milder than we’ve been experiencing the past several weeks. Speak of the devil…Nurse Amy is back…with my anti-nausea medication…for the nausea I no longer have. Oh well. She injects into the other port on my IV. It takes a while because it has to go in slowly or it will increase the heart rate and we don’t want that. She leaves us again for a while. Maybe 10 minutes later she’s back with a small box and asks me for a urine sample. This time I know I can make it to the bathroom without falling down, as for the sample…we’ll see. I pull the blanket off me and realize I’m still hooked up to my now empty Capri Sun. She disconnects my and gives me very strict instructions to only fill the cup halfway—she doesn’t want to get wet. She’s a crack-up. Success! I have followed her instructions to the letter! One step closer to getting out of here. Soon she comes back with my discharge papers…again I have to sign them, but this time it actually looks like my signature and not some 5 year-old’s attempt to write in cursive. She takes out my IV and announces I’m free to go. Mike gets my shirt from wherever he stashed it…it’s still a little damp and we’ve been here for about four hours. The room is a wee bit on the arctic side. Mary Jane has offered to pick us up, but Kathy told her the three of us are all going to the same address so it wouldn’t make sense for them to come out. Kathy leads us through the hospital and out to where her car is parked. So this is what it looks like outside my room. Nice…didn’t see one bit of it on the way in. Out in the sunshine…mmmmm…warm.

Back at home I’m ordered to the couch and to do nothing for the rest of the day but rest. Mike grabs a blanket and covers me up. Kathy is soon on her way to Seekonk to the races. Hopefully Dick Houlihan is racing. I’m curled up on the couch, eyes closed, Mike is sitting in the chair watching the baseball game with the sound muted. I ask him to turn the sound up so I can at least listen to it, that way I can keep my eyes closed and try to relax. I doubt I’ll nap. For the rest of the day and evening the most strenuous thing I do is sit up and eat leftovers from our date with Carol and fold the clothes that Mike finished washing and drying for me.

I guess we’re not heading out tomorrow.

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9th August 2015

Geeze! Why is it I make friends, and marry someone, who need to be told to drink!?! Very glad you are ok! Maybe this'll teach you, for a few weeks at least. ;) Gonna miss your blogging when you get home. :)

Tot: 2.325s; Tpl: 0.079s; cc: 9; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0722s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb