Luke really is an experience.
Oh how I wish we knew just how many medicines in which he was going to have a love-hate relationship.
Turns out the pain med we transitioned him to, Lortab, makes him SUPER hyperactive, rather than knocking him out. That information may have come in handy last night at 11pm, and again at 4:15am this morning. Add to that crazy was a newbie clinical assistant who took Luke’s temperature one too many times. Before I could chase him out of the room, he had a thermometer in Luke’s mouth and was saying, “Hey buddy.” AT 4:15AM!
Here’s a newsflash Mr. Clinical Assistant. Don’t talk to kids when taking their vitals that early in the am. Better yet, get the reading the first time, not the third. Basically, it went downhill from there. After trying to negotiate with a post-op 3yo, we gave up. Why we even started to begin to, is beyond me. We were up watching “Cars 2” at 5am and when we flushed his IV to start his antibiotic, WWIII began. The CT scan transport team arrived and you can guess how this ended.
Like a train wreck.
He was screaming on the CT scan table, the radiology assistant put the head vice right on top of the drain coming out of his skull and I could feel my blood pressure starting to rise. She started the scan and said to me, “Just pat him and he’ll stop crying.” It’s no coincidence that I found my big girl underwear about that time.
“Stop the CT,” I told her. “This is as good as it’s going to get. I want him out. Now.”
He was inconsolable. And I had a flurry of flashbacks from his endoscopy and previous bowel-related hospital stays. He was crying that cry. The one that said, “Please Mommy, make the pain stop. Make all these people go away.”
And I did. They wheeled us back to the room and I ordered everyone out. Vitals, meds, nurses, the whole shebang. Out, out, out. We sat in the chair, turned Cars 2 back on and he finally fell asleep in my arms. Both craniofacial and neurosurgery stopped in to assess Luke. We got the orders to pull one of his IVs (hooray), the drain from his skull (double yay!), transition from Lortab (aka the Devil drug) to Motrin and give him a suppository to get the bowels moving. Big day! While he slept, Unisolve (an adhesive remover) and I got to work on getting the tape off the IV in his hand.
After a small nap, he woke up in a slightly better mood, and we pulled the IV. Minimal tears. I began feeling victorious, just in time for craniofacial to return and remove the drain from his skull and the dressing from his rib graft.
Oh y’all, haven’t I learned anything? One should never feel victorious until driving out of the Dell parking lot.
The drain removal went off without a hitch. He barely flinched. The dressing removal of the graft? Notsomuch. It took the NP, a nurse and I to get that thing off. We finally resorted to using the antibacterial foam soap and I did most of the removal. Some burst eardrums and two massive blisters later (now we know Luke has yet another allergy!) we finally saw our sweet Luke emerge. He spent a little time in the playroom painting and crashing cars. The therapy dog, Slick Willie, came for a visit and he and Luke hit it off.
It was at that point I realized that I have my work cut out for me when we get home. “Quiet play” is going to be quite the challenge. Wish me luck.
Just before lunch we got the best news of the day. A diaper! Yes, in the hospital it’s all about the bodily functions. This is my life here at Dell. Weighing diapers and high-fiving the nurses after poop.
The three of us enjoyed a quick lunch, a visit and communion from our priest, Fr. Danny and we finally got Luke settled down. That four-hour night of sleep caught up with him and Agent P and they succumbed to sleep. There is a God and He is in residence at Dell Children’s.
I’ve learned that during any hospital stay, what saves my sanity is a visit from a friend who’s been there. Dina and I met, via our boys, in 3 North nearly three years ago and we’ve been friends ever since. We’ve weathered specialists, PICU stays, procedures gone wrong, therapies and the joys of a big family. If not for her presence today, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to power through the last part of this stay.
The kids came up for a quick visit during Luke’s naptime and took a quick peek at him from the window while he slept. Those were some mighty cute smiles.
Luke awoke, with only a little grumpy, and we journeyed upstairs for popcorn and a movie. It’s a Friday tradition here at the hospital. We stayed for about a half hour and then came back to our room for dinner (Kelli, it was awesome!), a Sonic vanilla DP (you rock, Nicole) and Luke gave us another diaper. That was our ticket to getting outta here and I am oh-so-hopeful that will happen sometime tomorrow.
Scott gathered up the majority of our things and headed home, while I tried to contain Tornado Luke. Should be interesting. I’m guessing we’ll get to bed a little before 11.
I’ve already kicked out all the clinical assistants – no vital checks tonight – and we have one of our favorite nurses from three years ago. Funny how life comes full circle. She was with us during the horrific bowel obstruction surgery. We learned tonight that Luke’s antics put her on bedrest back then.
He is a troublemaker. A mighty cute one, at that.
Here’s hoping day four includes a goodbye wave to Dell. A momma can hope.