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We are going home today!  Paul’s O2 levels are good enough to go “unwired.”  I laughed, a nurse cornered the Dr as he left our room and asked, “How come I have a mask and gloves on, and you aren’t wearing anything?”  I didn’t catch his answer.  Dr was really impressed that I could listen to the radio on my computer.  He isn’t really old, he might be as many as 10 years older than me, but I guess he isn’t really techno-savvy.  I’m gonna go pack now.

Still here, for now

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Friday Evening We are still here. Maybe tomorrow. Dr said that when we go home, we will probably have oxygen and breathing treatments too. I can only imagine what Leo will think of the O2 lines. Paul has started to flirt and visit with people, a good sign. Husband came up for a while, and he brought the baby vibrator chair. Unfortunately Paul is not interested in vibrating. I managed to pull the antibiotic line out of the port again, right at bedtime. He was really fussy all evening, and just wanted to be held, that is why I was transferring him from the bassinette to my bed. I feel sorry for our neighbors, although we are kind of at the end of a hallway. 


Not happy tonight.

  Saturday The cleaning guy is cute, probably 15 years younger than I am…but nice to look at and friendly too. Everyone here does things differently, one aid will put a full sized sheet on Paul’s bassinette, folding it under the mattress, the next will slip the mattress into a pillowcase (what I would have done). The respiratory therapist, a man, keeps Paul in his bassinette to do his treatments, he doesn’t even touch him. The nurses hold him and rock him when they do the treatments.  People come into our room in all states of dress, some in hazmat suits, some in just masks some just wander in.  I think there is a man in his 40s or 50s here, then the rest of the patients are all 80 years and up. I suspect my foray into pop culture is about to end. I think I have learned that 70 channels of TV doesn’t get me excited enough to want a dish. I didn’t even watch my usual shows this week. I used to watch Grey’s Anatomy religiously, but Paul was born on a Thursday, and I haven’t seen it since the first week in November. I don’t even miss it much. You can bet I won’t miss Lost on January 31. What I am missing right now is my Saturday morning NPR fix, I listen to Car Talk and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. Wait, I can stream radio! It looks like I am back into the early 20th century again, of course using (for me) 21st century technology. I am gonna miss this internet hookup big time.  More when I know more, still haven’t seen the Dr today.


Mama! My bouncy!

Friday through noon

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  Friday Woke up around 6 after staying up until midnight. Paul has been getting a little better each day. I don’t think you get over this quickly. Dr said he would make a call on when we could go home based on this afternoon’s blood tests. After the morning breathing treatment, the nurses decided his port was clogged, and wanted to move it again. I decided that was my best opportunity to dash home for more clothes etc. When I got home, Mom was in the middle of making cabbage burgers, so I had to stay for lunch. Leo was so happy to see me, and had so much to babble about, then he fell asleep on Papa’s lap before lunch, while I was in the shower, so I didn’t spend much time with him. I did play barbies with the ladies for a while. Man that is boring. Mae called me on it, demanding to know why my dolls weren’t talking. I pointed out that they were in the beauty shop, and they couldn’t talk over the hair dryer. I was actually sitting and enjoying watching my kids play. I would much rather play cars or blocks or little people or store than barbies, although back in the day I played my fair share of barbies.

When I got back to the hospital, Paul was due for another breathing treatment, then my minister stopped by for a chat. So far nobody has drawn blood, but on Tues, the Dr said that we would have at least 72 hours of antibiotics for the infection. By my calculation, that is up, and the nurse said the Dr hadn’t stopped anything yet. I am gonna go check out youtube now.  I got the video loaded.  I don’t know what I did differently last night, but it worked like a charm today.  As you can see, he is a little hungry too.  I took that Wednesday.

We are in the hospital


Tuesday I slept in. Paul was not feeling well, I had 2 non-consecutive hours of sleep Sat night, and Sun was only a little better. I dropped the ladies at pre-school about five minutes late then took Leo and Paul to Paul’s well-baby appointment at 9:15. By 9:45 we were checking into the hospital with two X-rays and a nose swab under our belts.

Paul has RSV, pneumonia and also a secondary infection. I kept Leo with me until 3:30 in the hospital room. Can you imagine being in a hospital room for five-and-a-half hours with a sick 2 month-old and a healthy 18 month-old? We played drive-the-tractor, lose-the-puzzle-pieces and shred-the-toilet paper. The kitchen gave us two noon meals, including Jello for Leo. “Gave” is probably the wrong word to use here. I dashed home find that Husband had got upwards of 60 pounds of free baby carrots from work. At least I don’t have to wonder what to do with them.  I managed to line up our once-a-week nanny, pack, orchestrate my hospital entertainment and child care for everyone else over the course of half an hour. I got back to the hospital in time for the doctor to tell me we wouldn’t be leaving until noon on Friday, or later.

I brought Paul’s baby quilt, which I am about done with now, The Secret Garden to read, (I am out of unread books at home) and my cell phone manual. I spent the first night learning how to text message better.  I also brought the laptop, thinking I could write, or organize my files.  The Dr told me two months ago they didn’t have wireless.


This was as far as he opened his eyes Tuesday.

We got a single room, and a bassinette like when Paul was born. This is a small hospital, there are maybe 25 or so rooms. I recognize most of the nursing staff from my stay two months ago. They remember us too. We have a banner claiming “ISOLATION” outside the door. This means most hospital personnel who  come in have a mask and hazmat gown. Paul is on an IV and also oxygen. He has bandages on both “elbow pits” from blood draws and owies on the back of both hands where they tried to put a port in. They also tried twice on his head before they got it in. Poor little guy. Someone comes in every four hours to do breathing treatments on him with some kind of vapor, Chemistry 101 escapes me.

Wednesday, after the best night’s sleep I have had since I don’t even remember when, I was awakened at 5:00. A hospital is no place to sleep, we had people come in five times that night! Paul was put on glucose, since he wasn’t nursing well. As the day progressed, that changed, and he made up for several days’ worth of feedings by eating pretty much full time from lunch to bed time. Paul sounds like he is breathing backwards through a harmonica. Mom and my Stepdad came to watch the other kiddos, because Husband has a business meeting out of town Thursday. The whole tribe came to visit, for half an hour that evening. I had bought a bag of Cheetos, so my bedding has small hand shaped orange spots all over it. Kinda makes the place seem homey.

I learned this evening how to control the TV volume. We had it on extremely low. I accidentally noticed the dial on the bed thing, and realized I could adjust it. Cool! Since we have no cable, I miss out on some of the cultural things going on in society. Things I like to have a passing knowledge about, like “Sex in the City.” I got to see that for the first and probably last time. I also got to watch “Monk,” which I liked. I won’t watch anything with a crawler. I panic because I can’t not watch the words. I am a compulsive reader.  I have the same problem with subtitles, even if they are another language.  It took me until Thursday at 8:00 p.m. to figger out I had wireless.  Oh the time I could have wasted.  Seems like I need to be a little more observant of my surroundings.

Thursday, I slept in until 7:00. Oh my gosh it was wonderful. Right before I went to bed, around midnight Tues night, I moved Paul to my bed, because he was not happy in the bassinette, and managed to pull out the glucose line and cause him to bleed all over my bed. That was awful. The nurses keep saying that they want to use the same port site as long as possible. I guess I didn’t do any harm to that, but I sure felt bad for him, and he felt bad too. I slept great after that though. I must be running on fumes to be able to sleep through someone taking my kid out of my bed to give him breathing treatments. Personally, I hate to sleep where other people can see me. I stayed awake the whole time on the plane to and from Hawaii. I seem to be over that problem.

We have special garbage containers in our room, for all the stuff they put on. I made a comment to the cleaning guy about how much waste is leaving our room. He weighed it and we are using about five pounds of gowns/gloves/diapers/medical packaging a day. The respiratory therapist made a joke about the food here, and while it is not what one would expect from a high class restaurant, I didn’t have to cook it, so I won’t complain. It is definitely down home style cooking, and there is nothing wrong with it. I have had both beets and spinach for vegetables, nothing fresh though.

Dad and Nanny came to visit for an hour today. They are on their way through for some kind of meeting somewhere. They kindly brought me the Christmas gift I had given them, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. I was not done reading it when I had to wrap it. I should have plenty of time now, since the quilt is almost done, and The Secret Garden is pretty short. I sent the quilt home with Mom, so she can get the binding ready for me to attach. I have a hard time not doing anything, even watching TV for very long.

Later, Mom brought the ladies for a brief visit. We all used the stethoscope on Paul, and when the Cheetos ran out they left. Shortly after that, the port gave out and the nurses had to remove all the tape from Paul’s hair. I left when they put in the new port. After supper we had another guest. The Dr said he his thinking we might go home tomorrow afternoon, maybe.  I tried to upload video of Paul breathing, but I couldn’t get it to work.  I will try again before I leave this wireless haven and return to my prehistoric dialup.


                                       Notice the Cheetos, Mom can actually be bribed with them.                                      


 Looking a little better.

This begs the question, what happened?  How could my kid get so sick without me knowing it?  I knew he was sick when we went to the Dr.  The appointment was the reason I didn’t take him in Monday.  Sunday, a friend told us his daughter had RSV, but we didn’t touch him, or anything he touched, and she wasn’t around.  I understand that the child needs to be present for the disease to move from one to another.  God, I hope so, I visited my cousin’s baby in the hospital!  Paul stayed home.  I guess the only thing wierd, other than what I thought was a cold, was the fact that Paul had foamy drool.  Sorry about the technical jargon, but that is it.  When it dried, it looked a little like egg whites.  He was breathing a little rough, but all of my kids were snuffley at that age.  Hmm.