Monday, October 26, 2009

One Week

It's Monday morning, October...26th. I had to double check on the computer because I have no idea what the days and dates are when I'm here in the hospital. Rosie had her 3rd open heart surgery on October 2nd. Since then, it has been a constant roller coaster for her. This last week has been eventful. After a series of days of Rosemary's oxygen stauration levels dropping and daily x-rays not really showing anything, the last of the x-rays revealed a developing pleural efussion, or fluid around the lungs. So last Monday they decided to place what are called, "Pigtails" in the right side of her chest. These drainage tubes can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or even months. On Tuesday, her morning x-ray showed a developing pleural effusion on her left side, so they placed a pigtail in her left chest, as well. On Wednesday, I was so sick and tired of the pokes and prodding that I asked for a PIC line (central line) to be placed into her chest through a vein in her left arm to forego anymore pain associated with blood draws and IVs. This would enable them to draw blood and administer IV meds and fluids as needed through one location. She had gone through 3 IVs in 5 days over the weekend, so she was done, and so was I.

These pigtails can sometimes become clogged or kinked, so they often need to be flushed or adjusted. Thursday evening revealed a kink in her right chest tube and a twist in her left, so the cardiovascular surgeon fellow came in to unkink the lines and eventually pull off 230cc from her right lung, and 170cc off of her left. Friday, more of the same. By Saturday, her pain was becoming hard to manage so they put her on scheduled doses of morphine, on top of the oxicodone and torodol she was getting. And last night, Sunday night, the nurses noticed the tubes were not draining as they should be. As they attempted to drain and pull off more fluid, the right chest tube broke away from the drainage port and the entire tube had to be pulled out of her chest. Doctors said that this happens all of the time, all over the world, it's just the nature of chest tubes. I'll be writing to the manufacturer later...once I've got nothing better to do.

So today, we are re-evaluating the need for another chest tube and the placement of a PCA, Patient Controlled Anesthesia. Rosie has seen so much pain medication over the last 2 years of her life that the normal doses of drugs do little to nothing to help her with the pain. Hence, the need for a little more than normal on the side of narcotics. I'll be meeting with the Pain Management Team today.

All of this to say, it has been one heck of a week. Just one of the three since we've been here. I can tell you this, I am the luckiest Mother alive. To have my baby girl being taken care of in a state of the art facility, to have my sister Leslie's family watching over my other two children, to have a loving partner who supports me, to feel the love all around me from two families that never stop believing in Rosie and in us...I am very lucky.

My cousin Kristen works in the ER downstairs. This morning, she brought me a load of gifts from my family who had gathered at my Aunt Jackie's house to celebrate a Steeler Sunday. The gift bags were hoisted onto an antibacterialized gurny, it looked ridiculously silly, I got a good laugh. It felt like Christmas morning. My sister, my cousins, my Aunts and Uncles, collaborated a host of Halloween gifts, costumes for Rosie, inspirational books, clean clothes, a beautifully hand made card from my Shea-signed by all-and food and more love than you can imagine, all put together so that I could feel a little bit of home while I'm here. After she left, I sat there and cried.

All of this insanity that comes with being here, I know it will end. One day, maybe in one more week, I'll remember this time and not feel anything but relief and the same love that I feel right now. Thank you, family. Thank you for bringing me home again.

Whatever it is that makes you feel at home...harness it. It's what you got!
Here's a musical place that takes me home too...(click on "Home")...