Traumatic experiences are never fun. Last week and a bit before was one of those. But it is amazing the ways that people handle things.
My new son was less than 10 minutes old when he was rushed to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit because he breathed at the wrong time. That was not fun, but little did we know that the NICU was almost heaven. Not pleasant and full of fluffy clouds and angels, but with the doctors and nurse practitioners thinking they are one step away from God.
I have been in hospitals before with my daughter. If you haven’t read before, my 4 year old has been in and out of the hospital since she was 11 months old with kidney disease. Many surgeries, ICU, and finally a kidney transplant. She was always in the Childrens Hospital and they were always good with explanations and family involvement.
The NICU at the main adult hospital did it’s level best to make myself and my wife (who is a trauma nurse in the ER at the same hospital) feel like a pair of 16 year old kids who were either ignorant of the consequences of pregnancy, or too retarded to realize what was going on. Now, my wife is a college graduate and I am very close. We both have above average IQ’s and can figure things out fairly easily. We are not as stupid as they want to think we are.
There were several times that I just had to shut up. My burgeoning Cantankerousness was going to get me thrown out of the place. Or at least make someone cry.
I sat in on one of the care conferences about my son and the main doctor was at one end of the table like Jesus himself at the last supper with the nurse practitioner on his right hand side. I really felt like the outcome was “I decree this treatment, and so shall it be” while everyone else was ready to say “Yes Master” and go on. Of course I was still shocked and didn’t have much to say then, I am much wittier later.
I won’t go into further specifics because that would be dangerously close to a slander lawsuit but suffice it to say that we broke more of their emphemeral “rules” than we even knew were available. There were several times when my wife was arguing about tests or procedures that they wanted to do on this new baby and I was literally afraid that it was going to escalate into her being removed by security.
I have said it before, it is all fine and dandy to spout off a bunch of medical mumbo jumbo to say me, and be able to do what you want to the kid, but when the person you are spouting off to actually knows what all of that is and how it should be done, and who also happens to be post partum and exhausted it is not going to be pretty.
The baby was born on Thursday, and by Saturday I was literally afraid they were going to find a way to bar us from the NICU and do whatever the hell they wanted on the kid.
The prospect of staying in what I have started calling the 3rd ring of hell ala Dante‘s Inferno, for another 14 – 21 days was infuriating. There was a point we hit about Friday where he was only in the place for IV antibiotics and my wife began arguing that he did not need to be in the ICU but there is no step down in that hospital.
Eventually my daughter with kidney disease ended up in the childrens hospital with an infection and we got the baby transferred up there. They could have let him go home that day, Monday. not 2 weeks in the ICU. Now we are all home and have some good stories about being in the presence of Nazi’s.