Thursday, May 3, 2012

Best 10 things about our ICU stay

Last night we got home from a 26 hour hospital stay, not that I was counting, to get a 24 hour video EEG done to check for seizure activity.  Because our sweet man in on a vent he can be admitted to only 2 places in the hospital, the TCU (where we were for months after the trach) or the ICU. This time we were in the ICU (oh, how I miss the niceness of the rooms in the TCU).  Our room had curtains, not walls, which makes a hospital stay even more interesting. Here is the best 10 things about our stay in the ICU:

#1.  You have countless opportunities to work on being kind.  Sometimes you fail, like when I told the sweet night nurse, in a less than kind way, that my son's name was Dominic, not Dominique, then followed up with a quick "he's not a black girl." 

#2.  You have even more opportunities to swallow your pride and apologize... see #1.

#3.  You learn to be gently assertive when questioning medical authority.

#4.  Your neck gets a work out when your sassy girl surfaces after the said medical authority proceeds to tell you she has worked there 13 years, how dare she be questioned. 

#5.  You learn when to stop talking about why said authority must be questioned (see #'s 3 and 4).  This realization is usually gained when you notice the stares of surrounding nurses and parents, all of which are looking a bit uncomfortable.

#6.  In case you had one of those rare wonderful high school experiences, you get to re-live it when you shower with your flip flops on in the community showers, just in case, in the most rarest of cases, the cleaning staff didn't get all the "fungus among us" up off the shower floors.  The water pressure is awesome though...

#7.  You learn humility as you watch your waistline expand from the tasty hospital food.

#8.  You get to go shopping to accommodate your new muffin top! 

#9.  You exercise creative thinking as you imagine the choke hold you'd put on the phlebotomist when getting blood from your sweet baby.  This is usually always followed by a wave of self control by swallowing that motherly instinct to deck the sweet lady poking your baby.  repeatedly.  then digging around.  then to the other arm.  wooo, finally got it.  oops, hope it's enough.  Sigh.

#10.  You learn alot about yoga, nursing school, tattoos, tv shows, and current fashions from overhearing the nurses conversations (remember, no walls, just curtains) when you are doing the feeding and caring for the patient.  It's all good, I would do it anyway, which is probably why they don't even try most of the time.  Poor things, they just can't win.

Though all of this did happen during these 26 hours, I must say that the real positive to being in the ICU is you get to see that you're not alone (babies and kids on vents everywhere).  And you get the sharp realization that no matter how bad your kid has it, there is always someone who has it worse.  At least my baby smiles and is full of life.  And I get to bring him home.  It's hard to count your blessings sometimes, especially when the stays get long, but when I get down I just look around and know I'm in good company.  Other parents all around us, so close, but recluse in their little curtained space keeping vigil.  And on rare occasion, you connect and exchange a fleeting second of knowing.

Here's to no more stays for a while.  Amen.

In Jesus and Mary,

Sweet man getting his weave on... not happy about this!


  1. Poor Little Dom (and Momma)! You and Mike are great parents and Dominic knows this. He smiles when he hears your voice and he knows when he is in your arms. God Bless the Short family.

  2. Hope that is the last hospital stay for a while, we don't want you to get too used to the wonders of the ICU. I am so blessed and happy to have Dom in my life, just as I am with the rest of my children (and children by marriage) and grandchildren. Every day is a gift, and Dom is the gift that keeps on giving, he makes me smile! I love you all.