Wednesday, February 17, 2010

You really wish there was no need for oxygen masks that small

I did great when they did all the vital sign checks.
I didn't even flinch when it took two nurses several minutes to put in an IV.
I was stoic as they wheeled us from the prep area down to nuclear medicine.
I made sure to ask my questions rationally when the anesthesiologist came in to the room.

But when they put that little oxygen mask on my 2-month-old, I lost it.

We were up early today. Ben's big day. The renal scan.

We had to be to the hospital by 6 a.m. to check him in and start the pre-procedure prep.
He was right on time, waking up at 4:45, giving me plenty of time to give him some water (all he was allowed to have after a 2 a.m. feeding) and giving me time to make myself some tea and breakfast.

We got to Torrance Memorial and got him signed in and up to the short stay area. Once there they weighed and measured him so they could make sure to give him the proper amount of anesthesia later.

They put the tiniest little baby blood pressure cuff on him. It looked like something from a child's toy set. But when they did not have the proper adapter for the machine to read it, they switched to a child's cuff on his leg.

Through all this, though he had to have been hungry, Ben was a champ. He even managed to charm every nurse who came in to help prep him.

When it was time for the IV to be put in they took us to pediatrics. After trying one hand, then a foot to no avail, the first nurse brought in another nurse who was able to get the IV on his left hand. He screamed, of course. But all in all he was quite good the nurses assured us.

So good, so sweet, so strong they kept saying.

Then it was back to the first room.

Finally, shortly after 8 a.m., they came to take us downstairs to nuclear medicine where Ben was laid out on a full size bed while the anesthesiologist explained what he would be doing. We asked our few questions.

And then they put that mask on him and told us it was time for us to go to the waiting room. It had never occurred to me that they would put an oxygen mask on him.

It had never occurred to me that they even made oxygen masks that small. It is just not something one really thinks about in the normal course of a day.

But there it was. A little mask on my big baby, who suddenly seemed like such a tiny baby.

After some more kisses, we left Ben there and went to the waiting room. Me, Nick, my mom... waiting. I had a book with me, but it was impossible to think of anything but Ben.

About an hour later the anesthesiologist came in to tell us that the procedure had gone well and that Ben was fine. He was being moved to post-anesthesia recovery.

A few minutes later we were allowed in to see him. Me, Nick and my mom checked on him, but the area was too small for us all, so I was the only one allowed to wait with him until he was awake.

Several minutes later he started moving the arms and legs, slowly waking up. The eyes fluttered open, the arms were windmilling and the mouth was making the hungry face. But there were no cries.

We needed cries before we could go back upstairs where they would continue to monitor Ben.

Finally, we got the appropriate number of cries and little noises out of him and we were wheeled back up to short stay where we would be for another 90 minutes or so while we fed him and they checked his vitals often.

He ate well and was able to keep it down. Finally, 6 hours after we got there, we were able to leave the hospital and take Ben home with the instructions to change the diaper often and make sure to give him a good cleaning. We were told to wear gloves.

Because our baby will have radioactive pee for the next 24 hours.

And with that, we left to make the short drive home.

By the time we got there our happy, smiling baby was back, wanting to be fed again. The only sign that he had been to the hospital was the little ID band around one wrist and the blue bandage where they had removed the IV.


Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here in the office, reading your blog post, tears welling up in my eyes. (I work for a hospital and your blog came to my attention thanks to a Google alert on certain words).... I just want you to know that your love for your son is so evident, and I'm sending my prayers for his health and happiness. God bless you.

Jill said...

Thank you so much for the kind words.
Ben is a great baby, I tell myself daily how lucky I am to be his mommy.

My Persian Kitchen said...

Jill, you and baby Ben are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that everything will turn out OK.

It's good to see you back in the blogging world.