Today I have laser-death eyes. Tragically, everyone who works in the IGT department of the hospital died as a result. It wasn’t their fault, they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I got pushed to my limit today and almost starting throwing punches, but I restrained myself… barely.
We knew that we were headed into surgery today, just not when. The unpredictability of hospital life is one of the things that is driving me mental. I met the docs on rounds at 7:30, and we agreed that Gavin was going to go into surgery at around 10:00. Okay, fine. Any questions? Nope. So you can imagine my surprise when ten minutes later our nurse comes in to take me down to the OR. Craig had just left to try to put in a couple of hours at work and then had to turn right around and come back to the hospital.
Gavin was still waking up, and quite sleepy due to the building pressure in his ventricles. (His drain had been turned off to prepare for the surgery.) He was not pleased to be woken up in the OR waiting area with a group of strangers crowded around his bed. I tried to placate him with stickers while I fielded questions from the anesthesia group in preparation for surgery. I had to part ways with Gavin as they wheeled him into the OR with only Monkey for company. Heart-break #1 of the day.
Then I wandered off to the CCU waiting room to find Craig. My dad joined us there a short time later and we all spent the next hour and a half reading and anxiously clock-watching. I’m reading the Twilight series for comic relief. Finally, Dr. Dirks came to tell us that Operation Shunt was a success and that Gavin would soon be in the recovery room. I felt my fever-pitch anxiety slowly begin to fade again.
In the recovery room, Gavin woke up straight away, still groggy but alright and was soon back in his room, ready to watch TV and play stickers again. Auntie Loz kept him occupied for an hour while I snoozed a bit. She had just left when a woman from IGT (Image Guided Therapy) arrived to tell me that we had a problem with Gavin’s PICC line.
Gavin’s PICC was inserted 10 days ago, really without my blessing. I expressed my objections to anyone who would listen, but was convinced that it was an absolutely necessary procedure that would save him a lot of trouble in the long run. A PICC is like a permanent IV that is fed from the arm up into the chest, not exactly an easy or completely safe procedure, although they do them all the time. The rationale behind the decision was that it would save Gavin from a lot of “pokes” because he would need daily bloodwork to check his heparin levels. So I was slightly irritated to learn that the heparin samples could not be taken from the PICC after all and so Gavin would still receive pokes daily or twice daily. To my mind, the PICC hasn’t really saved him any pain, but that’s besides the point.
The woman from IGT informed me that somehow Gavin’s PICC had come out – my suspicion lies on two of the nurses who replaced the dressing the other day – and that this had been seen in an X-ray from SATURDAY. Isn’t today Monday? No-one had even looked at these scans – so the old adage “no news is good news” doesn’t work here. No news means that the bad news hasn’t been shared with you yet. We returned to IGT to try to fix his PICC line, at which point Gavin woke up from a nap and freaked out when he was wheeled away from me again. Heart-break #2 of the day. Unfortunately, or maybe not so much, they were unable to save the PICC, and I flatly refused to let them try to put in another one. I bought him almost 48 hours with my laser-death eyes. We go back to IGT on Wednesday.
I’m trying to limit my child’s surgeries and procedures to one a day please.
Yes, I’m angry today! I’m angry at the hospital and everyone in it for making Bean so miserable right now. My mission at the moment is to try to limit the number of nasty things that are done to him in one day, and to get the nurses on side with that. It’s not easy.
The silver lining: Gavin’s head is no longer attached to an external drain and so will become much more mobile over the next couple of days, thankfully.