Every day there’s some new procedure or test that Elvie must go through, and most days there are several. The more tests they run, the more they find that requires more information. It is cause for rejoicing when they identify one of the issues and determine a treatment. In order to start a new antibiotic for the multiple bacteria that have been growing in Elvie’s urinary tract, the doctors needed an IV at the very least. It has been extraordinarily hard for the nurses here to use the usual method to get blood from Elvie, and the PICC line they hoped to start has failed four times. After trying to get an IV into her neck yesterday, they finally decided that scalp was the way to go. In addition to the shiny new IV, Elvie is also sporting a little hat, designed to keep her from yanking it out. Looking at it makes me feel really bad for her. At the same time, I know it could be much worse. We are walking through this, but we know she’s getting better. We know that we will walk out of the hospital with a baby that’s on the mend. Some people don’t have that privilege.
At this hospital, when your child is checked in, you are also given wrist bands to indicate that you are a parent of a child in the hospital. Ours are blue, and they stay on at all times. When I am in the hallways here or at the Starbucks just one short block away, I look for other blue wrist bands. I wonder what the stories of the children are, and how long their parents have had the wrist band on. Walking back to Elvie’s hospital room, I hear the doctors on rounds discussing patients. Some have hope, but for others, it’s uncertain. I had one night of being afraid that Elvie wouldn’t make it until morning. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to live with that fear every night.
As it stands for us, there are some more tests to get through, and we are in the process of re-feeding Elvie out of malnutrition. We will be here at the hospital for as long as it takes to figure out everything that is wrong and what the course of treatment will be, plus long enough for Elvie to put on a little more weight. Many diagnoses we know already, and I feel like we are on the downhill slope, at least as far as knowledge of what must be done is concerned. Elvie will go home with an NG tube to help with feeding and administering medicine, but she will go home. We are so grateful that is the case.
For now, we continue to sink into our hospital routine, while at the same time looking forward to the day that Elvie will be discharged. I am going today to buy more lounge pants, as sleeping in jeans is not at the top of my list of fun things to do. Every day there is coffee and lunch in the cafeteria and a shower at home. Once a week, Jarod takes the night shift so that I can get one solid night’s sleep each week. Tonight is that night, and I’m pretty sure that tomorrow morning I’ll wake up feeling like a new woman. Until then, I hang out by Elvie’s crib, hoping that the day that everything is figured out will be soon, and we can take her home to start the life we dreamed of as a family.
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