Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

Day One

July 27, 2006

On the first day of the rest of our lives—just so we didn’t get into a rut—we got everyone in the car to drive to Children’s Hospital. The Boy had a post-discharge visit to his pediatrician, so we trundled off to our old stomping grounds. And I’m proud to say that we were only a few minutes late for an 8am appointment.

We recorded his height and weight, and talked about all of his discharge orders and medications, and discussed a few concerns about minor details of life outside the confines of hospitals. Most urgently: immunizations. Who knew there were so many these days? And so many bugs to protect our children from. Which takes on a whole new gravity, since Will’s oxygen level couldn’t possibly get much lower, and even the most mundane respiratory problem will almost certainly land Will in the hospital, on a breathing machine, and fighting off some serious complications. So we debated back and forth, especially about vaccines which have greater chances for side effects– like the ones given to combat stuff like the hip new Rotavirus. Suffice to say that we’ll be even more militant about hand washing of ourselves and our visitors for the next couple of years. In the end, we chose for some, and against others, and The Boy barely protested when the steel hit his thigh. A few quick tears dried up just as soon as the nurse scooped him up and loved on him.

In the afternoon, our home-health nurse came by to record his height and weight, and talked about all of his discharge orders and medications, and discussed a few concerns about minor details of life outside the confines of hospitals. But mostly, she gave us some training in some of Will’s feeding equipment and tried to allay our panic over the prospect of taking care of two infants. It was also amusing—as always—to see her eyebrows head for the ceiling when she checked his monitor. If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a hundred times: “…really? Is it really normal for his oxygen levels to be that low?” We can’t wait for his next heart surgery, so we can kick these oxygen tanks to the curb and settle everyone’s nerves.

Note to self: next time you’re looking at the clock, and it’s 1:30 in the morning, and you think, “heck, why don’t I just stay up until his 3am feed?”, don’t. We jumped up at 6am, foot to the floor to get out the door, and I’ve been in shock ever since. The fatigue and workload conspired with the McChicken I jammed down at lunch yesterday to make me more than a little punky today. Thankfully, The Wife whipped up some chicken soup, and made me take a couple of naps. That, and she took care of both kids in my stead—including the sore and suddenly fussy Will. She’s quite remarkable.

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