Monday, June 04, 2007

Fall Out Girls

Been home for a few days... long enough to start to assess the damage.

Minimal really, when you tot up the myriad coulda-beens. Birdie was able to understand most of what was happening and why, so she appears to be the best off. I say "appears" because I want to watch for a while longer before I put a check mark by her name, and call it good.

LaLa has 100% regressed in the old PT. Don't really blame her, because while she had the best of care, by the best of folks... it was all non-routine, and hither and yon.

Then again, this morning while rummaging through her dresser, she found a pair of "Rhumba
Pants," an item lovingly referred to as "Rumble Pants," here in Chaos. They are lacy and lovely. She wore them backward all day, I assume so she could admire the lace and the bow as she pulled them up and down. What mattered to me is that she WORE them all day. Dry.

It was rather encouraging.

Pearl. That's the really hard one. It's hard to know what to do, how to help... primarily because of her age, but also because of her personality. It was commented on by many people who know the Chaos Girls in person, that we were lucky that this happened with Pearl instead of one of the older girls. Birdie and LaLa are that breed of over-the-top crazy that would likely be ripping out IV lines, stripping off PulseOx monitors and generally raising bloody heck. I have to agree. Pearl is that mild and soft baby girl who does NOT pull on puppy ears. She is sweetness and genteel silence. She is a watcher. But because of these attributes I worry that this experience has driven her further into herself and made her fearful. Especially while she was IN the hospital she was introverted, silent and needing her mama at every moment. Except for those moments when she was sucked into the world of Baby Einstein Crack. It was because of Baby Einstein that I showered and ate meals. While I know on a certain level that she won't "remember" all that happened, she is not unchanged by it.

Home is better.

Being at home has given me back my laughing Pearl, my smiling and talking Pearl. Which, by the way... she came home from the Hospital with words for fish, cat, dog, ball, bubble, prayer, up, down, chick, cow, cracker. Today as I was reading some blogs, she came to my knee and said "up-up, mama!" Granted it sounded like "uh-uh, mama"... but we went up and down the elevators so many times, on our endless wagon rides through PCMC that I know "up" when I hear it.

We are easing back into our lives... except for sleep. She tends to wake up along the same schedule that she had been awoken by nurses taking "vitals" every night. She still must be rocked back to sleep each time.

Sadly.... the freak of the week is the mama. I feel like I am OK with a side order of screaming meemies. I am having nightmares of losing my children; both at night and odd visions of disaster while awake. I think it may take a while to wind down from it all.

Brief bullet point list of "It All."

  • witnessing my child in pain
  • witnessing my child screamingly afraid
  • helping to hold down my child while they do something either painful or scary or both
  • fear and uncertainty in my own heart
  • witnessing the torture of my child via the sleep deprivation which is a side effect of nurses having to take a child's "vital stats" every four hours
  • rocking my child back to sleep upward of six times during a 24 hour period of time
  • trying to decide at what point I tell everyone to back OFF already
  • trying to find a way to communicate with a new nursing staff every twelve hours to make sure that they see my baby girl as a baby girl, and not a "failing IV," G-Tube or a set of stats to be taken and recorded
  • fighting with doctors to get her more relief than mere Benedryl and Tylenol
  • trying to make sure that I don't become Mrs. Unreasonable or ThatMom
  • fear and uncertainty
  • boredom and loneliness
  • worry
  • worry
  • worry
Yikes.... I gotta stop this. I feel like this blog has become a pit of despair. There is a mental YouTube-style vid that plays in my head, of a happy blog surfer saying to themselves, "hey, let's see how things are panning out over in Chaos! That Pearl kid was really starting to look OK." The person at the computer screen clicks on a link and this webpage comes up. First the brow knits, and then comes the look of horror, followed by an audible "OH! ... oh... oh NO." The next day they return, blithely thinking that it's got to be getting better, only "OHHHhhhh! NOOOO!" And the next day...

I think I'm done for the night.


the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

it is what it is, bon. Don't second guess yourself - listen to your inner mama. When it comes down to it, that's all you really have.

She knows.

Listen to her.

I love you!

I don't worry much about Pearl, she's little and I do not doubt she will bounce back quickly. This is a blip - a story you'll catch her telling her friends when she's 19.

Mama D said...

I am glad you are home. I am glad that so much of all of the badness is over. Everyone will be okay. They will. You will.

It's not a pit of despair over here. It's a place for everyone to give you their love and support.

Blogarita said...

I agree with the Pirate. Pearl will bounce back quickly.

I was a sick baby from birth until around Pearl's age and I don't remember any of it. Whether the doctors, procedures, etc. had an impact on my personality, who's to say. Maybe I'd be just like I am now regardless of the illness.

I think "it all" has had the most impact on you. So, if you need to keep writing about it to get it all worked out, then do! Writing...and blogs...are good therapy.


jd said...

The aftermath SUCKS. I hope you are OK. If you need someone to worry with just email me!

Lynanne said...

I went through something similar after my son was released from the hospital (after 3 weeks there including several days in the PICU). I expected to be relieved he was better and for things to get back to normal. Instead, I became anxious and depressed. I was told it is a common feeling. The adrenaline of helping your child through the crisis wears off and you no longer have people around you 24/7 offering support. Your friends breathe a sigh of relief and go on their way- your child is healthy again, what's the fuss? Unless they've been through something like this, few people realize how difficult it is once you get home.

Be kind to yourself. You have wounds on your heart that will take time to heal. It may be an emotional seesaw for a few weeks. T ake care!

sarah k. said...

I wonder if rumba pants would help Zeeb in the PT department...

sari said...

How could you NOT be having issues yourself right now? You've been the strong one for so long, I'd be darn surprised if you weren't falling apart a bit right now, that seems perfectly normal to me.

I'm happy you're all home, that will make a 1000% difference.

Elizasmom said...

I agree with everyone, esp. Lynanne — now that you're home and the crisis part of the experience is over, that's when your mind and body will decide it's safe to fall apart over it all. Do what you need to do, but absolutely give yourself permission to feel it all, whatever it is. I am not worried, nor do I grumble in the slightest, when you writing remains so clear and sparkling and full of wit, even humor. And, Rumble Pants? Too cute for words. I am gonna got get us some for Eliza. Perhaps they will inspire her...

Nobody™ said...

Blogging can be therapeutic. Like others said, if writing it all down here helps you deal, then thats what you should do. I know that I don't mind at all.

Things will get a little better every day.

Fantastagirl said...

I agree with pirate - it is what it is....write it out and let it easy to say - so hard to actually do! Hang in there!

Meredith said...

See, this is when blogging really helps because you get advice from people like Lynanne who went through it. People like me only offer good vibes and let you know that what you are going through is normal and that as traumatic as it was, and it was, you both got through it and Pearl is doing great. I hope in all my heart you never have to go through anything like this again.

momofalltrades said...

Well, we keep coming back, and even if we didn't, who gives a flip? This is your place to hang and work out the chaos in your head and heart. I don't come here expecting to be entertained every time. Your candor in telling the things in your heart is what makes you human...more than just words on a screen. Your feelings are what make you a sister. We don't all get the same trials, but they change us in remarkably similar ways. Sharing these experiences helps validate each of us and lets us know we ARE OK, and we're going to BE OK....KWIM?


Heather said...

Oh my heavens, Bonnie. Is there anything I can do? I'm so glad you've almost made it. You sound like the most amazing trooper ever.

Nancy said...

I am so glad to hear that you all are home. I can only imagine how hard a time you must be having, now that the crisis is mostly over -- now it's the time for you to process it all, and I'm sure it is overwhelming and scary. I think it's great that you feel you can turn to your blog to help with the stress. That's what we are here for.

Wish there could be something more... but know you're in my thoughts and prayers, and if there's anything more I can do I will be here.