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November 1, 2006 / allyo

Sock arm

When we were in the hospital after Jamie’s tonsilectomy we spent a lot of time walking the halls. We had a cycle going with the meds that went: hour one, crabby; hour two, perking up; hour three, whee, I feel fine; and hour four, crabby. So every two hours or so when the endless loop of home-recorded Blues’s Clues or sleeping or nursing wasn’t cutting it we’d roam the halls looking for diversions.

A big one was the fish tank in the lobby. Jamie loves fish (dur), loves to feed the fish at home, loves to talk about them and their different colors, etc. So every trip up and down the hallway included at least one fish tank stop. Then we’d continue on to one of two playrooms. The one on our floor was well-stocked and staffed (volunteered?) but was for ages 5-12. We still found things to do and that’s where I was able to quickly jump online and check my gmail. A few times we went to the playroom on another floor that of course included added excitement in the form of an elevator ride and the pushing of the elevator buttons. That playroom was for ages 0-5, but all the parts to the various shape sorters and little people sets were missing. There was plenty of fake food for the impressive wooden play kitchen, but Jamie wasn’t in a pretend-cooking kind of mood. The cars and the drums and the bubble lights in the other playroom were much more distracting.

Jamie’s surgery was at, what 7 am? No, 7:30 I believe. Yes, because we had to be there at 6:30. By late afternoon they were able to take his iv out but left the needle in his hand in case he started to get dehydrated. The put a big sock on his arm and tucked the tubing underneath so he would stop trying to rip it out. He had a pulse ox (sp? whylime??) thingy on his toe- it had a red light on it so it was his red light toe- and when we unhooked it we ran the wire from that around to the back of his leg and tucked it into the back of his yellow hospital pjs. He refused to wear the top part, a mini yellow hospital gown.

So, you have to picture it. A two year old, hopped up on codeine, walking through the hospital hallways, shirtless, wire tucked into his diaper, and a big club-like blue sock arm. Which he swung back and forth, strutting through the hospital like he owned the place.  And as we marched back and forth keeping him busy and distracted, we passed rooms with crying adolescents and babies with their wires plugged in and monitors beeping, some with parents keeping a beside vigil, some with only the hospital staff to hold them and cuddle them. As I walked I was mostly concerned with keeping up with Jamie and keeping him focused on our destination (and staying awake), but at the corners of my perception I was taking all this other stuff in. And everytime I looked at his small, naked, vulnerable back, wires tucked in, sock arm swinging, the relief and gratitude bubbled up and at times, especially when mixed with the adrenaline that comes to us as parents in these situations, it spilled right over. I am so, so thankful that our stay was brief and uneventful.

NaBloPoMo post #1!


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