Last week as I published my Takes, I was convinced that Teddy had turned a corner, and would be back to normal and hopefully back to school by Monday. And then Friday, the exact oppostie happened. His temperature shot up higher than before and his blood oxygen levels fell dangerously low. Tony and I both realized we were looking at pnemonia, and I brought Teddy to the emergency room at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for what I knew would become an inpatient stay.
This is my third trip to the ER this year, but Teddy’s first admission to the hosptial EVER. Unlike Fulton, the seasoned veteren who is often recognized, and tends to go with the flow no matter how he’s feeling, Teddy was not happy and resisted cooperating and being friendly with anyone from the minute we arrived.
I can anticipate when the situation demands an admission, and so mentally, I can prepare and pack a bag accordingly. But for Teddy, whose never spent more than the day at CHOP, its been an upsetting and overwhelming experience. He’s a pro at getting an IV And labwork, but all the intense respitory interventions is new and frankly, he’s over it.
I expect us to be discharged on Sunday, and hopefully Teddy will be back to school the next day. My mom has been with us since Saturday, and Tony’s parents will switch places with her today. Grandparent support assures that the dishes and laundry don’t pile up, and that whomever is at home doesn’t subsist on frozen pizza and pasta for the duration of the admission. Tony is here at the hospital as much as he can be, and thankfully he has a flexible work schedule, but I get to sit bedside the bulk of the time- yay!
Thanks for modern technology, I can still get quite a bit done from the hospital. I’ve renewed our library books, had groceries delivered to our house, and medical supplies delivered by Amazon in 24 hours. I can correct and grade most of the kids work through the online learning management system Schoology and thanks to texting and messaging they can ask me questions and chat with me around the clock. Teddy’s teacher has texted me some of his work as well.
Modern technology means I can update the majority of people through Facebook, though I am answering some texts and phone calls. But I’m grateful to not have to call everyone who is asking about Teddy, especially since the second I get on the phone, another doctor, nurse, or respiratory therapist walks in the room with a question or request.
It’s not easy having Teddy inpatient, especially since Fulton requires so much additional care right now. He’s got the same bug as everyone else, but so far, as long as we keep on top of his breathing treatments, he’s holding his own. We just need to make sure there’s always two people at home who can help with transfers, and someone who knows how to do his medical stuff.
The big kids are helpful, but we have a ton of extra stuff going on. (YAY FALL!) At one point when Tony and I were switching places, and trying to figure out transportation in the few minutes we had together Teddy’s nurse went to leave and asked if we needed anything. I jokingly asked if she could help with car-pooling. She laughed and said she had a hard enough time lining up help for walking her dog; she had no idea how we were managing with all our kids. To her our conversation made things sound almost impossible. It’s been challenging, but so far everyone has gotten where they need to be, even if it means the girls won’t get to fencing practice until tonight.
To pass the time, I launched a new website for Catholic special needs parents (email me if you want to contribute or help with behind the scenes tasks), read, watched some ‘Murder She Wrote’ and spent too much time on social media trying to connect with the outside world. Because Teddy is doing well, being here can be a bit relaxing- I’m removed from all the tasks at home, it’s just when I go home, I tend to get overwhelmed with all the work that’s accumulated. There’s also the lack of quality sleep. Even after moving to a private room, there’s so many alarms and late night visitors, and of course, Teddy doesn’t’ want anyone rolling him over or adjusting his bipap mask at 3 a.m. except me.
I never want an in-patient visit but this last year of hospital stays has taught me that it’s not the end of the world. (But again, we’ve never dealt with anything life threatening.) We can reschedule or cancel things, move others around. I used to think, “I can’t be in the hospital right now- there’s too much to do!” But I’ve seen we somehow always mange and everything gets done in it’s own time, and what isn’t that important falls away.
Helpful big kids, grandparents, and friends willing to lend a hand if necessary are also key. Just another reminder that we’re often given a burden that is too much to carry alone- but that’s because we’re meant to turn over our worry and spiritual needs to God, and allow others to help with our physical needs. We’re not supposed to do it alone, and often there are lots of people who are just waiting to help you.
I am also grateful to live near such a great hospital. When we moved to New Jersey 14 years ago, it was supposed to be a temporary stop over. But know, when I recall the few places we lived previously, and where we considered moving to, I’m glad we wound up staying only a short drive from such great care.
Otherwise, I don’t have any deep thoughts about this stay. Just that through it all I’m grateful. Not for the illness that brought us here, but for the rest of it.
How was your week? Write it down then link it up below. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!