La La How The Life Goes On

Hearty Congratulations

Posted on: January 13, 2011

We’re thrilled to report that Baby Sister now has a fully-functioning, valve-operating, hole-closed heart.  The surgery took less time than expected, she did better than expected, and we’re probably going to have her back home sometime next week.

For now, she is still intubated and sedated with many, many tubes and wires and lines coming out of her wee little body.  It’s definitely a lot to take in visually.  But they’ll come out one by one as the days progress and the doctors confirm that her heart is good to go.  It’s truly remarkable that they can not only fix such a rare defect in a human heart, but that they can fix it in such a little one.  As I always say, thank God somebody studied science and medicine, because I sure didn’t.  And thank God that we live in a town where we have world-class medicine available to us.  I cannot even begin to imagine how this surgery would have been possible in East Podunk.   Well, I suppose the answer is that it isn’t possible; which is why Children’s Hospital exists.  And, on my usual politically serious note, thank God above all that we have great medical insurance.  I’m never more aware of how lucky we are as a family–and how little separates us from people whose kids may die from conditions like this–than when I get those EOBs (Explanation of Benefits) in the mail and the patient portion is $0.00.   I know for sure that my parents’ insurance would not have covered a procedure like this to this extent–and who knows what that would have meant for my diagnosis in the first place and my prognosis in general.  And that would have had nothing to do with how hard-working my parents were, or how deserving we were, or anything value-laden at all.  It simply would have come down to what kind of health insurance my parents’ jobs offered.  It can be easy to think you’re special or better-than, when what you really are is just plain fortunate.  Which we are.  To a truly ridiculous degree.

I spent a good portion of the night at the hospital last night in Baby Sister’s room. They have a “bed” set up for parents, which is really a cushioned window box.  A very cold window box.  The room itself is a meat locker because post-surgery they have to keep Baby Sister’s temperature down so she doesn’t develop arrhythmias, so you can imagine how not comfortable it is to hang out in there.   Which is why I didn’t think too much of things when I started to not feel so great.  But by 2am I felt nauseous (hello, 24-hour vomit plague of last week), so I quickly grabbed my stuff, hightailed it out of her room, called the Baby Daddy, called a cab and got home in time to barf the night away in the privacy and comfort of my own residence…safely away from the post-op child.  It was a little naive of me to think I had escaped the plague, considering that both Bambina and Baby Sister had it to differing degrees last week.  OF COURSE I was going to get it!  Luckily, I made it through pre-op and surgery days before it hit.

One of the sadly entertaining things about the parent sleeping area is the signage posted by the hospital.  Apparently parents have to be told to wear appropriate attire to bed, to wear appropriate attire in the hallways, and to not lay around in the bed area after 8am.  I asked the nurse if they really needed to post that, since it all seemed to be kind of self-evident.  Her response?  “Oh, you would not believe what we see around here.  That sign is very much needed. Believe me.”  Because while my child is lying in a bed with lung drainage tubes and breathing tubes and multiple IVs and little wires that are actually resting on her heart so they can electroshock her if her heart stops, I can think of nothing else than putting on the latest Victoria’s Secret lingerie. And my husband can think only to walk around in his boxers, displaying the Jones Family Jewels to all and sundry.  Yes, now is the time for me to eschew the sweatpants and sweatshirt as sleepwear and go for the nightie.  Nothing says, “I love my sick kid” more than “Here’s my titties.”

So I’ll be avoiding the hospital today, BabyDaddy will be spending the night tonight, and I’ll hopefully be back in the game for tomorrow.  And since I’m at home, you know I’m totally rocking that negligee.

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1 Response to "Hearty Congratulations"

So glad to hear all is on track for the inevitable rock star recovery.

So glad that Ben mentioned you have this new blog at the dinner that we were so sad you missed.

So glad to once again be able to read the private details of the strongest, bravest people we know.

Love to Bambina, Little Sister, BBD and Mama

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