Friday, August 31, 2012

In Case of Emergency

As I write this, I am sitting in a hospital with Jaycee, watching her struggle to breathe. Her asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, and history of heart problems are a bad combination when she gets sick. Simple colds almost always turn into some sort of lung infection. We don't smoke or have pets. We adjust our lives to the point where we feel we are being paranoid to avoid all sorts of triggers that may set off her asthma. Yet, germs are everywhere. They are unavoidable. I know when I first see a snotty nose on her that we are in a potential battle for her health.

In six years, we have rushed her to the hospital several times,  usually for respiratory issues. It has become a familar situation for us. The moment we know we are heading to the hospital, there's a rush to pack everything we need. We live 2 hours from the hospital, so it's not easy to come home for supplies. Last year, I wised up and made a bag of all the bathroom neccessities (shampoo, perfume, toothpaste). This saves a lot of time during the pack rush. It's amazing how well my brain can remember things during the excitement. Phone chargers (check), money (check), movies for Jaycee (check), my schedule (check), clothes of course (check). I can do it all in well under 10 minutes. I once wore sandals to the hospital and regretted it. A week of sandals on hard tile floor was awful. Ever since then, I have remember to wear tennis shoes to the hospital no matter how dorky I will look.

Being in this situation and in the hospital is not easy. I'm not going to pretend like it is. However, we have done this so many times that it almost seems normal. The more we do it, the more familar we are with the system and just knowing what to expect. People usually wonder about how my husband and I cope with it all. We do have different opinions and feelings but in general we are both fairly calm. I'm typically the one who cares for Jaycee at home. I am the one making decisions about her doing her breathing treatments, when to take her to the doc, and trying to monitor her breathing to catch her before she gets really bad. So by the time we get to the hospital, there is almost a sense of relief that I'm not responsible for her care now. I can sit back and let someone else make decisions. My stress level acutally goes down once we arrive safely at the hospital. Sure, there have been scary moments in the hospital that have caused me to be worried and sad. Again, I don't want to make it sound like I'm always walking around the hospital with a smile on my face. That's not true. No one wants to be here or have their kid sick. But, I sometimes get the impression that people think I'm in her hospital room, crying and being depressed. That's just not the case. For me, the most stressful parts of her illnesses are times just before we end up in the hospital or the time we get home from the hospital because I am the one doing medications and not getting sleep due to her monitor beeping. So, that is some thoughts on emergencies that bring us to the hospital. Now, I'm going to try to take a nap!

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