I'm still in the intensive care unit with my daughter. I have practically lived here for the past 11 days. Hospital life is different from regular life.
Here are some simple things I miss in no particular order while I'm in the hospital with Jaycee:
1. Walking around barefoot- In ICU you are required to wear shoes at all times. At bedtime, I can get by with just socks. But my feet get tired of wearing shoes for hours and hours.
2. Taking a shower in a clean bathroom- There's a lovely parent lounge shower here. I'm grateful for it but you can imagine the state of a bathroom that multiple people use. I just try to get in and out as quick as possible and not think about it.
3. Performing Jaycee's care- At home, I help Jaycee get dressed, do her medical care, and do all the little things for her. Here, I am allowed to help move her and assist with diapering. It is an odd feeling just watching nurses do some of the things I normally do while I sit on the sidelines. But right now, the sidelines are where I belong.
4. Having the ability to fix my hair- My curly, frizzy hair is hard to manage under the best of circumstances. Here, I don't have access to all my styling products or straightener. I don't have the energy to use them if I did have them anyway. I pretty much wear my hair in a
pony tail most of the time.
5. Having control over my daily schedule- In the ICU, you are suppose to arrive prior to 730 am when rounds begin. So breakfast and all the morning stuff has to be done before that. Then my husband and I wait for the doctors to come by and round on Jaycee. They could come any time between 730 and 11. So we are forced to wait. The rest of the day is all dependant on Jaycee and activity in the hall. Meals, bathroom breaks, and small breaks outside the room all depend on if Jaycee is calm and stable. If some other child is having an emergent problem, the unit may be closed making it difficult to get back in if you leave.
6. A bed to sleep in- One parent is allowed to sleep in Jaycee's room. There is a chair that pulls into a bed. Really it isn't too bad but I miss a nice comfy mattress with my own fluffy pillows.
7. Privacy- In the ICU, the people need the be able to see into Jaycee's room at any time. So her door is always slightly opened. The door is glass anyway so it doesn't matter if it is open or not. Staff are often in and out of her room doing their necessary duties. If you need to have a good cry or make a phone call, there is not a good place for that privacy unless the parent lounge is empty.
8. Being able to see my son everyday- I miss my son who is at home being well cared for by family. He comes over for occasional visits right now. We talk on the phone but it is hard being away from him.
9. Having a home cooked meal- Eating in the cafeteria and at local restaurants gets old quick. I miss our meals together as a family even if they are just hamburger helper occasionally.
10. A dark room- Because this is the ICU, the rooms and halls are never completely dark. The parent lounge is never dark either due to problems with theft, so there's no darkness for good, solid sleep unless we can bravely leave the hospital for a few hours.
11. Getting love from Jaycee- Since she's sedated and has a breathing tube down her throat, I really miss her hugs, kisses, and cuddles I normally get multiple times a day. I miss hearing her attempt at 'love you momma.' For now, we have to settle for holding hands.
The days are long here with many things that aren't ideal but I keep reminding myself it's only temporary. This too shall pass. And I hope it passes soon!