21 March 2008

Thinking about hospitals

I guess sitting around in the ER last night made me really think more about when Rejeanne was in the hospital when she was 2.5 months old. That experience was really terrifying, but with no one around the first couple days but Lee and I, we found that it was easy to really be there for each other and Rejeanne. I think we have heavily depended on one another since then. It was also interesting to spend 24/7 in a hospital without being sick. I learned so much about the nurses. There was one nurse who kept coming in and raising the rails on the baby jail. Rejeanne was in this "crib" that was metal and the rails went up probably about 5 feet. That thing made me very sad. It looked like she was in prision with all these wires coming out of her. So, Lee found a bunch of magnet stuffed animals in the gift shop downstairs and we decorated it in little animals and tried to keep the rails a more normal height. It got to a point where I really dreaded the "rail nurse" coming in because I knew the first thing she would do EVERYTIME she came in would be to put up the rails as high as possible and insist we leave them like that. I assumed she just didn't want to get in trouble for some procedure breech and I just ignored her and put them down everytime she left. One night, she came in and I was standing next to the crib. I just kind of gave her a look and raised the side of it myself so I didn't have to watch her do it. She leaned against the sink and started talking to me and asking how Rejeanne was. She seemed to really care and seemed deeply concerned, more than the average nurse. I was a bit surprised by that because she was the "rail nurse". She started telling me how lucky we were to have Rejeanne and for her to be getting better from the beta strep. She had a son in the early 80's who had died from what Rejeanne had because medicine then wasn't as good as medicine now. She checked the other rail to make sure it was latched and left the room. It was then that I realized she was just very protective of our baby because of what had happened to hers, that's why just kept securing the rails. That experience really made me wonder how many other things I misinterpret. I really just thought she was trying to "obey the rules" and annoying me in the process when really she was just thinking of her son and her loss and doing everything she could to do her job of caring for my daughter. Many of the nurses there shared themselves with me. I was definitely not expecting that. It seemed like many of them would find some down time and just kind of come hang out for a few minutes with us and tried to get one of us at least to go home for a little while. They talked about their kids and their lives and they all cared so much about Rejeanne's pain from the medicine IV. I'm thankful that nurses like that take care of the babies. I've never really had nurses like that in my hospital times (though I'm not a very good patient, which may be part of it). I guess the little ER stint has got me thinking about that period of time. Rejeanne being so sick was really hard for me but everyone who came to check on her really made it better. Not just the nurses, but Lee's family too. I was surprised how they were there for her (and us) constantly. I guess that is normal behavior in families, but I just don't have expectations like that I suppose. I even have a real soft spot for Liz' friend Marilyn because she came to see Rejeanne in the hospital and check on us after she somehow heard about it. I guess news travels among nurses!

I guess I should end this thing by being so very thankful that Rejeanne is a very lucky girl who hit the 8% chance of outgrowing her reflux all on her own. She is a very strong girl and one of the greatest joys in my life. I'm so happy to be her mom.

1 comment:

~liz Wessel said...

Claire,
This is a great, well written story of your experience. Thanks so much for sharing it! I wish I was near all of you now so that we could offer support. I miss you all very much.
With love,
~liz