I have officially spent more time in hospitals over the past 16 months than in the 30 years before that combined. And keep in mind that I worked in a hospital for awhile.
The other hospital visits, I can pretty much count on one hand. There was that day in collage when I went in to have my tonsils removed, about three separate visits to see sick grandparents, and once when I drove a friend to the ER on her 21st birthday (We can look back and laugh because the story doesn't end in anything worse than a bad hangover)
In the past year and 4 months, I have spent a total of ten weeks and 5 days in and out (or just in) the hospital.
What has two thumbs and is responsible for your health insurance premiums being so high?
Well, specifically this girl and her incompetent mom-parts (either directly or in-directly).
I suppose I should thank you for your contribution because without it, we would be so screwed. Without the amazing miracle of modern medicine and the resources to access it, I may not be calling myself a mother of two; or even a mother at all.
Even just a couple of generations ago, I cannot be certain that my lousy 31-week gestation periods would have been sufficient to produce viable babies. Although apparently, there are a number of preemies in history who went on to be rather notable, my favorite being Mark Twain.
In the past week, a diagnosis of enterovirus resulting in meningitis has had us dashing from the pediatrician's office to the ER to the PICU and finally to the 12th floor of Children's Hospital (where the view is quite lovely, thanks for asking).
I can happily report that this most recent health crisis is apparently coming to a close. A lumbar puncture (AKA spinal tap) will be repeated tomorrow. Pending good news (fewer white blood cells in the cerebral spinal fluid), we will be discharged Sunday upon the completion of a 10-day course of IV antibiotics.
This particular stay has thus far taught me the following obscure lessons:
1) The "beds" for parents (I use the term loosely, because they are really just glorified chairs) are more accomodating in the PICU than on the neuro floor. Neither can be rationally called "comfortable."
2) The showers in the Ronald McDonald suite are nicer than those in the ICU parent lounge.
3) The dogs, the plants, and possibly my one-year-old would never have survived the past week without the generosity and consideration of parents, in-laws, and neighbors.
4) Breastmilk is apparently "worth" more at St Mary's Hospital than it is at Children's (Nursing moms get a $7 meal voucher at St Mary vs $5 at Children's)
5) At Children's Hospital as your child gets healthier, the view gets nicer: no windows in the ER, PICU is on 7 and general medical floors are 7-12.
6) Ameda hospital grade breast pump parts are easier to clean than Medela, but I believe Medela pumps are more efficient.
7) It pays to have a good friend who works in the hospital when it comes to expediting the process of obtaining necesities (proper breastpump shields and...chairs). She can also be good for providing support, comfort, and tips on where to find the cutest Residents.
8) When IV antibiotics and/or PICC lines are involved in treatment, silence (and by extension, sleep) is apparently interrupted at no less than 30 minute incriments by some form of alarm or another. I can now identify which alarm means what without opening my eyes.
9) The Dairy Queen in the cafeteria is technically only open until 6pm, but pre-made blizzards can be purchased until midnight.
10) Netflix, e-books, FaceTime, blizzards, Facebook moral support, and our proximity to the Park are no doubt all equally responsible for my not being presently hospitalized for mental health reasons and thus draining healthcare resources even further.
Hugs to all and fingers crossed for good news on the flip side.
(Aren't you amazed that I was able to type this whole entry with crossed fingers??)