Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I have been asked MANY times why I don't have any nursing for Ben. It's simple. I'm selfish. I want to be his caretaker. Because I LOVE taking care of him. I don't feel like it's any harder than my other children, just different. I'm not saying that people shouldn't have nursing, it's just not for me. From the beginning of Ben's life, the hospital begged and pleaded for me to get nursing. I kept refusing. I just didn't want it or feel like I needed it. We were just fine. Then at 15 months Ben got his trach. We were in the PICU for 12 days while he recovered and we learned how to take care of it. While there, the hospital told us we NEEDED nursing. I still said no. They begged and told me to atleast try it because if I refused it then, it would be harder to get it later if I decided I wanted it. FINE I told them. I would 'try' it. So they sent us a nurse, actually she was an LPN. She was a grandmotherly type lady in her 60's and was as round as an apple. She was nice, and I know that she loved Ben...but from day one I hated it. It's not easy having a stranger in your house for hours at a time, days on end. I continued to be miserable for 6 months because I didn't want to hurt her feelings by telling her that I didn't really want/need her help. Because I am somewhat of a control freak, I made her job really, really easy. I always had his meds drawn up, food made and had him bathed before she arrived. All that was left to do by the time she walked in the door was to hold him. She was a glorified babysitter. I hardly ever left because I never felt comfortable doing so. One time Ben had the hiccups...with a trach it manifests a little differently. BUT, they are rhythmic just the same. I was downstairs folding laundry and she completely panicked when he started hiccuping. I had to expain to her what they were and that he wasn't breathing funny. (there are no sounds with a trach, just breathy noises) Another time Ben's 'cage' popped off when he coughed and because she didn't put it back on, his chin covered his trach hole which made it impossible to breathe. He was turning blue and visually gasping for air that wouldn't come. I was upstairs at the time and again she panicked. When I ran down to see what was going on, I noticed his blue cage on the ground. I had explained to her before that if it ever comes off, it needs to be put right back on because he can occlude his airway with his chin. The blue cage is a protective device for his trach. Apparently in her panick, she forgot. Can you understand WHY I was hesitant to leave? There was the experience with her in the ER when Ben was sick. I had been holding him the whole time while waiting to be seen. At one point I left to go to the bathroom and when I came back she explained to me that she had "covered him in white light" to keep away the evil spirits. Um, okay. Then there was the time that he rolled off her lap onto the floor with a big THUD. While she worked for me, there were days when we had to go to Dartmouth for scheduled appointments. She would usually accompany me on the long drives if she was scheduled to work on those particular days. I remember one of the drives to Dartmouth completely FLOORED me because as we were driving she pointed out to me a spot where her family was actually abducted by aliens. Yep. No lie. She was as serious as could be. And she was taking care of MY child? THAT my friends is when I decided I was done with nursing. The long, painful 6 months came to a close after that experience. And we've lived happily ever after since. The end.