Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Comedy Of Errors

Before I get to the meat and potatoes of this post, a little highlight on the Professor. He got into the car when I picked him up from school, crossed his legs on the dash and announced, "Mommy, Bubbles is never coming home." Whoa, there big brother! I mean, I know you miss Bubbles,we all do (wouldn't you miss the cutest infant to crawl this earth if he disappeared for two weeks with no return date in sight?). I explained - as we had on Day One- that Bubbles was born with some G-d given surprises, and he doesn't want to stop surprising us (by us I include our family and his medical team). So G-d only knows when he's coming home and frankly I trust G-d to make that decision!

So today. I arrived at Bubbles's bedside this morning in time to welcome our friendly Dr. B. He explained that Bubbles would be heading down to radiology for yet another test, mainly to confirm the results of the last test and give us specific actionable parameters. Dr. B. is a surgeon, they like to act on a problem. And Bubbles can't eat until the test is done. No problem, he's not really eating as it is.
Just as Dr. B finished explaining the procedure, Bobby arrived to take us downstairs. Couldn't have timed it better. When we got to radiology, the nurse checked over the orders and the patient. Just a formality, I'm sure, but THEY DIDN'T MATCH. Apparently, there was supposed to be a dye inserted "per rectum", but our Bubbles, well, he doesn't have a rectum. Those of you who are familiar with James Herriot will be very familiar with this condition as manifest in the porcine world, and will know that nothing (thermometers, liquids) can go up that way. Regardless, Bubbles and I hung out whilst everyone got in a tizzy calling for more precise instructions. I did tell the technician that in the past they have done similar testing through the mucous fistula, and in fact that is what we ended up doing. Once we had the orders right, the nurse proceeded to give an IV dye through the PICC line, only it didn't work. I saw them uncouple the PICC from the IV upstairs and it was working then . . . but not now. We were unceremoniously shunted back upstairs to fix this situation. Perhaps we'll be able to get the test done later, no eating allowed in case it is sooner than later.
By the time we'd gotten upstairs our nurse contacted the NICU to get one of their nurses to deal with our teeny-tiny veins. Their was no one available to come help us, so we were on our own. Three nurses and one surgical resident later, we had a fresh IV port in, and a screaming baby. Great preparation for a test which requires him to stay still. Asking a three month old to stay still. A three month old. To stay still. Easier to get Mount Everest to join Mount St. Helens for a poker game.
Once we got the green light for our procedure, we were in such a rush we couldn't wait for transport to send for us, so our friendly surgical resident ("Test or Bust! We will make it happen!") wheeled us down. I think he was extremely interested in the study for some murky ends of his own. And then the fun began in earnest. One nurse and resident at the foot, struggling to draw blood. One nurse and I at the head struggling to get Bubbles to drink some dye. One radiology tech scurrying to ready the machines. One baby screaming and kicking, and one aimless nurse just running for the fun of it. Everyone in the know was muttering about the difficulty to come - taking still pics of a squalling infant. Once we were convinced that none of us could do more than we had, the radiology tech and the nurse at the head hog-tied Bubbles, who promptly fell asleep. G-d loves us! In twenty years or so, when Bubbles and I have gotten over the experience, I must send him back to shake some hands and thank them for putting up with him in his time of need.

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