Saturday, July 2, 2016

Complicit in Torture

One of the worst things about Lahna's hospital stay is as her mom I felt complicit in her torture. What they do for babies is much the same as what they do for adults in a hospital when they don't know what's wrong.

1. Take urine - As my sweetie pie goes in a diaper, they had to put a catheter in her to get urine. They did this to me sans drugs after my pregnancy and it hurt like hell, so I know she was in even more pain.

2. Put an IV in - If nothing else, you need to be hydrated. In fact, when I had early contractions, it was due to dehydration and they figured this out by putting an IV in me. They poked my child no less than 20 times trying to establish an IV. I know you're thinking "How could you let them do that?" I'm sitting there. She can't keep breast milk down. She's hungry as shit and I KNOW an IV will help her.

Regular nurses tried. The head ER nurse tried. The head pediatric ICU nurse tried. The head doctor in pediatric ICU tried using a sonogram. The head of anesthesiology came down and said he wasn't even going to try because it was too hard. They ASSURED me that all of these people were the BEST of the best. This is the NYC hospital system. I had no idea it would be that hard.

And I had to hold my baby down as they tried and tried and FAILED to get an IV in her system. I felt like, hey, I am you mother and even if it hurts, I know better than you and it'll be over soon. But it was never over and the way that hospitals work, if I had refused care because it was hurting her too bad, my insurance wouldn't have paid for her 5-day, 4-night stay at the hospital. I looked at every possible option. I just felt very helpless.

Next time, I will just say they had a hard time last time and give them a limit. You can try X times, after that, we need to establish another source of nutrients. Period.

3. Take blood. In a perfect situation they will take blood from the same line where the IV was established. Now, go look at #2. So they had to stick her in her wrist to take blood, but she was dehydrated (catch 22), so they couldn't get enough for a test, so then they had to stick her in her foot. My anger, pain, sadness and helplessness had hit what the fuck levels by this time and I was about to choke any health care professional in my path. Still... I couldn't NOT let them take blood. The blood tests were a big part in helping us determine what was wrong with her.

Have you ever had a sick child? Or been hospitalized yourself? Did you feel like a cog in the wheel or hospital processes? I just pray we never had to go through that again.

No comments: