Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Home sweet home

Our day started early.

She came into the room at 3:00 in the morning to take his blood. Again. The knock on the door woke us from a restless sleep, and we stumbled around the dimly lit room to prepare the monkey for the next ordeal. It was the worst one yet. Awakening Jordan from a deep sleep, to confront a stanger wielding strange instruments sent him into a panic. He thrashed about so violently, he almost threw himself out of his crib. The room's bright lights came on, and she wrapped a rubber tourniquet around his wrist while we held him down and tried to comfort him. Barely awake ourselves, the situation took on horribly grim tone. I felt complicit in the torture he was undergoing. And telling myself that it was for his own good did not help. It did not help that less than an hour after this round of pain, another began as the nurse came in to "check his vitals." Innocent as this sounds, it meant waking him up again, and holding him down while he was strapped to a monitor, prodded with a stethascope, and violated with a thermometer. Again.

"All done! All done!" he kept saying, his eyes shut tightly as he cried. It crushed me that he learned this expression over the four days we spent in the hospital. He enunciated the words perfectly, in his tiny baby voice. Of course, he began screaming them the minute a nurse or doctor walked into the room and approached him.
"All done," seemed to be his talisman to ward off the torture he anticipated at every turn. What could he possibly be thinking as he saw Jeff and I hovering over him, holding him down while all these things were done to him against his will? Did he wonder why we weren't protecting him? Could anyone feel more helpless?

I hated seeing him in the hospital. Four days of round the clock tests, doctors, interns, nurses, sleep deprivation and being hooked up to an IV were really starting to take their toll on the little guy. There were times I would look at him and think he looked worse than when we brought him in on Saturday. It's been a rough week for all of us. Thankfully, we've been blessed with supportive family and friends to fall back on when we needed reassurance that everything would be okay.

Thank God, we're home now, and I am incredibly relieved. We're not completely out of the woods yet. Monkey is still sick with whatever virus he picked up. We're still waiting for the results of the latest rounds of tests to rule out other possible diagnoses. But we feel we made the right decision bringing him home to wait it out in the comfort of his familiar surroundings. Assuming it's just a virus, all we can do is wait, keep him fed, hydrated and relaxed. Easier said than done, but we're happy to be able to do it for him. And when he smiles his old smile, I start to think he'll forget about the ordeal he's been through and the way we stood by him helplessly while strangers made him cry. I want to forget too.
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