4th Birthday Photo Session
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Living In And Out Of A Children's Hospital
People ask, 'how do you do it?' or make statements like 'I can't even imagine', therefore, here's a glimpse of what it's like to be me. I get up anywhere between 5 and 7 a.m., feed the dog, have some coffee, check emails, & facebook. I sit and veg-out, staring at others Facebook statements of normalcy. Only through FB did I actually know it was summertime, by seeing friends camping, hiking and doing all the things I'd normally do. By 8:30 it's time to take Maddux (our fur-baby) for a quick walk around the park loop. I get to watch him laughing, trotting, and drooling ... being a happy dog. It makes me smile every single day. After the park, it starts. I pack up my laptop, some food, and load up the truck. I get on the road and fight traffic. Some days, music plays. Sometimes I zone out and can't tell you if music is on. Some days I cry. Cry about Andi's situation and what she's having to go through. Cry with dread of another day at the hospital. Cry for the summer I am missing. I just cry, feel sorry for myself, and let out a little bit of the pent-up emotion. Some days, I stew about the aggressive drivers, wonder if they have any clue or thought as to what other drivers might be going through ... would that change their nasty driving habits? Thoughts like, "I'm sorry I'm in a bit of a haze buddy, but... be thankful you have a place to rush to, assholio!" I'm not bitter, or angry. Maybe just sad that people are so wound up in their day-to-day bullshit, that they have no concept of what other people might be tackling. And don't get me wrong, I'm not even the one fighting for my life. Not physically. Then I get to the hospital. It's an amazingly huge place up on a hill. It has the most spectacular view. I lug my crap from the parking garage (I'm here enough to know exactly where to park, and silently laugh at those suckas trolling for parking!) up to the hospital lobby. I cross over bricks engraved with names of donors whom purchased the bricks when the hospital was being built. It's an impressive entry of names. I hit up Starbuck's for another cup of java and then head to see my baby girl. Some mornings, I come in and they're doing something to her - like drawing blood, an xray, taking vitals, or mornings like now, where she's wrapped up and sleeping comfortably. Since she didn't sleep hardly at all yesterday, I'm leaving her be until she wakes on her own, or the nurse has to do vitals or such. Sleep is so important, I'd hate to selfishly disrupt hers because I can't wait to hold and love on her. I have all day for that. I spend all day at the hospital. Luckily, they have wi-fi in this hospital and our extra large room allows me to set-up my laptop so I can keep up with work, Facebook or even this blog. I used to be really big into Perez Hilton and the gossip du jour... that has long since passed, and it no longer interests me in the least. When I'm not holding Andi, or tending to her, I'm talking to the Dr's and Nurses, or simply waiting for rounds. A group of up to eight Dr's and med students that go from patient to patient, recap the situation, the latest updates, stats, and plan of action. It's a lot of eyes and ears that are focusing on my baby, if even for a few minutes. I get the opportunity to ask questions or simply make bad jokes that make a few people laugh. These are my new friends, this is my daily socializing, this is my summertime fun. So, I spend all day receiving visitors. The nurses tending to Andi. The Dr's & med students will come by. Sometimes it's the ECG tech, or a vampire. I've recently befriended the young Chaplain. She stops by to check on Andi daily, especially after hearing her story. I'm not religious, and she's not pushing any sort of religion on me. And hey, maybe her prayers will be heard, as I question the likeliness of mine being addressed. So, I sit with Andi all day. There's no place I'd rather be. In fact, I can't even seem to steal away to go get myself water. It's very difficult because I don't even think of leaving, I don't want to. I signed on for full-time parenthood. Full-time parents don't easily get to take breaks to go get something extravagent like a facial. There's a certain level of guilt that comes from leaving Andi by herself, or in the care of the nurses, to go get a mani-pedi. While I vow to take care of me, stealing time away from my bean is not a luxury I need right now. She's my need. I need to be with her. People like our pediatrician, the volunteers offering to help, friends, will suggest or insist I take a break. I do. I take a break every single night when I go home. I usually leave around 7 p.m. each night. That's my break. I get to go home, while the bean gets to stay here. Again, not part of the parenting plan...but, this is the best place for her right now. I recognize that. I get home completely drained. I sit all day. Some days are good. Some days are hard. Some days the bean is fussy and it breaks my heart. So, I go home and usually imbibe on some wine. This will cease soon, but right now, it's the only thing tempering my nerves. Right now, it's allowed. At night, we strive for some semblance of normalcy, appreciating the summer evenings. It's tough, as this is not the summer we envisioned. So, I get a break. I live my day in the hospital. I live my night at home. I get to sleep in my bed with my family, minus one lil' bean. Her bed, next to mine, lies empty. It breaks our hearts.
Posted by Andi Bean at 10:46 AM