Friday, February 24, 2012

Recovery and moan about hospital experience

Noah seems to be almost back to normal - just a little more pale and tired than usual. I am shattered though and have just one weekend to recover before Massey term starts.
I can only describe the hospital experience as being on a never ending long international flight - that whole feeling of inadequate sleep, not knowing what time of day it is and eating snack food at odd intervals.
The first three nights we were on the six bedded ward so shared the germs of at least 20 people (patients and carers with a very quick turnover) by the second day we were the longest stayers on that ward - I think that is where I picked up a cold that I didn't have any time to nurse - still the dry air in the hospital stopped my nose running.
In this bit of the ward had to change Noah's ileostomy bags on his bed (as the treatment room was usually busy) without easy access to water - only one sink on the unit and not by our bed- and without the help of any nurses who I think knew nothing about ileostomies (because the more experienced nurses were with the monitored children). We then had to walk him quiet a long way to the children's toilets each time we wanted to empty the bags and this included three times over night once he was on bowel prep
They were so pressed for beds as two wards were combined into one that they were suggesting pre-op kids and those with broken arms go home overnight then return at 8am. Those without drips or monitors slept in the outpatient day ward and returned to the ward during the day.
One advantage of Noah having fentanyl post-op was that he needed a monitor so we got a single room opposite the nurses station. We had a few nurses pop in the first night as they turned his monitor outwards so all the nurses going past could see it and his respiratory rate dropped to 9 and pulse to 59 his oxygen sats stayed in the 90s though - I think they were grateful when he was weaned from the fentanyl. The anaesthetist had also put in a spinal block which lasted about 24hours and stopped the pain from his extremely bruised anus - it was painful just to look at!
While we welcomed the nurses interventions over the first few night it became an intrusion on the final night when Noah was woken at 1am to be given panadol and then I was woken from my pretend sleep "Noah's mum" (you don't have a name in hospital) "How do we get him to take his panadol?"
He was woken again at 6am as this is the time they take the daily temperature.
The nurses were so so busy, it was really only on one quiet day that they had any time to spend just chatting and then it was obvious they hated the two wards in one as much as the parents did.
I have to say we have not usually had such a bad experience in Wellington and that it wasn't helped by the horrible half-way house type hostel that we had to sleep in while Ronald McDonald house was being rebuilt.
It was much better when we decided to pay for a motel (on the days it had spare rooms) as we hadn't been away on holiday this year anyway. Then whoever had slept on the ward could come back there for a shower and breakfast while the other more awake one went over to the ward for the early morning ward round.
Staying on Palmerston North children's ward now seems positively luxurious in comparison to Wellington.
In spite of my moans - getting Noah well was what we wanted and we seem to be there for now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Geez, it sounds like Hell. We are so lucky with Starship, even though it doesn't stop me whinging about it. I'm so glad that you guys are now home. I really hope that things start going better for Noah and you all.