So, in my last post I talked about Little Miss Minion’s recent shunt surgery. It was at the hospital we hate (see other shunt revision posts for more details), and this trip was no different than the others. Between having roomates, having her sedation reaction not being noted in her chart, and the general air of incompetence, we can never get out of there fast enough. If it wasn’t for her neurosurgeon, who is FANTASTIC, we’d be getting medical care elsewhere.
Immediately following her surgery, while she’s being bandaged up and taken out of sedation, the neurosurgeon comes to talk to us. He always starts off with how surgery went, how she’s doing, and explains exactly what he did (sometimes the plan changes due to what he sees). Then it usually takes about 10 minutes for them to call us back to recovery to see her.
It was 40 minutes before Mr Minion went to the desk to ask what the delay was. We were thinking that something was wrong. Was she having another sedation reaction? Was she bleeding? Was she not waking up? What was taking so long?
We think they forgot to call us back because as soon as Mr Minion went up to the desk and said it had been 40 minutes, the attendant said they were just getting ready to call us back. I call shenanigans.
We hurried back to the recovery area, knowing she would be upset from sedation and still worried that something else had happened. We turned the corner and saw her being rocked by a nursing assistant was was attempting to feed her Pedialyte while LMM cried. Not only was a stranger holding MY DAUGHTER (cue panic of contamination, contagion), but she was already coming out of sedation and was hysterical. I immediately went to take LMM from the nurse assistant, but before I could, she backed away from me and moved LMM out of my reach, telling me to sit down and how to hold my arms, reminding me about the IV, telling me that LMM was groggy and upset. I held back the verbal assault that nearly escaped from my mouth because I wanted to hold MY DAUGHTER.
Since I can’t tell her in person, and since she clearly didn’t read LMM’s chart about her 84 NICU stay and her complications, I’ll put it here instead.
Dear Nursing Assistant Lady,
Don’t ever try and keep my daughter from me. I’m her MOTHER: I have watched her struggle to breathe, to live, with a sheet of plexiglass between us because she was too fragile to be held. I have held her with an IV, a PICC line, a feeding tube, a CPAP machine, nasal cannula. I have held her through three blood transfusions, through countless heel sticks, and with a respirator when she had meningitis. I have navigated around heart monitors, apnea monitors, and respiration monitors while doing my first ever diaper change on a baby that weighed less than 2 pounds at the time. I spent 84 days with her in the NICU, learning how to touch her, how to hold her, how to interact with her. I learned to read her body language, her cries, her cues. You may have medical training, and you may think you know her, but you don’t. You certainly don’t know me, or you would have called us back much sooner than 40 minutes after surgery. You say she “was fussy” after surgery and that’s why you delayed calling us back. Who wouldn’t be fussy after their 4th brain surgery at 6 months old? What would make you think that you can calm her with rapid rocking (Preemies hate that) incessant singing (also hate that) and shoving sugar water down her throat? Why wouldn’t you immediately page HER PARENTS back to calm her, instead of letting us sit in the waiting room for 40 minutes, thinking unimaginable things.
We are her PARENTS. We know her best. But I do have to say thank you for one thing. Thank you for finally making me feel like a mother, even though its taken 6 months to get there.