Monday, September 24, 2007

No Surgery Today

UPDATE - I added the video montage of Harlie's First Year to My Favorite Links. Check it out when you get a chance, and don't forget to turn the sound on.

Where to start?

So, we pack, we load, we drive, we sit in traffic, we stop for food, we arrive at Children’s at 8:30pm. I remember that you have to check-in at the Ronald McDonald House (or Ronald Donald House according to Murphy) by 9pm because the person working closes the desk for the night. So, I tell my mom to just drop us off so she can go. So, I load the stroller (with 7 bags AND Harlie) and go on up to check in as previously instructed.

“I’m sorry ma’am, what is your baby’s name? And why are you here?”

She picks up the phone and makes a call.

“Who is the doctor?” More talking into the phone.

“What is the first name of the doctor?”

It was at this point that I said, "uh-oh".

I gave them the phone number of the person that called me and gave me the very simple and clear instructions to come to the hospital. (yes, I had it memorized – very scary considering I only called it once)

Harlie and I sat in the ER for a long time. Fun, when you're holding a now squirmy baby (I really am happy about the squirmy part - I love that she wants to explore her surroundings now - but she does wear you out!). The charge nurse came over to me and told me that they tried paging the surgeon, but he didn’t answer. “He’s on vacation”, she says. "But he’ll be here tomorrow." So, if he has surgery in the morning, shouldn’t he be at home tonight? I mean, when I worked, and I went on vacation, typically I came home the night before. Right? So, she tells me that she’s called the resident and she’s going to admit us. And she’ll be “right” back.

What really got me was the way they acted towards me. Like I had my information wrong. I spoke to someone about my insurance. I spoke with an anesthesiologist and then the nurse about coming up. And the charge nurse tells me “this is a teaching facility, there are a lot of people involved”. I wanted to open up my notebook and show her just how many people are involved.

So, we continue to sit in the ER. A guy vomited all over the place. The woman that was with him said “See what I have to put up with?” to anyone who would listen. It was lovely. So I got up and told the people that I already spoke to that maybe I should just go home. So, they finally sent me to Admissions.

The lady there was very nice. She said that they were putting us in room such and such. “What service is that under?”, I ask. Neurology and Orthopedics. Huh? That’s the only place they have an open room.

So, here’s what I’m thinking… someone wanted Harlie to be there the night before – for a reason. Trust me on this – insurance will not pay if it isn’t completely necessary (and even then sometimes they don’t pay). So, I can only assume that because she’s having surgery on her bum, that her bowels need to be emptied. And that means she needs some sort of pre-surgery treatment, which is what necessitates her to be admitted the night before. Right? Makes sense to me.

Well, at this point, no one knows what needs to be done. And it is now 11pm and it isn’t happening, which leads me to the conclusion that surgery isn’t happening as scheduled. So, I ask, “Is she even on the OR schedule?” Yes, at 8:30am. So, two surgical residents come down to talk to me. Very nice. Very apologetic. They don’t know about the pre-treatment, but they agree with my thinking. I mention the 8:30am surgery time and one of them looks at the other and says, “I didn’t think it was that early, but I’m not sure.”

And that’s when I said, “I’m done.”

I told them that I need to feel comfortable about this, and this whole night was just not working out. And now that I’m filled with doubt… I would rather go back home and start this all over another time. As I was walking down the hall towards Admissions, I looked at Harlie and she gave me a big smile. If there is one thing I’ve learned since having her, it is to trust my instincts. So that’s what I did. When I come up for my daughter’s 7th surgery, I want them to say, “Hi Mrs. Holton, sign here, walk this way, here’s what’s going to happen and when, etc.”

So, at 11:15pm I call my mom and tell her what happened. She has to get dressed, packed, get the room ready to check out (it isn’t like a hotel where they come and clean it, you have to remove the sheets, etc.). Luckily the person was still awake so my mom got to check out. Then she came to get us. So, we pack, we load, we drive, we get home at 2am.

Check out my pics from our “trip”.

Take care,

PS - I added the video montage to My Favorite Links - don't forget to turn the sound on!

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