Monday, November 11, 2013

I still haven't put the laundry away.

Adi and I set out for the hospital at 7 am, in order to beat the traffic. Halfway there, I realized that I'm an idiot, and I forgot to put Emla on Adi before we left. Emla is the numbing cream we apply over the port site on needle insertion days. Forgetting to put it on before we left meant that I'd have to find some Emla on the outpatient ward, apply it, and wait an extra hour before we could do ANYTHING this morning. Mother of the Year!

We got to the hospital and headed for the fourth floor -- the oncology ward is actually on the 7th floor, but someone decided that the outpatient ward needed a complete renovation, so yesterday the outpatient ward was officially moved to the 4th floor. So it's no longer directly across from the inpatient ward. Which is fine, except that the makeshift space on the 4th floor is... makeshift, and also chaos.

"You're not in the computer," says the secretary.

"And yet, here we are," I said. "Also, we need Emla."


"Because we have Ctyosar." (I don't actually know the proper phrasing for that in English, because all of my oncology education has been in Hebrew, so I don't know if you would say, "We have a Cytosar treatment," or what.)

"You're not in the computer. You need to make sure they put you in the computer. Your file isn't down here, and now I have to SEND AN EMPLOYEE TO GET IT, and I don't like making them run around."

You can guess the heartbreak I felt, as the mother of a cancer patient, for the hospital employee who would now have to ride the elevator upstairs. I wept, right there in the office, begging forgiveness. OK, actually, I just stood there, waiting, (and repeating that we needed Emla) and the secretary finally shoved my day sheet at me and muttered a curse onto the seventh generation or something.

Back in the hallway, I asked around as to where I might find the outpatient nurses, snagged one, and got Adi set up with Emla.

"I want a bed," Adi said, and I tried to pretend I didn't speak English. Adi repeated himself, loudly, in a variety of languages, along with wild screaming and hitting after a while. See, Adi is off Concerta these days, because we'd like him to eat occasionally. So all of the super fun behavior issues that had been so beautifully under control are back in FULL! FORCE! and I have the bruises and scrapes to prove it.

I went to see a nurse about a bed, but as I suspected, on the makeshift outpatient ward, there wasn't a chance that a kid who wasn't yet hooked up to chemo was getting a bed.

Eventually, enough time had passed that we could have a needle put in, and blood was drawn without incident. Except the minor incident of Adi screaming that he wanted a bed. His request was denied.

Back in the hallway, chaos reigned supreme. One of the medical clowns came and made balloon swords for all the kids. Kids were running and screaming with laughter, doing battle with each other, racing through the hallways. Adi sat in his wheelchair glowering. And all of this is directly in front of -- wait for it -- THE NICU. So I am alternately having flashbacks and sweating and trying to calm Adi and it was great, I tell you, JUST GREAT.

But then, it got EVEN BETTER, because when we finally saw the doctor, he told us that Adi's white blood cell count is TOO LOO for chemo. HA HA HA! That's a funny one, doctor! Wait, what?

Yes, really. We are on hold AGAIN, until at least Wednesday. So we went home, and Adi asked for some lunch.

"I want pickles," he said. "With ketchup and mayonnaise. And strawberry-banana juice."

In retrospect, I should have anticipated the vomiting, but hope springs eternal. As does Adi's endless supply of vomit, which he carefully deposited over the vast majority of my bedroom.

I suppose, given the things we do accomplish during the day, it's not that surprising that I can't ever seem to find the energy to put the laundry away.


Mara said...

How did you not punch that check-in lady in the throat? Seriously! And the lack of beds is crazy. Is it really just an open space of mayhem?!

Crystal T. said...

The laundry can wait! Have a glass of wine!