27 January 2011

Piranhas Chomping At The Bit

I'm awake.  I feel fine.  But I know I'm going to be exhausted at the end of this.

It's hard to sleep.  Nurses come in and out all night.  They try to be quiet but as soon as I sense that anyone wants to touch Bennett, I'm up like a spring.  I can't go back to sleep if they wake me up.  Even when I'm asleep I'm dreaming through my fears and anxieties about Bennett - numbers, calculations, dates, symptoms, concerns, conversations...they all run furiously through my head.

Bennett is sleeping like a rock.  That guy sleeps so well and so deeply.  I am so glad.

However, I've had to "fend off" the piranhas last night and this morning.  The CNA (which is like a nurse assistant) just came in to "do his vitals."  I politely asked if she would wait and return in another hour or so.  The child has to be up to go for a test at 9, please can we let that poor boy sleep for another hour?

An hour ago, three Pediatric Surgeon Residents came in for a look at Bennett's bottom.  As soon as I heard the gloves being put on, I jumped up and offered to show them myself.  The less Bennett can feel violated in his sleep, the better.

Last night around 5am, the nurse came in to try to draw some blood from Bennett's IV sight.  As I mentioned before, Bennett still needs to get alot more blood drawn.  The nurse and I had talked about possibly having her do it when he was asleep through his IV sight so he wouldn't even be awaken (yeah, right.).  She came in at 5 to try.  Of course, Bennett began to cry so I woke up (have yet to fall back asleep).

Fortunately, she realized it wasn't going to happen and left.  But then a few minutes later, I saw a new nurse stick her head in and out of the room in a couple of times.  I thought that possibly she was wanting to confirm that Bennett had fallen back to sleep.

Oh no.  It was much more sinister than that.   She was looking for blood.

Within minutes later I heard the sound of latex gloves being put on as two nurses are getting ready to do something.  I popped out of bed, likely surprising them, and asked what they needed.

Our nurse, a really sweet gal who I like, said, "oh, we're just going to try to pull the rest of that blood real quick."

I laughed inside as I thought "you're going to pull 5 containers of blood real quick?  And you're gonna do it now without disturbing him??"

I said, "actually, if it's ok, I'd like to wait.  I'd like to let him sleep and we can try again later this morning."

The poor nurse tried me again.  "Well, it's almost the end of our shift and we like to get all the blood we need before we go."

I said, "I know you'd like to get your blood.  But if we're going to do this, we need to do it right.  He needs to be taken to the treatment room with the big lights so it can be done quickly and efficiently.  I'd like to wait until he wakes up before we do that."

She tried to convince me once more as she pointed her thumb across the room towards the other nurse who stood like her large monstrous ogre sidekick, "But she does 'em real good."

I smiled and said, "I understand.  But I do this all the time.  We are constantly getting blood drawn.  Bennett is incredibly strong and often wiggles right out of a great blood draw.  We need to get the appropriate support and take him under the good lights so we can prick him one time and get what we need."

They both just looked at me blankly.

I said, "Trust me.  I do this all the time.  Let's wait."

It's powerful when you figure out that you, as the mother of a child in the hospital, do have some control.  I am Bennett's voice.  And I knew Bennett needed at least one night's rest of no more being messed with.

The two women reluctantly agreed, took off their gloves and left.

I felt sort of empowered.  It felt good to say no.

My poor little lamb has been spared for now.  But I hear the sounds of flying buzzards near.

Bennett will go at 9am for his Barium Enema and then will likely have his blood drawn sometimes afterward.

For now, we both enjoy a few more minutes of peace.


  1. I hear you Breck! I had to tell a couple nurses no too, during our stay. It feels good to have a bit of power something most women don't realize they have. Nurses only care about getting whatever they need, not the long term stuff like sleep that we know is so important to our little guys. Keep up the good work!

  2. Breck- Christopher Robbin once said to Pooh: "Promise me you will always remember, you are Braver than you Believe, Stonger than you may Seem, and Smarter than you Think."

    You are so smart, brave and strong. And I think Bennett couldn't ask for a better advocate. I hope that this whole new team is willing to help you both and find a way to make everyday life a little easier.
    Praying for you, today and everyday.

  3. Go Breck! Awesomeness at it's finest! It is so empowering to stand up for your child in the moments when others feel they can convince you otherwise. Way to be Bennett's advocate. Madeline spent her first 3 months in the NICU and hospital. She never saw her house until 3.5 months old. We learned very quickly as parents how to a STRONG advocates for our child while simply learning how to be parents at the same time. Hope Bennett feels better soon!


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