The Impeccable Timing of Oscar Ignacio.
It’s been said that my son’s sense of time is just like mine. I’m the “early is on time, on time is late” kind of gal and when Oscar made his debut 5 weeks ahead of time, my friends made it a point to say how he got it from me. However, other than his early birth, most milestones and special events have happened late — including his Christening, which is happening later this afternoon, a few weeks shy of his second birthday. Oops. Guess we were kind of busy with surgeries and therapies and what not. Nevertheless, it’s happening, and I’m excited. I love hosting parties, and this one is pretty special. In an effort to defeat the Special Needs rules of Murphy’s Law, I enlisted help with decor, picking up food, and ordered / bought everything I could ahead of time.
As fate would have it, just yesterday — minutes after bragging about our long stretch staying out of hospitals and doctors offices, I find myself staring at my son’s feeding tube. On. The. Floor.
His body seemed to have just spit it out. There was no tugging, no touching, it literally just shot out of his belly and landed on the floor in between me, my mother in law, and brother and sister in law (who had just flown in that morning). Not having the tools I needed to fix the issue myself, I scooped up Oskie and said “well, we have to go to the ER”. So much for our stretch staying out of hospitals. (I even knocked on wood!)
Thankfully, we were minutes away from Children’s Hospital, and zoomed right on over. My sister in law, Anne, drove the car while I sat in the back holding a tube in my son’s stomach opening (stoma) so it wouldn’t close. (Side note, the stoma can take minutes to close up if the feeding tube comes out. The number one priority is keeping that hole open until a new button is placed.)
The adrenaline kicks in and I’m in mom on a mission mode. There’s a woman in front of me to check in at the ER, but upon seeing me holding my son with one arm and keeping my finger over a gaping hole in his stomach with the other, she graciously let me pass. Actually, she kind of looked like she might pass out, but there was no time to look back.
I love how the first thing the receptionist at the ER asks is, “how are you doing today?”
”Um, we’ve been better,” I reply. “Obviously”. No, just kidding, I didn’t say that last part— but I really wanted to. You see, having a dark sense of humor is the only source of entertainment I get at the ER - or a really strange coping mechanism. Either way, I’m there enough so no one is safe from my sick sense of humor, especially residents. Bwahahahahaha. More on that later.
At this point, I'm running on pure adrenaline, and Anne is trying to distract me by telling stories, but I didn't hear a word she said -- sorry, Anne! In these situations I'm laser focused, scoping out the amount of people in the ER, seeing which nurses are working triage, checking on my kid, and trying not to freak out. Meanwhile, I start seeing lots of blood dripping from Oskie's stoma onto his belly, his clothes, and my clothes, too. I take it upon my self to "cut in line" and yell about blood to the triage nurse who takes us in immediately. No time for vitals, she just gets us in a room. Thank God. Anne comes with me while her husband, Ernie -- who just joined the family this past December -- runs to my house to get an extra G button. Welcome to the family, Ernie!
I start to calm down once we get into a room, I guess you could say I felt sort of "at home" as evidenced by helping myself to some things we needed for the moment. Look, sometimes its just easier to get things for yourself than wait for a nurse to do it. They're busy! By now, I know where everything is stored. I also took it upon myself (after asking for permission, of course) to write down Oscar's medical history on the nurse's admin sheet -- also, easier than repeating myself, and she was able to attend to my kid. Win-win.
Once a doctor sees us and initiates a plan of action, I start feeling even more at ease, and that awkward coping mechanism kicks in. Our doctor, a resident, brings in a new g button, all packaged up, new and shiny, from their supply closet. He sets it down and walks out the room to grab more supplies. Another doctor, more experienced with g tubes and medicine in general, comes in the room and slides the package off the table.
"I just need to borrow this real quick". She steps out, and I turn to Anne.
"She's probably teaching him how to put it in," I say. "I'm gonna mess with him."
A few moments later, both doctors come back in the room.
"So, do you know how to do it now?" I ask our resident with a smirk on my face.
"Oh," he nervously laughs, "yeah. I've done it once before, but it was a different brand."
The other doctor chimes in, "we went over everything. Sometimes our parents do the changes."
"Oh, I could do it," I say, "but I'll let him have the practice."
We all share a giggle. Ah, sweet, awkward comic relief.
Besides excessive fussiness (Oscar, not me) from a combination of White Coat Syndrome and a delayed nap time, the rest of the visit went pretty smoothly -- although Anne's point of view may be quite different. In fact, she should probably write a guest post on her experience of the afternoon because I was all like - "Oh, it was only 3 hours, that didn't take too long!"
As soon as we were discharged, we headed home to straighten up the house and begin setting up for Oscar's Christening, which we were hosting in approximately 12 hours. Luckily for me, adrenaline has a better pick-me-up than a 30oz espresso drink, so I got right to work. Poor Ernie was basically falling asleep in the car, so I told him to take a nap. Anne helped me by taking over baby duty while I cleaned, which quickly, (and unfortunately for her) turned into bleach duty after Oskie pooped in the tub. Just another typical night in the Edmunds household. *cue eye roll*
It's not uncommon for things to go awry a day, or even minutes before big events are planned. Heck, it even flooded the day before we were moving to Alabama. But, as most special needs parents learn quickly, you just gotta go with the flow. We can only control so much -- which is exactly why I live by my motto:
"Life is as complicated as you make it."
Photo by Scott Emile Simon