Thursday, March 24, 2011

Observations of an ICU shutin

Ok, so obviously living in the hospital is not ideal.  However, it's rather amusing people watching.  There are a few things that I have learned for certain during my stay in room 5421.  Below is my diatribe of such.

First I would like to touch, if every so briefly, upon the apparent lack of respect for public space.  Yes, I am again referring to the bathroom.  I have had to complain three times now about bodily fluids being in the floor of the restroom.  Don't even get me started on this again.  So, two days ago, at 2 in the morning nonetheless, I went down the hall to use the little girls room (or little boys room depending on which gender is using it at any given time).  Now, at this particular moment, I was very emotional and sleep deprived, so imagine how irritable I was anyway.  I tried the door and it was locked so I watied.  I really needed to go.  I watied about a minute or so and I heard the door unlock, then open.  I quickly realized that this person had neglected to wash his/her hands.  Then I saw one of the dads from a neighboring room.  ICK!  Not only was it a man (it's somehow much nastier when it's a man who doesn't wash his hands after urinating, you can imagine why) but I have seen this guy every day.  Anyway, I didn't have time to be disgusted by his lack of personal hygiene.  I went in and turned on the light.  Then, to my disgust, I realize that not only had Daddy Nasty Hands not washed, but he had also not flushed the toilet - or raised the lid for that matter.  I then freaked out a little by screaming, "you have to be kidding" as loud as I possibly could.  Grabbing a paper towel to open the disgusting door handle contaminated by Daddy Nasty Hands' germs from God knows where, I hurried down the hall to a suitable alternative.

As I could go on for hours as to the disgusting restroom conditions here in the red pod of the 5th floor, I will spare you the stomach wrenching details.  You ask yourself, "can it really be that bad."  Yes.  Let me just tell you that it can, and is that bad.  Trust me.

I will now touch on what I like to call The Wide World of Twins.

I have always heard that everyone in the world has a twin.  Melanie swears that she saw mine somewhere in Atlanta.  Rest assured that it is somewhat true.  Some of you reading this blog may find it very interesting that your twin works on the fifth floor of Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. 

One of the pharmacy techs looks exactly like my sister in profile.  It's scary really.  The first night I saw her she caught me staring at her.  I was a bit embarrassed, but smiled it off.  My mother has too seen her and agrees that she is indeed Andi's twin from profile.

Other twins are shorter or taller, younger or older than their counterparts.  For instance, I shot a wedding a year or so ago with Deana, of her now cousin by marriage, Kristy.  Apparently Kristy has a twin.  A much shorter girl, but her exact twin in every other way.  I mean, right down to the illuminating smile.  It's uncanny really.

My cousin Anthony has an absolutely beautiful girlfriend named Tiffiney.  She is stunning really.  I once questioned why she was with Anth.  Let's be honest, Anth is a super guy and an incredible father and pretty cute, but Tiffiney is gorgeous.  Anyhow, Wyatt has an RT who is seriously her twin, including nose ring.  I even went so far as to e-mail Anth to see if she indeed had a twin who just so happened to work here.  No such luck. 

Other notable twins are Paula Collins, Jodi Puff and Mr. Bean.  Strange, I know, but true.

Now, let me just say that the job of a care partner is never ending.  I appreciate what they do as much as the nurses.  However, is it written in the care partner handbook that they all have to wear the same, stinky cheap, perfume?  Or, is the bottle given to them by human resources when they first start this job?  Maybe it's in the break room, hidden somewhere only to annoy me.  Petty, I know, but it's seriously stinky.  Oh, and did I mention that they not only use it, but bathe in it.  It's terrible! 

So let me talk about my child for just a moment.  I know that everyone is proud of their children so I will boast about mine.  Wyatt loves music.  I am convinced that it is much more than it just being born in him, but that I instilled his love for all music while I was pregnant with him.  When most people would ask if I talked to him, I said of course, but I really didn't that much.  However, I did sing to him, a lot.  Now, if you know me, you know my taste in music is very broad.  If we were to look at my iTunes right now, you would find anything from Kings of Leon, Oklahoma!, Michael Buble', Richard Marx, Sir Mix A Lot, Anointed, Def Leppard, Adele, ABBA, Meatloaf, Journey, Michael Jackson, Neil Diamond, Joss Stone, Prince, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Marc Broussard, Bonnie Tyler, Alison Krauss, Jim Croce, Grand Funk Railroad, Keb Mo, Switchfoot, Bette Midler, The Beatles, Blues Traveler, Elton John, Color Me Badd, Fleetwood Mac, John Denver, Tony Bennett, and the list goes on and on.  Seriously, I can keep going for days.  But, I feel like my music taste is all over the place.  With that being said, I listened to so much stuff when I was pregnant that his taste too became very broad.  So, when we were first in here and Wyatt would cry and be fussy, I would sing to him.  However, I did not sing the traditional lullabies to my baby.  My staple lullabies are Tiny Dancer, I Think It's Going to Rain Today, Down to the River to Pray and Fire and Rain, just to name a few.  Out of all of these, he has always responded the best to Fire and Rain.  So, when he came to the PICU I told the nurses for his preference for James Taylor.  They started playing the James Taylor station on Pandora for him.  And honestly, I am not exaggerating at all, he responds so amazing to it.  He seriously calms down and hushes.  It's so soothing to him.  I don't know if it's the tone of his voice, but it's really incredible.  He also likes Glee and American Idol.  It's the singing, I am convinced.

Now, let me just tell you that if you are a nurse, please be confident in what you do.  Not only can I sense it, but Wyatt can too.  We have had a few nurses who were new or just not confident in their jobs, and we have not been happy with them.  Not that I am saying that they did a bad job, but they made me question what they did. 

So, can I just tell you how sick of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Subway I am?  Mike and I try to go to different places for dinner, using the gift cards given to us by amazing friends, but there is only so much one can change it up with.  To the point that sometimes I feel like I could eat an entire head of lettuce, just for something fresh.  Oh, and you can't have food in the PICU rooms.  So, I have to sneak in snacks.  I feel like I am breaking a law sometimes.  But thank goodness Blue Monday's fit nicely in my purse so that no one can see them.  I am however "taking the sweet a**" as my Papaw use to call it.  Maybe I should cut back a little.

The hospital has a channel that is instrumental music of different sorts played over videos of serene landscapes.  Some of the videos contain animals such as elk, bear and ducks.  The nurses affectionately refer to it as the creepy baby music channel.  I turn it on for our boy during most of the day and every night as we go to sleep.  Some of the time it's just for the video and I turn the volume off and listen to the aforementioned James Taylor station on Pandora.  I have watched/listened to this station and its music now for 54 days.  At any rate, it's pretty bad.  Actually, it's so bad, I texted Becky the other day.  My text asked "If a bear swims in a lake, does it use the doggy paddle?"  To which she replied, "You need to change the channel."  So apparently I watch it a little too much.
Now, I'm pretty sure that this blog was pointless and boring.  However, it's nice to share my boring day to day experience with you all.  All I can say is thank God for my laptop and lots of books and magazines.  They help me stay sane.


  1. My husband is famous for taking pictures with his cell phone of people who look like people. His collection ranges from one of our friends to Leslie Neilson to Ronnie James Dio just to name a few. I certainly hope you and baby Wyatt get to go home soon.

  2. Amanda, I was so glad to use my Klennex tonight for laughter this time while reading your blog. As an alumni of hospital waiting rooms I totally feel your pain. If you get really bored , as I did one day in the hospital, you can ask for the cleaning supplies and clean it yourself, but for payment, ask for a sign to put on the door that says OUT OF ORDER...keep it on there all the time and only you will know that it is not broken so you can use it any time , day or night !...just's a thought.
    Love you and try to get some rest....

  3. Manda Jane,
    I'm so happy to read and hear humor in your tone. It made me smile from ear to ear!!! I love you sweet friend!!!

  4. Amanda its good to have humor-just to keep us sane in trying times.I am & will contiune to pray you all.Hang in there sweetie.GOD is holding you all in HIS love

  5. You sound like my Amanda. Some people just aren't taught any better. I live u and prayers continue to go out for your Wyatt. Laughter is a great medicine. Hope u have a great day. Love u.

  6. Actually, I totally loved this post. It provided some insight that helped me experience more of your day.

    I know what you mean with the iTunes playlist. Mine is all over the place. Not as various as yours, but pretty various.

    Have you eaten at Bread and Company any? YUMMY!!!! I love their fruit tea and it is close to Vandy.