Sunday, August 20, 2006

Still looking good

As mentioned, today is a lab holiday for young Woody, so we have no new test results to obsess about until tomorrow, when we have the weekly metabolic labs to go with the blood gases. By all other measures, he's looking very good. His O2 needs remain in the low 30s for the most part, he's still strong, and he has been comfortable for the most part and not too cranky.

As Woody gets better, though, it's felt like we've had fewer and fewer primary nurses on him. I suppose that's partially because of the idiosyncrasies of our primaries' schedules and partially because he's not considered as high of a scheduling priority because he's not so incredibly critical anymore. Even so, it absolutely amazes me that 101 days into our visit we could still have nurses that we haven't seen before, or worse, nurses that we don't like. A brief word on that is warranted, I guess.

Maggie and I have heard through the grapevine that there are such things as problem parents, and I know from my brief forays around the internet that nurses and doctors can easily get lured into a trap of seeing the parents in a NICU setting as 'the enemy', to be dealt with as little as possible and given just enough information to keep them off their case. I don't want this to happen, and I don't want any badmouthing we do about specific nurses to get back to them and for Woody's care to suffer. That being said, we have had one nurse in particular that just bugs the living crap out of us. She's a little surly, a little cold, and when we ask for help or information she acts as if we're really throwing a cramp on her style. When we first had her, a few weeks ago, we didn't like her then, but we were also trepidatious about making a stink about it because, really, what are the odds that some non-primary nurse gets assigned to him again? In our experience, not very high, and so we don't want to blow whatever Charge Nurse political capital on an issue that isn't that big of a deal.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, this nurse has been assigned a few other times since then, probably because the Charge Nurses are thinking they're doing Woody a favor by giving him a nurse that knows him. So we've been in the weird position of weighing whether we should make a stink about it and risk alienating both the Charge Nurses and the nurse in question, and getting us the 'problem parents' label. We've basically decided to take a pretty low-key approach on the whole thing and hope it blows over, and a primary of ours may try to use her influence to subtly steer some of the assignments away from this person. On the other hand, I've heard of parents who hand lists of nurses to the CNs and demand that 'only these nurses can be on my kid' and they look at the list and it has like six names on it, so at least we're not like that. As long as the health care professionals know that we're all on the same side, I think things will remain very comfortable here.

On a personal note, we've been having a really fun visit from my old friend Jeff, who we knew from back from the Lewis and Clark debate team back in the mid 1990s. Amongst the reminiscing and the clowning around, the idea that we're now like real adults and, in the case of me and Maggie, parents is kind of a wake up call. Kids, let me just warn you, it could happen to you too. Have a happy week!

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