Wednesday, September 13, 2006

End of the beginning

Maggie managed to make it over for rounds today, and was talking with the doctors and nurses about Woody's recovery and when he'll be going home. She made the seemingly reasonable request to get a two weeks notice on a discharge, so that she can deal with work schedules and other things like that. "Two weeks?!" snorted the neonatologist. "He could be home in four days."

When Maggie relayed this story to me over lunch today, I nearly defecated in my pants. I mean, I knew he was getting better quick, but I didn't know it was that fast. And it turns out that the four days figure is a bit hyperbolic. After all, he already has next week's eye exam scheduled (Tuesday), so it isn't happening before then. And he does still have a number of lab tests and things that have to happen before they let him go, and Maggie and I need to be certified in CPR and oxygen management, and I don't know when I'll be able to do that, considering that I'm just in the first week of a new job* and getting time off for anything is pretty much verboten at this point in time, but we'll manage.

We're absolutely stoked, though, because it was only about five weeks ago that the doctors told us that he was definitely going to need a trach, and probably was going to need a gastric tube, and neither of those is going to be happening. Woody is definitely our kid, in the sense that he sure is figuring the feeding thing out well. His oxygen needs are still steadily decreasing. He's now down to between .08 and .09 l/m for the oxygen, which is not that much, all things considering. We'll have to get him scheduled for the hernia operation, next spring, but now we're thinking about how much we wanted to get out of here, and how much we're going to miss some aspects of the NICU. Well, those aspects that are Woody's nurses, really. We've really come to love his nurses, especially his primaries, and I just don't know exactly what we're going to do without their amazing care and warmth around him.

The rest of the hospital employees, of course, can just go jump in a lake (this is a joke). And I'm sure that we've made some friendships and relationships with some of the caregivers that will survive our (long) hospital stay, and I'm looking forward to bringing Woody back over the months and years ahead to show everyone how awesome he's doing.

*Having had enough of firm practice, I started a job recently at a large legal support business in the southern Twin Cities, which will be especially perfect once we move to Hastings later this fall.

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