EYE OF THE NEEDLE / by Micaela

To be filed under Things I Thought I Could Never do Until I had Kids: Today I gave Lula an injection.

I used to be terrified of needles. Something about their inherent precision and my lack of hand-eye coordination seems incompatible.  But Lula has started on a new seizure medication that requires us to give her a shot in the thigh twice a day for a month.  When they told us I thought, bring it on.  I practiced on a banana and then went for it.  Much like skydiving you don't want to have too much time to think about what you're doing. It went fine.  The nurse told me I was a rock star, which given their propensity for IV drug use is probably accurate but I don't think that's what she meant.

Lula has been at Cornell since Monday.  The first night they gave her an EEG and found that her seizure activity had increased despite the meds she was given for the past 2 weeks.  The most irritating thing was that even after they were done with the EEG they insisted on leaving all the electrodes on her head for an extra six hours because her insurance wouldn't cover an EEG that was fewer than 18 hours.  I was pissed and the doctor had the nerve to say "I think you're getting upset about something that isn't really bothering her".  Oh really? Please tell me if you thinks this looks like fun:

They call it the Rainbow Ponytail. She's supposed to have a gauze schmata over that but she kept worming her way out of it.

We started the new meds and were told that she will definitely suffer from side effects.  We were told to expect anything from constant irritability to temporary diabetes. It will suppress her immune system making her vulnerable to every cold and flu any of us comes in contact with. We will now have to  monitor her sugar levels and blood pressure at home as well as giving her the injections.

Sam, my mom and I have all taken turns staying with her in the hospital.  Hospital stays are so hard because unlike at home Lula doesn't have her own nurse.  We have had wonderful RNs here but they can't just sit with her if she's having a hard night because they have other patients.  Last night on my shift she was fussy, junky and feverish pretty much all night. Finally I went to sleep for about 4 hours because there was nothing I could do to settle her.  In the hospital I always alternate between feeling guilty that I am sleeping at all to feeling so exhausted and irritated from not getting enough sleep.

I awoke to the nurse in full Hazmat regalia of a gown, gloves, and a mask that looks like a little windshield.  No good.  They were worried that she caught a virus in the hospital and were testing her for RSV and flu. We went for a chest x-ray.  We are now awaiting results.  I am still optimistic that we will be able to go  home today - there isn't much they would do in the hospital that's different from what we do at home, but I am irked that she is going home sicker than when she came in.  The only place germier than daycare is a hospital so as long as it's safe I want to get her out of here as soon as possible.

UPDATE: Lula has neither RSV nor pneumonia nor the flu.  Probably just a garden variety cold. Headin out soon.  Yippeee!