Sara and I went to the cafeteria for breakfast after the doctors were done. My stomach was still in knots, but I was able to eat a little. Even though I felt relieved I was still afraid I was going to miss something. We made a few phones calls and text messages, but our phones were getting low on juice. My mom came up to visit for a bit and Sara’s mom came back up too. We didn’t know how long we were going to be there, but the doctors said at least a day or two more in the PICU. Jackson would stay there a full day after they remove his breath tubes, then they release you to a room on a different floor. That meant we had to cancel Jackson's birthday party we had been planning, it was going to be on Sunday. My mom took me home so I could pack us a bag of clothes, some toiletries, our phone chargers, grab the iPad, grab Jackson some clothes, take a shower, and get our car. I wanted to make it quick and get back as soon as I could, but I kept getting texts, can you get this, can you get that, can you stop at Walgreen and get this. I was also getting text from other people asking how things were going. Then after getting everything including the kitchen sink, there is an accident blocking Walgreens. They wouldn’t let you take the road either and directed back the direction you came. I bet it was some idiot who thought the right turn lane only lane is just optional and if you speed up fast enough you can pass and cut off all those people who are in line, some who are probably on their second light cycle, and then no blinker or warning they come over into the left lane then flip you off, but this time they slammed into the car because it was bumper to bumper and they didn't have any room to get over, so they tried force their way in. It happens at an intersection that I live near and it irks me to no extent when I am cut off, have to slam on my breaks, or even get pushed over into the center lane because of these morons. Silly that I let that bother me, I know….but who the F*CK do they think they are that they don't have to follow the signs like everyone else.
Any way, so I scratched Walgreens all together, even though there is one on every corner, I am so worked up and I just want to be back at the hospital with my little man. I get back to the hospital and say to Sara, I don’t want to leave here until we all leave here. A few hours later my BFF Andie texts me and asks if we want food and a visitor. We promptly said yes and yes…Bread Co. please. Sara’s mom stayed in the room with Jackson while we visited with Andie and Denise, another childhood friend. We went down to the Ronald McDonald waiting room. This waiting room is nice, ran by volunteers with comfy recliners and a full kitchen. Very Luxurious compared to the other waiting rooms, but only open from 9 AM to 9 PM. Denise shared some funny stories, mostly tragic about something that happened to her, but that we can laugh out now. It was really what we needed at that moment. Then Andie came with us to visit with Jackson. Before they left Andie asked if there was anything she could do and I asked her if she could stop by our house to take care of the dogs, let them out and feed them. I hate asking for help, but she without a doubt said of course.
The doctor that night said Jackson was doing really well and he wanted to remove his breathing tube, Jackson had been breathing on his own for a few hours, but they decided to wait until the next day to remove the tube because there was another child with an emergency that night and they didn't want to chance the doctor being tied up. We were obviously OK with waiting. Sara’s mom left and we tried to tackle the sleeping arrangements. Word on the street a good place to go was the lounge on floor 9, so Sara stayed in the room with Jackson and I went to the 9th floor. There was only 1 guy at the time, but his flip out was right under the TV which he had on Sports Center with the volume on full blast and he was fast asleep. His crack was hanging out on one side, his belly on the other. I took the furthest flip out from him, covered it with the hospital sheets, laid down with my hoodie over my head, and covering part of my face. Then the farting began, this guy’s trumpet was louder than the TV. OMG…really, is this really happening. Eventually he turned the TV off. Then around 2:00 AM a couple came up to join in on the sleeping, or lack of. They were grandparents of a child who was brought into the PICU earlier that night. I know this because they were having a loud conversation about it. The wife picked the flip chair just a few feet from me, I did not move, but my goodness she smelt like she smoked a full pack of cigarettes before coming to bed and she was wheezing like Marge’s sisters on the Simpsons. Her husband took a flip chair across the room from her, close to Mr. Fartsalot, and he is shouting across the room to his wife. Are you comfortable? Blah, blah, blah.. Finally the two settle in and how they fell asleep is beyond me. All 3 of my new roommates are snoring, at one point I lifted my arms and started conducting the most amazing symphony. I left the area around 5:00 AM and headed back to Jackson’s room. I didn’t care if Sara was sleeping, but at least I could get away from the ciaos. Sara didn’t know I was there, she was out like a light. I had to wake her up for doctors’ rounds and it was not easy. The doctor wanted to remove the tube today because of Jackson’s progress and would be back after rounds to go over the details. So Sara and I went down for breakfast. A few hours after breakfast, Sara’s stomach started feeling bad.
My parents came up to visit shortly after they removed Jackson’s breathing tube and his EEG cords. I had asked my mom to stop and pick us up some Gatorade (blue and red), gum and combos for me, and Reese’s butter cups for Sara. I love my dad…but forget that he can overkill when it comes to this. They brought in a case of blue and a case of red, a family size bag of Reese’s, 4 bags of combos, 1 package of cheese and crackers, a multipack of gum, pepper beef jerky, and year supply of Rice-a-Roni the San Francisco treat. OK, not the Rice-a-Roni…but all the rest is true. Sara and her mom go down to the Ronald McDonald waiting room while my parents are visiting. My mom and dad didn’t stay too long. My sister and sister-in-law, Katelyn and Tricia, are on their way up to visit as well. I know hospitals are not easy for my family after my brother Donny's year of in and out for his cancer treatments, not to mention the Children’s hospital is attached to where he stayed. Sara comes back, running into Katelyn and Tricia on the way up. Sara says she is not doing well, been in the restroom a lot. Jackson is waking up around this time, he is not fully awake, but he is not comfortable with all the wires. I am trying to keep him from ripping everything out, so I am not able to talk to my sister or sister-in-law at all. Sara leaves the room, when she comes back she said she didn’t make it to the bathroom and got sick in a trash can in front of the nurses’ station. She wants to go home and asks if my sister-in-law can drive her since Sara’s mom had been up here and can help with Jackson. After everyone leaves, Sara’s mom and I took turns with trying to keep Jackson from pulling out his stuff overnight. We were able to get them to order something to help him with the discomfort and let him sleep. They really wanted him to be awake as much as possible, but overnight I thought was craziness. We both stayed in the room overnight. I think since he wasn’t in emergency status, they didn’t really care. The next day Sara woke up feeling a little better, but not 100%. We didn’t know if it was flu or cafeteria food. I was hoping the cafeteria food and figured I was immune to it because the same place that runs the hospital cafeteria is the same as my work cafeteria, which I renamed to barfateria years ago for a reason. Sara’s mom left after doctor rounds while Sara was on her way back up. I made Sara wear a mask just in case. Jackson did really well all day and they discharged us from the PICU in the middle of the night/early next morning to the neurology floor where we would be for the next few days. I believe it is Monday at this time, around 1 AM, but hold tight because the adventure doesn’t end here…
To be continued..