Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sleeping Arrangements

So, FYI, this is more of a "here's what's happening in our world" blog not so much as an update on Owen. He's sleeping well, in a nice big crib, in fact, I've actually thought about trying to crawl into it with him once or twice as I think it would be more comfortable than our sleeping arrangments.

So anyhow, here's the deal. Owen is in a private room in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. It's basically like any ICU in say Flowers or SouthEast, maybe a little bigger room, there's a hideaway toliet, and a couch that pulls out of the side into a ONE-person cot.

Sunday Night
Our first night back we arrived at 2 am EST and probably didn't try to go to sleep until close to 5 in the morning. Ed offered to go to the Ronald McDonald House ROOM on the same floor we are on because they have a "sleep room" for families to use during the day or night while they are here visiting their children. We used it a few times when we were here the first time it was always open I don't think we ever saw anyone else using it when we were here. So, we felt for sure it would be available - wrong. Ed, was such a sweetie and slept on a small couch - not the cushy kind - it has the wooden handrests you would expect in say a doctors office waiting room. Poor baby. I slept somewhat comfortably (much more so than he did) on the cot next to Owen waking only slightly when doctors and nurses popped in to talk to me but I did manage to sleep off and on until around 11. Ed came in a little after I woke up and said that someone woke him up when they left to go to work and told him he could use the cot now, so he managed to get a little sleep too.

Monday Night
We had decided we weren't going to be here very long so it might not be worth it to try to stay at the RMH so Ed and I decide to "share" the cot. I really wish I had pictures of the two of us on that little bitty cot. We actually found a few ways that it worked but I can't sleep laying still in one position all night. We slept until about 2 am and then I couldn't take it anymore. We tried to get repositioned but I never did get comfortable. Around 4 something I got up and went to the RMH Room. Now the RMH Room is a nice sized waiting room with a kitchen space (refrigerator, microwave, table, counter, coffee pot, etc), a computer desk, and a waiting area with chairs down each wall a small couch (Ed's couch) and a TV. It's a cushier waiting room than you typically find and it's kind of a place where families can go to eat meals, or get a little more privacy and comfort than a typical waiting room provides. In the months we were here we would often come up to the RMH Room and find it empty making it a nice retreat from everything else. There is also a smaller room inside the RMH Room called the Sleep Room. It's designed for parents (only - supposedly) to sleep anytime during the day or night it has a passcode lock on the door and two cots, blankets, pillows and such inside nothing else. It's designed just to sleep in that's it. Well I digress. I came over to the RMH Room at 4 in the morning and the sleep room was being used and two other people had turned chairs into makeshift beds for the night, not to mention the room was like 90 degrees for some reason, so I went out into the hall where there were a few chairs and just sat out there for about 30 minutes wondering what in the world I was going to do. Nearing tears and beyond frustration. Around 5 someone came out of the room (WEARING SCRUBS!!!) headed to work - I was angry, very angry. I went back in to find that one of the two people sleeping in the waiting room had moved into the sleep room so I gave up and went back to the cot with Ed. Neither of us had a great nights rest.

Tuesday Night
Well, we decided we might want to try to get a room at the RMH afterall, but of course we weren't able to but we are on the list and have been told that we should have no problem getting in - well spoiler alert that didn't happen. So, I told Ed tonight that he needed to get to the RMH room early to try to get a cot in the sleep room. So around 10ish he walked over and came back to say that someone had already put their stuff down on the cots claiming them for the night. He was upset and we weren't sure how we were going to sleep. I had already called our friend who lives in town and she said we could use her spare bedroom as soon as she got back into town on Friday. We're hoping we aren't here on Friday. Anyways, I thought there's no harm trying to see if he could sleep in one of the rooming-in-rooms they have down in the NICU for parents to sleep in with their kids (sometimes no one is using them). We lucked out and they had one available for Ed to sleep in - it was actually the big one that I could have had a place to sleep too but we wanted to stay close to Owen since he had just come out of surgery and was intubated. So Ed went down and the charge nurse had been one of our nurses and she told Ed the room was available the following night too and she'd try to get it for him (but that didn't happen - someone else needed it).

So we both slept good, me in the cot by Owen and Ed downstairs in the NICU. Until Ed was awoken by some random person bursting into the room while he was sleeping - there is a sign on the door that says Knock Please.

Wednesday Night
I had told Ed that I would sleep in the NICU (before we knew we didn't have that option) and let him sleep in the cot next to Owen for the night since he'd not stayed with Owen at all. Also, we both thought I'd get better rest for just one night if I weren't distrubed by all the dinging and people in and out of the room and the lights from the hall etc. So, we found out around lunchtime that we didn't have the NICU room and decided I would just get to the sleep room early. Well I messed around not wanting to leave Owen and was nodding off before I finally went to the sleep room around 10. And guess what - those same people had put their stuff on the cots claiming the beds for themselves and were no where to be found. I was livid. The sign clearly says, "the sleep room is available for families to sleep 24 hours, on a first come first serve basis. If you are not using the room to sleep please make it available to other families." Ughh. So I called security to have the bags removed because I didn't want to mess with anyone's stuff and create some sort of altercation I just wanted to sleep. Security told me they had nothing to do with the RMH room and that I should call 911?!!! Seriously and say what, uh these people left there bags on a bed I want to sleep on?! How ridiculous. So I did what any sleep deprived, literate, brave person would do and I gently moved all of the belongings off of the cot and placed them on a counter and claimed that bed. Then I called my husband and told him to hurry up and get down here to claim the other bed because I didn't want to be alone in the dark when I was attacked by these people for moving their stuff. He was in the middle of feeding our son and was really looking forward to spending the night with Owen and while I didn't want to leave Owen alone I was really fearing for my life and wanted to sleep. I was prepared for a battle. Ed said he would come down when he finished feeding Owen. I laid there scared and decided it wouldn't hurt to pray for my safety so I did. After a short time I heard the outer door open and I waited but no one ever came into the sleep room. Then again I heard someone this time they came to the sleep room. I didn't know whether to pretend to be asleep or be awake prepared to defend myself but it was just Ed standing there with a pillow in his hand. As I was explaining to him how scared I was and that I really appreciated his willingness to sleep in there with me to ward off any attacks the person who had "claimed" the room came in and said, "Oh you moved my stuff." I explained very calmly that I hadn't slept in days and that I had to get some good rest and I hated to move her stuff but since the bed wasn't being used at the time I felt it was only fair that I be able to sleep in it. She was surprisingly understanding and said that her little sister was going to sleep in that cot but they would share the other one. She encouraged me to go ahead and get some sleep. She asked Ed (with pillow in hand) if he was going to sleep in the other cot and seeing that everything was okay he told her no and went back to be with Owen. Thank God that went as well as it did. I guess they had left their stuff and gone to get some food because as I lay there trying to go to sleep it sounded like five or more people were in the waiting room with her cutting up and talking. Finally it got quiet until around 2 am when they finally came in and laid down to sleep. I was flabbergasted (in my sleep) that they would claim that space for that long not intending to use it and quite proud of myself for standing up to them and taking care of myself instead of walking away from what I had every right to use. I woke up early around 5 to the snoring of strangers and there next two me were the two women lying at opposite ends of one cot and I knew their pain as well. I woke one of them up as I left to tell her she could have the cot I had been sleeping on. I think in the end we are all dealing with similar situations and even if someone upsets us we understand where they are coming from. The entire situation could have become a very bad situation but they were really understanding. Even though I woke up a couple of hours early I did get some good rest. And while Owen and Ed were sleeping quietly I found some quiet time to type a couple of blogs and even get a quiet breakfast by myself in the cafeteria.

Now, I wonder where we will sleep tonight?

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